Thursday, June 04, 2009

Grand Teton proposes campground site reduction

One of Grand Teton National Park’s oldest and largest campgrounds could get a major upgrade starting later this year after park officials announced they want to reduce its footprint, upgrade its infrastructure and allocate a significant number of RV sites for employee housing.

Perhaps the biggest change is the elimination of two loops of campsites, reducing the number of sites by about 77 from 385 to roughly 308, eliminating three to seven acres of pavement and restoring about eight of 170 acres back to native habitat.

Park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said the reduction in size is significant because the campground occurs in crucial habitat for a number of species.

“This particular campground is in the migration corridor between the National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton National Park,” she said. “It sees hundreds of bison and elk and scores of mule deer and moose, as well as other wildlife, including bears, that use this rich riparian location as critical habitat. This allows us to revert some of that back for the benefit of wildlife and not impact visitors in any way.
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