Monday, October 25, 2021

Body of missing 26-year-old Texas man located in Grand Teton

Search teams located the body of missing 26-year-old Texas man Jared Hembree today in Grand Teton National Park. His body was found near Uhl Hill in the eastern part of the park.

Rangers arrived to the scene and recovered Hembree’s remains. The National Park Service and Teton County Sherriff’s Office are conducting an investigation into what occurred.

A search was initiated Thursday, October 21, after park law enforcement received a call expressing concern about Hembree’s welfare after an interaction with him outside of the park’s eastern boundary. Hembree’s vehicle was located unattended at Game Warden Point parking area in the eastern part of the park.

The four-day intensive search involved over eighty members. Grand Teton park staff, members of Teton County Sherriff’s Office (TCSO), members of Teton County Search and Rescue (TCSAR), members of Teton County Idaho Search and Rescue (TCISAR), the Civil Air Patrol and members of Wyoming Highway Patrol were all involved in search efforts. TCSAR provided assistance with a helicopter and a drone. The Civil Air Patrol provided assistance with a fixed wing airplane. Search and rescue dog teams and horse teams were also involved.

The park and all those involved in the search extend their condolences to Jared Hembree’s family and friends.


Jeff
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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Search underway in Grand Teton for missing Texas man

Search operations are underway to find a missing 26-year-old Texas man. Jared Hembree was last seen in Grand Teton National Park on Thursday, October 21 near Game Warden Point in Moran, Wyoming.

Hembree is 5’9” tall and 170 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. He has been described as wearing a green t-shirt with black pants and is believed to be carrying a black backpack.

Park law enforcement received a call expressing concern about Hembree’s welfare after an interaction with him outside of the park’s eastern boundary. Hembree’s vehicle was located unattended at Game Warden Point parking area in the eastern part of the park.

Grand Teton National Park law enforcement rangers, Teton County Sherriff’s Office deputies, and Teton County Search and Rescue are involved in the search. Efforts have included ground and aerial search operations. The Civil Air Patrol has provided assistance with a fixed wing airplane. Teton County Search and Rescue has provided assistance with a helicopter and a drone. Search and rescue dog teams have also been deployed.

Anyone who has been traveling in the area since Thursday may have seen Hembree. Those with information regarding his whereabouts are urged to contact Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307.739.3301.


Jeff
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Friday, October 22, 2021

Grand Teton surpassed park’s busiest full year in September

Grand Teton National Park hosted 3,493,937 recreation visits between January and September 2021, already surpassing the park’s busiest full year on record with three months to go in 2021. Previously, 2018 had the record for most recreation visits in a year with 3,491,151 visits. Of the past nine months, six have been record setting for visitation.

Some of the largest increases in recreation visits occurred during the shoulder season, including the months of March, April, and May. Summer visitation (June, July, August) also increased with July 2021 recording the busiest month for recreation visits in Grand Teton’s history.

The park has also seen increases in trail use. During the 2021 summer, trail use increased approximately 29%, compared to 2019. Looking back five years ago, since 2017, trail use has increased approximately 49%.

“2021 has been a record setting year for visitation in Grand Teton National Park, but it’s more than just the numbers. We are seeing changing patterns and behavior including more people in the backcountry and more visitors in the ‘shoulder season.’ The park is studying changing visitation to gain a more detailed understanding of existing conditions and learning what issues may threaten a quality visitor experience. We are also learning from other parks, seeing what solutions are being tried and what issues they are solving,” said Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Chip Jenkins. “The visitor experience is a resource, just like moose or clean air, and it’s something we are actively working to preserve and protect.”

Grand Teton park staff continue to analyze data and studies conducted over the summer to better understand changing visitation trends in the park. Studies include visitor-use and experience studies at Colter Bay, Taggart and Lupine Meadows trailheads, which surveyed visitors in these areas to gain a better understanding of visitor demographics, visitor expectations, and more. Additionally, a parkwide visitor mobility study was conducted this summer to identify common visitor travel patterns and flow.


Jeff
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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

How National Parks Are Dealing With Crowds

This news feature ran on CNBC last night. It's sad that our national parks have come to this, but I think they're probably doing the right thing here in order to deal with the overcrowding problems in our parks. To think just a few short years ago the National Park System, as well as states like Utah, ran advertising campaigns to attract visitors. No doubt Covid and the closures imposed on travel and recreational activities has driven some of this increase. Will this surge subside after the country and the world gets back to normal?




Jeff
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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Highly food conditioned grizzly bear euthanized

For public safety, Grand Teton National Park officials, in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, euthanized a highly food-conditioned, four-year-old female grizzly bear on Saturday, October 16. This action was taken after the bear received numerous food rewards from unsecured sources, causing it to exhibit increasingly bold behavior. This behavior caused the bear to pose a threat to human safety and therefore it was removed from the population.

Over the course of two years, the grizzly received multiple food rewards and demonstrated escalating conflict behavior. In October of 2020, the bear accessed numerous unsecured attractants at a private residence south of the park. During the fall of 2021, the grizzly received additional food rewards on private lands and caused property damage. The bear eventually became more emboldened in attempts to obtain human food, breaking into bear-resistant dumpsters in Grand Teton National Park.

Once a bear receives a human food reward, it can become food conditioned. Food rewards can include human food, trash, livestock feed, compost, pet food, beehives, etc. Over time, food conditioned bears may become bold or aggressive in their attempts to obtain human food, as was the case with this bear.

Park officials made the decision to capture and remove the animal as per Interagency Grizzly Bear guidelines and per the park bear and wildlife management plan. On October 16, the grizzly bear was captured by Grand Teton park staff and euthanized.

Timeline of conflict behavior
October 5, 2020: Based on GPS collar data, localized at a private residence south of the park.
October 9 – 16, 2020: Based on GPS collar data, localized at a private residence south of the park.
October 21, 2020: Based on GPS collar data, localized at a private residence south of the park.
September 3, 2021: Received food reward of chicken feed on private lands.
September 4, 2021: Received food reward of chicken feed on private lands.
September 12, 2021: Caused property damage on private lands.
September 14, 2021: Caused property damage on private lands.
September 16, 2021: Received food reward of bird and livestock feed on private lands.
September 24, 2021: Received food reward of garbage on private lands.
September 25, 2021: Received food reward of garbage on private lands.
September 26, 2021: Received food reward of garbage on private lands.
October 4, 2021: Caused property damage and received food reward of garbage on private lands.
October 5, 2021: Received food reward of garbage on private lands.
October 7, 2021: Received food reward of garbage from bear-resistant trash can in Grand Teton.
October 9, 2021: Received food reward of garbage on private lands.
October 10, 2021: Received food reward of garbage from bear-resistant dumpster in Grand Teton.

You can make a difference in a bear’s life by doing your part to ensure bears never obtain human foods, whether you call the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) home or are just passing through. Odors attract bears. By storing attractants so bears cannot gain access and securing all trash in a bear-resistant dumpster, you can make sure a bear does not receive human foods. As the grizzly bear population continues to expand in the southern end of the GYE, bears continue to disperse outside of Grand Teton National Park. Residents of local communities are encouraged to secure attractants around their homes. Store all garbage within bear-resistant containers. Secure livestock feed, compost, and beehives. Ensure bird feeders are ten feet up and four feet out from any building. Avoid planting fruit trees. Help your neighbors create a bear-wise community to protect wildlife. It may be cliché; however, more often than not, “a fed bear is a dead bear.”


Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking
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