Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott announced last week that Grand Teton National Park is developing a long-range plan for the renewal of trails and other facilities in the Jenny Lake area-one of the most popular day-use areas of the park. Situated at the base of the Teton Range, the historic Jenny Lake area provides both visitor information and services and access to several trails. These trails provide opportunities for hiking along the valley floor as well as more strenuous treks into the park's backcountry.
Over 1.5 million visitors annually use the Jenny Lake trails and associated facilities. Due to this intensive visitor use over many decades, the area has deteriorated over time. Examples of the decline include poor drainage and steep pitches on portions of the trails (some of which were built in the 1930s), trail erosion, over-crowding on trails and viewing areas, trampled vegetation and bare ground, challenging route finding, and limited interpretation of the rich natural and cultural history.
Four areas will be considered in the planning process. These include South Jenny Lake, Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, the String Lake outlet, and the Jenny Lake overlook. Project priorities are to: retain the historic character of the area; improve route finding; expand interpretation of Jenny Lake's history, natural resources, and wilderness values; preserve and enhance the natural resources; and improve the overall visitor experience.
This scoping seeks public suggestions, comments, and concerns in the development of a master plan for the Jenny Lake area. An environmental assessment (EA) will be developed to analyze potential impacts of the project to a number of resources including geology, soils, vegetation, wildlife, cultural resources, water resources, wilderness character, and visitor use and experience. Additional public comments will be considered during preparation of the EA.
The National Park Service requests public comments on issues, alternatives, concerns and other considerations regarding this proposal. Interested individuals, organizations or agencies are invited to provide relevant information or suggestions for consideration by park managers before a draft EA is written and made available for public review this winter. Scoping comments will be accepted through September 15, 2012.
The upcoming Jenny Lake Renewal EA will address all of the proposed management actions, along with their potential impacts. Obtain more information, including maps of the area, and submit comments online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/grte or by mail to:
Grand Teton National Park
P.O. Drawer 170
Moose, WY, 83012
c/o Margaret Wilson
Glacier National Park Trails