- July 23, 2020

Jerks On Dirt Bikes Damage Mormon Row

by Jackson Hole Radio News

A large, unauthorized dirt bike event in Grand Teton National Park last weekend left significant damage to natural resources in the Mormon Row area. According to a park news release, a group of people were seen riding dirt bikes in an open field and operating a drone along Mormon Row in the park.  According to a reporting party and a video captured via cell phone, approximately 50 people were participating in the event. Park rangers immediately responded to the scene, but the group had already left, leaving behind approximately 1,000 feet of track measuring two to ten feet in width. These historic hay fields along Mormon Row are part of a ten-year project that started in 2014 to remove the non-native grasses and replant the area with 37 species of native plants and restore the site to sagebrush steppe habitat. The effort involves several years of collecting native seed and treating invasive plants prior to seeding the native species. The area is important habitat for elk, bison, pronghorn, moose, sage grouse, and a variety of other wildlife, which all depend on sagebrush steppe habitat.  The specific area that was damaged by the dirt bikes had been reseeded in 2019. The Park asks that anyone with information that could help identify any of the individuals involved, or who was in the area around 8:00 pm on July 18th, please call or text the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch at 888-653-0009.