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GTNP Outlines Sequestration Cuts

GTNP Winter

Calling the decisions the most difficult she has made in her National Park Service Career, Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott Monday outlined for the media what areas of service will see cuts this summer in order to trim about $700-thousand from the park’s budget.  Scott says through reduced hours, the park will be able to open the visitor centers at Moose, Colter Bay and Jenny Lake – the latter enabled by funding from the Grand Teton Cooperating Association.  However, she says the Jenny Lake Ranger Station – which provides information about climbing and issues back country permits – will not open this summer.  Instead, those interested in such activities will have to obtain them Moose visitor center.  Scott says the park will be issuing back country permits there, and she adds, “to the degree we can, we’ll try to do some preventive search and rescue education.  However, that will be on a staff availability occurrence – it will not be consistent.” Additionally, Scott says there will be fewer seasonal rangers in the park, and fewer to respond to wildfires and rescues.  She says it is hoped that such emergencies can be handled with the smaller staffs, but resources from the nearby county could come into play.  She points to past larger rescues where park and county search and rescue teams have worked together.  She says, “that’s not outside the realm of what we typically do; I don’t know what to expect given the summer.  We’ve already had two fatalities this winter and so it depends on the summer season.”  Still, Scott says it’s not unusual for the park to use Teton County Search and Rescue staff and resources any time of the year. Scott reiterated several times that the park will be open and its lodges and other commercial visitor resources will be in full operation, while the park will do all that it can to assure the traveling public enjoys a quality visit.

Listen To Statement from Supr. Mary Gibson Scott

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