Grand Teton National Park is developing an environmental assessment to consider implementing additional management strategies to protect bighorn sheep winter habitat within the park.
Bighorn sheep have occupied the Teton Mountain Range for thousands of years, but today this native population is small, isolated from other nearby populations, and at risk of local extinction.
Since the 1990s, management of the herd and its habitat has been coordinated between Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Bridger-Teton National Forest, and Caribou-Targhee National Forest, as the Teton Range Bighorn Sheep Working Group. The Working Group identified bighorn sheep population threats from habitat loss, disease, non-native mountain goats, and disturbance from backcountry winter recreation.
In an ongoing effort to conserve and protect the sheep, the park is proposing additional actions beyond the current 2019 Mountain Goat Management Plan implementation.
Based on emerging science, recommendations from the Teton Range Bighorn Sheep Working Group, and changing conditions on the ground, the National Park Service is considering other visitor and resource management actions to conserve this small, native population of bighorn sheep within the park, while still providing backcountry winter recreation opportunities. A scoping newsletter and other information is available at parkplanning.nps.gov/bighorn_habitat. The public is encouraged to comment on the group’s proposed actions by May 20th.