Support Grand Teton National Park’s Preferred Alternative for Moose-Wilson



Be a voice for Grand Teton National Park’s magnificent wildlands and wildlife



The Moose-Wilson corridor is a remarkable 10,000+ acre piece of Grand Teton National Park that offers exceptional habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities for people. The National Park Service (NPS) is working diligently to create a thoughtful, comprehensive management plan that will protect park resources and values in the ecologically rich Moose-Wilson corridor. Having released an Environmental Impact Statement and their preferred alternative (Alternative C), the NPS is now accepting public comment on the plan. Several weeks ago, The Cougar Fund – along with several other local conservation organizations – expressed our strong support for Grand Teton’s preferred alternative.

Now, we need you to let the NPS know that you, too, support their preferred alternative.


Reasons to support the National Park Service’s preferred alternative


Please start your letter by saying, “I strongly support Alternative C” for the following reasons (use any, or all of them, but try and use them in your own words):

  1. It’s VERY important
  2. Grand Teton National Park (GRTE) has long struggled with ‘what to do’ with the glorious Moose-Wilson corridor. Alternative C is the result of extensive research and analysis and upholds the core values of the National Park Service to protect the resource, while providing for public enjoyment….the resource (wild-lands and wildlife ) is  clearly the priority. Alternative C has the immeasurable benefit of including an Adaptive Management approach which will allow GRTE to respond to changing needs in the corridor. This offers the very best opportunity for honing and perfecting strategies to protect the area.
  3. It protects the resource by:
    • Saving more than 3000 trees.
    • Averting enormous construction impact and emissions.
    • Protecting unique indigenous artifacts.
  4. It protects wildlife by:
    • Further decreasing speed and usage. There were far fewer confirmed wildlife vehicle collisions between 1991 and 2015 on Moose-Wilson Road compared to significant wildlife-vehicle collisions on a north park road through similar habitat that has a higher design and operating speed. (Parts of the northern road are year round unlike Moose-Wilson and there are higher travel numbers, but it is a good example that width, clearer sight lines, and increased speed have a greater negative impact on animal mortality)
    • Preventing widespread habitat loss from new construction, allowing animals to remain in familiar and undisturbed refuge.
    • Reducing the risk of negative encounters between people and large mammals including grizzly bears and moose.
  5. It protects people by:
    • Slowing  traffic and managing it at reduced speed
    • Adding speed bumps and controlling user numbers at appropriate heavy traffic times.
    • Increasing safety for experienced cyclists who take responsibility for riding through a narrow road with extensive wildlife. (Similar to the differences between skill levels on ski runs, or when hiking and climbing, or white-water versus still-water recreation
    • Being a financially responsible alternative


It is critically important that your comment be unique in nature; repeat letters or form letters (i.e., copying and pasting talking points) will be consolidated and only considered as a single comment. The above talking points are only meant to serve as background information and guidance to help you draft your comment. Writing your own, unique comment is the most effective way to support the NPS and advocate for the protection of wildlife and their habitat.


Please submit your comments below via the National Park Service PEPC website by January 30, 2016.



If you’re having trouble using the above comment form or it does not display properly on your mobile device, click here to head directly to the National Park Service PEPC website.

Trust faces a new challenge

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 1.07.51 PM

The AP headline on the recent controversy

Advocacy is often based on promoting the values that are seldom addressed in the structure, politics and administration of state wildlife management today. Objectives are built on the need for management practices that better represent a broader constituency. State agencies have long enjoyed the luxury of unilateral funding and the subsequent primary self identification as facilitators of hunting.

The story accompanying this tells the tale of an almost unbelievable error on the part of an agency that had recently come under scrutiny for requesting extensive helicopter access into a wilderness area. Several large groups filed objections to the Forest Service when the access was first applied for. The groups not only objected to motorized travel in wilderness but were also suspicious of the intentions of IGFD with regards to wolves. The Forest Service did not give permission for wolf research.

Obviously a very serious mistake was made. You can see this from the string of articles cataloguing the initial objections, the consequent litigation and then the admission by IGFD of mistakenly collaring wolves during an elk collaring exercise.


Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 1.10.00 PM

IDFG’s official press release


There is no doubt that we ALL make mistakes, but what is most troublesome about this story is whether IDFG deliberately ignored the limited permission they had been granted to collar elk. There is no doubt that there is passionate anti-wolf sentiment in Idaho which places IDFG in the unenviable position of being attacked from all sides. There is never a good reason to engineer deception and disrespect for any constituents, whether a Federal Agency, an environmental advocacy organization or the employees who were not adequately briefed about the scope of their responsibilities.

It seems from following the thread of the tale that IDFG were, in fact, the first to admit to the error, which the Forest Service is then mandated to investigate. At a time when IDFG and the Forest Service are being challenged and closely scrutinized it would be mind-bogglingly arrogant for an agency to make a deliberate miscalculation of this magnitude.


Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 1.12.52 PM

The initial source of controversy


We actually want to trust those who have been given the authority to be decision makers over our wildlife and our wild lands. We want to build relationships where we are recognized as participants and not antagonists. We want to be able to contribute to funding and become part of a binary system of wildlife administration.

Just as large carnivores are often keystone species, so trust is the keystone of integrity and respect. Incidents like this are not just embarrassing, they are much more serious than that. They open the door to doubt and suspicion. Grizzly bear management will probably soon be transferred to Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, just as wolf management was several years ago. Many eyes will be upon these three states, so firmly rooted in the heritage of recreational killing of large carnivores and omnivores.

There has never been a time when trust is more important or more easily fragmented than now.


The articles whose titles are featured in this post can be found here:

USFS Officials Scrutinize Suspicious Wolf Collaring

Mistake Made During Idaho Fish and Game’s Elk-Collaring Project in Wilderness

Groups Sue to Stop Helicopter Landings in Idaho Wilderness



Two new mountain lion kittens born in the Santa Monicas

Two new mountain lion kittens, now referred to by National Park Service researchers as P-46 and P-47, have been discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains of southern California. The kittens, born sometime in November or December, are the offspring of P-19, who has lost a number of siblings and offspring to collisions is buying valtrex online legal with motorvehicles. The birth of new kittens in the isolated Santa Monica’s is a significant event that brings with it the hope that mountain lions can persist in the face of a variety of threats.

To read the full story from LAObserved, click here.


Sad news from Utah