Thursday, May 28, 2020

Native America Speaks program celebrates 35 years in Glacier National Park

Below is a video on the Native America Speaks program that I recently came across on the Glacier National Park Conservancy website. Now in its 35th year, the speakers series is the longest running indigenous people’s speakers series in the National Park Service system:

Native America Speaks 2019 from Glacier Conservancy on Vimeo.








Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Monday, May 25, 2020

Caution: Elk calving season has begun in Yellowstone. Beware of your surroundings!

Elk calving season has started in Yellowstone National Park.

Cow elk are much more aggressive towards people during the calving season and may charge or kick. Visitors should stay alert. Look around corners before exiting buildings or walking around blind spots: cow elk may bed their calves near buildings and cars. Keep at least 25 yards from elk at all times.

If an elk charges you, find shelter in your vehicle or behind a tall, sturdy barrier as quickly as possible.

You are responsible for your own safety.

Visit Elk for more information.







Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Friday, May 22, 2020

Man injured in grizzly bear attack on Sun River

A man was attacked by a female grizzly bear on Sunday morning near the Sun River. The attack left the man with non-life-threatening injuries.

The man was part of a group who were floating and camping on the Sun River, west of Augusta. The group was packing up their campsite when the attack occurred at about 8:30 a.m. After stepping into some brush, the man found himself between the female grizzly and her 2-year-old cub.

The group was able to call 911, and the man was carried out by helicopter and taken to a hospital.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks investigated the scene and determined the bear acted as expected during a surprise encounter with a human. Because the bear exhibited what is considered normal and expected behavior, no further action is planned.

Grizzlies can be found throughout western Montana, not just the Rocky Mountain Front, Bob Marshall Wilderness and the Yellowstone Ecosystem. In recent years, grizzly bear populations have expanded, and bears are re-colonizing historic ranges.







Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Female visitor injured after approaching bison in Yellowstone National Park

On the afternoon of May 20, 2020, a female visitor was knocked to the ground and injured by a bison in the Old Faithful Upper Geyser Basin after approaching the animal too closely (inside 25 yards).

Park emergency medical providers responded to the incident immediately. She was assessed and refused transport to a medical facility. The incident remains under investigation, and there is no additional information to share.

This is the first incident of a bison injuring a visitor in 2020.

Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park are wild. When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space. Stay 25 yards (23 m) away from all large animals - bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes and at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves. If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal in close proximity.







Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Starting June 1, 2020, Parks Canada will gradually resume some operations at selected national parks

Starting June 1, 2020, Parks Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada will offer limited visitor access and basic services at some national parks, national wildlife areas, national historic sites, heritage canals, and marine conservation areas across the country. There will also be a gradual resumption of some key field-based ecological and cultural protection activities.

In provinces and territories that have not opened their parks as a result of continuing concerns about the novel coronavirus, or where Indigenous partners or communities are uncomfortable with the resumption of visitor services, federal protected places will remain closed. This includes some ongoing closures of parks in the territories. Parks Canada will continue to work closely with local tourism-related businesses and associations throughout the gradual resumption of operations.

Visiting these places will be different than it has been in the past. Visitors should check the Parks Canada or Environment and Climate Change Canada websites to learn more about what is available and how to plan and prepare for their visit.

Visitors will be able to access outdoor settings such as:

o Some day-use trails, including some cycling access on designated trails and pathways;

o Some day-use areas, including green spaces, picnic areas, and some beach areas;

o Some grounds of national historic sites and heritage canals;

o Some boat launches or access points to lakes and water-based recreation; and

o Some locks, boat launches, access points and mooring areas on historic waterways.

Access and services will vary. Some public toilets and other visitor facilities may be open. Visitors should expect limited levels of service and limited access to visitor facilities compared to previous years.

Some parking lots will be open. However, some may remain closed or reduced in size to facilitate levels of visitation that allow for physical distancing or other health, safety, or conservation measures.

Measures will be in place to manage garbage collection, washroom facilities and protect natural and cultural resources.

Admission to Parks Canada places is not free. Environment and Climate Change Canada and Parks Canada are working to ensure that measures are in place to safely collect fees and protect the health of employees and visitors. Canadians are encouraged to plan ahead and check with the Parks Canada website for more information.

Some recreational boating and water access may be allowed, including lockage, docks, mooring and boat launches. In some places, fishing may be allowed.

Critical services

Parks Canada will continue to deliver services critical for Canadians, including road maintenance, law enforcement, fire response, dam operations and water management, among others. The Agency has been delivering these services since its initial response to COVID-19 in March.

Reservations, activities and fees

All camping facilities including backcountry camping, oTENTiks, and other roofed accommodations remain closed until further notice. All existing reservations set to take place prior to June 21, 2020, will be automatically cancelled and refunded in full.

All group events and interpretive activities remain suspended until further notice.

Parks Canada will automatically extend the end date of Discovery Passes for the full duration of the suspension period. For each month or part of a month that visitor services are not offered due to Parks Canada’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, a full month will be added to the end date of the annual pass.







Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Grand Teton National Park Announces Increased Recreational Access

Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Grand Teton National Park is increasing recreational access and some limited visitor services.

The National Park Service is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

“It was great to welcome Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence to Yellowstone National Park and First Lady Melania Trump to Grand Teton National Park last year. These are incredible places that are special to the American public. I appreciate Superintendent Sholly and Acting Superintendent Noojibail for working with Governor Gordon and health officials to make the parks accessible to the public," said Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt.

Beginning Monday, May 18, Grand Teton National Park will have recreational access with limited services available to the public, including;

* Primary road access (Teton Park Road, Moose-Wilson Road and North Park Road)
* Public restrooms in some areas
* Day-use hiking on seasonally-accessible trails
* Riverbank and lakeshore fishing
* Multi-use pathway system (where free from snow)
* Limited commercial-use authorization tours (biking, wildlife, etc.)
* Several viewpoints continue to be accessible along US Highway 89/26/191

With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed or services are unavailable at this time;

* Park visitor centers
* Overnight lodging
* Food service
* Boating/floating on river and lakes
* Marinas
* Backcountry permits
* Special-use permits
* Campgrounds  

It is anticipated that expanded recreational access and visitor services will be available as the park continues with a phased opening approach, conditions permitting.

“I appreciate the willingness of Acting Superintendent Noojibail to engage with state and Teton County officials to develop a reopening plan that provides access to one of the most iconic parks anywhere,” Governor Gordon said. “This plan is designed to protect employees, visitors and community members. Spring in Teton County would just not be the same without the opportunity to appreciate Grand Teton National Park up close.”

The park is implementing a number of preventive measures to reduce the spread of infectious disease, including prioritizing the hiring of seasonal custodial workers and increased contracted services for cleaning and disinfecting high use areas, and the use of plexiglass panels in locations of high visitor/public interaction such as entrance stations, visitor centers, and permit desks, and providing visitor guidance.

Grand Teton National Park will examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. The park continues to work closely with the National Park Service Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers. When recreating, the public should follow local area health guidance, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.

The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. All park functions will continue to be monitored to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/grte/index.htm and the park’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

With more than 240 miles of trails meandering throughout the park, hiking is the absolute best way to see Grand Teton National Park. In addition to the hikes listed above, the park offers a wide variety of outstanding hikes that take-in the best scenery the Tetons have to offer. If you do plan to visit Grand Teton this year, please note that our hiking website also offers a wide variety of accommodation listings and other things to do to help with all your trip planning.



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Yellowstone will begin first phase of reopening on May 18

Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Yellowstone National Park will reopen on a limited basis on May 18. The park has been closed to visitors since March 24, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It was great to welcome Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence to Yellowstone National Park and First Lady Melania Trump to Grand Teton National Park last year. These are incredible places that are special to the American public. I appreciate Superintendent Cam Sholly and Acting Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail for working with Governor Gordon and health officials to make the parks accessible to the public," said Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt.

Yellowstone has outlined a three-phased plan that initially opens the South and East entrances of Wyoming and limits visitor travel to the lower loop of the park. The lower loop allows visitors to access Lake, Canyon, Norris, Old Faithful, West Thumb, and Grant Village.


Wyoming has lifted out-of-state travel restrictions and has requested the state’s entrances open the week of May 18. Montana and Idaho continue to have out-of-state restrictions in place and the park is working closely with these states and counties to open the remaining three entrances as soon as possible.

“I want to thank Yellowstone Superintendent Sholly for his thoughtful communication with all interested parties about the park’s plan for reopening,” Governor Gordon said. “This measured approach will help protect employees, visitors, and neighboring communities. It will also give us useful experience as we look ahead to opening other areas of the park, provide a boost to Wyoming’s tourism industry, and help get America’s economy up and going again.”

This limited opening approach will accomplish three objectives in the short term: 1) allow the park to continue buffering with states that are maintaining restrictions; 2) help the park and internal business partners improve and refine mitigation actions with lighter levels of visitation; and 3) allow for an assessment of how returning visitors affect COVID-19 curves within surrounding Wyoming counties.

The park’s reopening priorities center on protecting employees and the public from transmission risks through a variety of mitigation actions consistent with local, state, and federal guidance. The park will actively monitor changing conditions (in the park and in surrounding counties); and will maintain flexibility to expand, adjust, or contract operations as conditions warrant.

“The park’s goal is to open safely and conservatively, ensure we take the right actions to reduce risks to our employees and visitors, and help local economies begin to recover,” said Superintendent Cam Sholly. “I appreciate the cooperation we’ve had with our surrounding governors, counties, communities, and health officials in working through these challenging decisions. Our goal is to get the remaining entrances open as quickly and safely as possible.”

The park has developed a range of mitigation actions that include: providing protective barriers where needed, encouraging the use of masks or facial coverings in high-density areas, metering visitor access in certain locations, increasing cleaning frequency of facilities, adding signage on boardwalks and other public spaces, and messaging to visitors through a variety of methods.

What will be open beginning May 18?

* Phase 1 will begin on Monday, May 18 at 12:00 p.m. with the opening of the South and East entrances in the state of Wyoming.

* Visitors will be able to access the lower loop of the Grand Loop Road (see attached map) coming in and out of the South and East entrances only.

* Visitors will be able to access restrooms, self-service gas stations, trails and boardwalks, and other Phase 1 facilities that are prepared to open.

What will remain closed until later phases of the plan?

* The Montana entrances (North, West, and Northeast) will remain closed. The park is consulting with the Governor of Montana to establish reopening dates for the Montana entrances.

* Commercial tour buses will not be allowed in the early phases of opening.

* Overnight accommodations will be unavailable until later in the season.

* Campgrounds, backcountry permits, visitor cabins, additional stores, expanded tours, takeout food service, boating, fishing, and visitor centers will remain closed. These Phase 2 services and/or facilities will open when safe and appropriate mitigation measures are in place. This will happen at different times.

* Hotels, full-service dining, commercial tour buses, and ranger programs will remain closed. These Phase 3 services and/or facilities will reopen when health conditions allow.

Visitors should come prepared and follow all CDC and local health guidance by practicing good hygiene and social distancing. Face coverings are recommended where social distancing is not possible. People who are sick should stay home and not visit the park. The CDC has provided specific guidance on visiting parks and recreational facilities.

“I’m asking the public to partner with us to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Superintendent Cam Sholly. “Visitors can protect their family and friends by skipping areas that are too crowded and always maintaining social distance from other people, including rangers. The National Park Service can’t do this alone and will continue to work with all stakeholders to best protect the public and our employees.”

Previously-scheduled road construction projects will continue this summer. Normal annual bear management area closures will be in effect. Many areas of the park are still experiencing winter conditions. The park will provide details and updates for operations as they change on http://www.nps.gov/yell and on the park’s social media channels.







Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park