A temporary closure of the Moose-Wilson Road will continue indefinitely due to the repeated presence of several grizzly bears, including a sow with cubs, which are currently foraging on chokecherry and hawthorn bushes that line this narrow road. Intermittent closures have been in effect since 9 a.m. Friday, October 7, when numerous vehicles and crowds of people congregated just feet away from foraging bears. Because of its narrow surface lined with dense vegetation, hillsides and wetlands, the Moose-Wilson Road does not allow for a safe distance between people and bears, creating situations where both may be at risk for injury. Combined, these factors make it extremely difficult to safely manage a large wildlife jam.
National Park Service Management Policies provide guidance to direct the management of park resources. The policy specifies that "…when there is a conflict between conserving resources and values and providing for the enjoyment of them, conservation is to be predominant." To ensure that bears can use an important seasonal food source, and to provide for visitor safety, the Moose-Wilson Road closure will continue until bears move away from the area. Rangers remind park users to Be Bear Aware, as bears and other wildlife are active throughout Grand Teton National Park.
The road is closed from the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve access road to the intersection of the Moose-Wilson and Teton Park roads in Moose. Park users can still access the Preserve parking lot from the south via Highway 390. Law enforcement and science and resource management personnel are actively patrolling and monitoring the closure area.
Local residents and park visitors are advised to plan ahead and use an alternate route because this temporary closure prevents the ability to make a 'through trip' on the Moose-Wilson Road. To alert travelers of the road closure, signs are in place on Wyoming Highway 390. Signs are also placed near the junction of the Teton Park and Moose-Wilson roads to alert motorists heading south to Teton Village from Moose.
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