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Jackson Airport Studies Wildlife Concerns

airport moose

Wyoming’s busiest airport is also the only commercial airport located inside a national park.  As such, it presents some rather unique challenges – like coexisting with the wildlife that call the park home.  Airport Manager Ray Bishop says the airport board is in the midst of a study regarding what kind of management strategies might be effective for balancing safety with the environmental responsibilities to both winged and four-legged animals.  He says those four-legged animals are very concerning.  Says Bishop: “If you’re in an airplane going 160-170 miles an hour and you hit a moose, that’s a very significant event!”  Consequently, he says the study is looking at avians and the “four-legged types.” Bishop says fortunately, the airport has not seen any incidents involving the larger animals, but there have been a number of bird-strikes over the years.  Currently, he says airport officials are examining what measures might be appropriate to increase wildlife safety.  He says the airport is consulting with some of the best scientists the country has to offer for grouse and focusing on how not to harass the birds at the airport, but provide them with a more suitable ecological place for them to go – some other place that’s not as hazardous to not only the aircraft, but for the birds as well. Bishop says part of the study involves a public workshop tomorrow from 4:00 until 7:00 at the Snow King Hotel in Jackson.

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