Riddel photo and masthead


Black or Grizzly Bear?  

What Kind of Bear is That? 
Video credit: Grand Teton National Park Staff


There are approximately 100 black bears and 70 grizzly bears that use Grand Teton National Park as habitat.  Given the strong bear presence, it is especially important to be knowledgeable about the differences between black and grizzly bears so a best course of action can be determined if approached.  


Watch this video to learn the differences.  Make sure to pay close attention because you'll be quizzed at the end!

Top Five Bear Spray Tips

You have your camera, water, and a jacket for unpredictable weather.  But do you know how to make the most of your bear spray if you encounter a bear?


  1. The single most important thing you can do is remove your bear spray from your backpack and carry it in a hip, chest, or hiking pole holster.  Most people pack it away, which means they have no chance of quickly accessing the spray, should they need it.   
  2. Know the characteristics of the brand of bear spray you use and be aware of your changing environment.  Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee recommends a product that can reach a minimum distance of 25 feet and spray continually for at least 6 seconds, but a product that offers a greater spray distance/time offers a definite advantage.   Pay attention to your environment.  Is the wind blowing in your face, or is it at your back?  Knowledge helps you assess your situation and make informed decisions. 
  3. Familiarize yourself with how the canister works before you hit the trails.  Don't test the canister because you'll waste valuable pepper spray, but make sure you know how to remove the safety clip without fumbling.   
  4. If you need to deter a bear, your first warning should be a quick shot that is angled slightly toward the ground well in front of you.  The pepper spray will bounce up from the ground and disperse into the bear's face.  
  5. If the bear continues to approach, deliver a more aggressive shot of spray. 

    If possible, leave some spray in your canister for the hike out.

    Counter Assault Bear Spray Logo  

Want to Recycle Your Bear Spray Canisters?


Until recently, bear spray canisters from thousands of visitors, locals, and land management agencies have collected in our landfill with no way to be recycled.  Expired, used, and  empty canisters enter the waste stream and can  injure workers at disposal sites.  Now, you can stop by a variety of recycling boxes in Grand Teton National Park and take part in the park's larger sustainability effort.


Counter Assault, a bear spray manufacturer in Kalispell, Montana, supports the Foundation's work in Grand Teton and provided the lead funding for a recycling center in Yellowstone National Park that is designed to serve the entire greater Yellowstone area.  Visit www.bearsprayrecycling.info  or call 877-665-0492 to learn more.


Collection sites within Grand Teton National Park include:  Colter Bay Visitor Center, Colter Bay cabins, Jackson Lake Lodge, Jenny Lake Ranger Station, Jenny Lake Visitor Center, Gros Ventre campground, Signal Mountain Lodge, and the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center.  Collection sites are also located at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center in the National Elk Refuge and Teton County Recycling.  Additional collection boxes will also be located at several private Jackson businesses and the Jackson Hole Airport as of July 15.

Discover Grand Teton Online! 
The Foundation is proud to have funded a new, educational website: Discover Grand Teton. This exciting, up-to-the-minute resource complements the park's existing website by highlighting the park's history, geology, ecostystems, flora and fauna, as well as the Junior Ranger program. Visit the site's dashboard for constantly updated images of the Tetons via webcams, current weather conditions and other relevant park information.
Discover Grand Teton Homepage 
Discover Grand Teton Homepage

 Wildlife Whereabouts 

Summer is finally here in Grand Teton!  The sun is out, the birds are chirping and the temperatures are high!  As for the many animals in the park:


  • "Child rearing" season is in full bloom for all species.
  • Early born bison calves are starting to turn from their bright orange natal fur to a dark brown coat.
  • Elk calves and pronghorn fawns are now very mobile, moving with their moms for most of the day.
  • Wolf pups are out of their dens and staging at rendezvous sites under the watchful eyes of moms or other adult "pup sitters."
  • First year bear cubs are growing rapidly and become much more mobile, which allows their family groups to travel more widely in search of food.
  • Nestling red-tailed, Swainson's, and other hawks have recently fledged and are gradually expanding their flights away from nests.
  • Osprey, eagle, and swan nestlings are still developing and preparing for flight later this summer.
  • Pika and marmots at high elevations are struggling to find food because of the persistent, unusually deep snow pack for this time of year.
  • Mosquitos are now out in force (but vary in abundance across the landscape), providing food to birds, bats, fish, and other species.



Coyote pups in Grand Teton

Photo credit: Timothy C. Mayo


A big thanks to Foundation supporter and nature photographer, Timothy C. Mayo who shared this photo of coyote pups in front of a cabin near the famous Moulton Barn on Grand Teton National Park's Mormon Row.  Please remember to send us your photos and videos of wildlife in Grand Teton National Park so we can share them with others on Facebook, Twitter, and in these monthly e-mails!

In the Spotlight 

 KOWA Logo 

Kowa Optimed, Inc. is an organization with a lot of heart and a strong commitment to the wildlife we all love to watch. The company recently sent a spotting scope to the Foundation to help grow our wildlife research and protection program in Grand Teton National Park. What do we think so far? Amazing optics and the scope brings the bears much closer than we'd ever dare to go!


Known worldwide in the sporting, photography, medical, and lighting industries, Kowa produces an exceptional range of optical products, and its dedication to wildlife organizations is equally impressive.  Kowa supports a variety of projects from purple martin monitoring in Pennsylvania and British Columbia, to a passerine migration study in Canada and shorebird surveys in Bolivia. The company also sponsors a World Series of Birding bicycling team in New Jersey, which raises funds for New Jersey Audubon conservation projects and habitat preservation projects for an endangered hummingbird in Peru. "Biodiversity is an important indicator of the health of our planet. To help ensure biodiversity thrives, organizations of all sizes monitor and capture critical data," Jim Danzenbaker, Kowa Sporting Optic's sales manager for the Americas, says. "Conservation initiatives promoted by these organizations are often driven by grassroots campaigns, and Kowa's support through product donations and funding aids in the success of these initiatives."


Kowa uses Eco-Glass, an environmentally friendly glass that doesn't contain lead or other harmful substances, in all their lenses so there's no detrimental effect on the environment. In addition, the company uses LED lighting in its medical products, organic cotton in their textiles, soy ink in printed materials, an e-waste company handles electronic disposals, they are active recyclers, and they have numerous other green initiatives that are under development.


Thank you, Kowa, for all you do in Grand Teton National Park and beyond!

More FREE Summer Events in Grand Teton

Visit our website for more information about events in Grand Teton.  Here is a handful of the many events to choose from:

  • Map Chat: From park geology to the variety of wildlife that call Grand Teton home, this program will give you insight into the stories behind the scenery.  Meet at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center relief map at 10:30 am for this 30 minute program, any day of the week until September 5th.
  • Nature in a Nutshell: Short on time?  Explore Grand Teton's diverse natural world in 20 minutes!  Topics vary.  Meet in the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center courtyard at 3:30 pm Sundays, Wednesdays or Fridays until September 5th.
  • Wild About Wilderness Family Program: We invite families to join a ranger and discover this wild place.  Please bring water, raingear, sunscreen, and curiosity!  Roundtrip distance is less than a mile and an hour in duration.  Meet at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center flagpole at 3:30pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays until August 13th.
  • Gros Ventre Campfire Talk: Join a ranger for an illustrated campfire talk.  Topics are posted at the amphitheaters, campgrounds, and visitor centers.  Meet at the Gros Ventre Amphitheater at 9:00 pm for this 45 minute event on Mondays, Wednesdays or Saturdays until August 27th.

Book Signing to Benefit Grand Teton National Park Foundation 

 The Adventures of Dayne Traveler Volume II 

Please join us for an evening with Daniel Pope, author, black belt karate tournament champion, outdoor enthusiast, and cancer survivor in celebration of the release of his second book, The Adventures of Dayne Traveler, Volume 2 - Reflections, which is a follow-up to his first book, The Adventures of Dayne Traveler.  The book chronicles his outdoor adventures that span from Grand Teton National Park to Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, to the Minnesota Boundary Waters and all the way to Hawai'i.

Daniel raised more than $110,000 for charities from his first book and he intends to support his home-away-from-home, Jackson, with the second volume.  Join us in thanking Daniel at Jackson's own Valley Bookstore on Friday, July 22nd at 7:00 pm. 
Anyone who makes a gift to the Foundation at the book signing will receive a free book!



 Conservation Deserves More Than 2%

Earth Friends Logo2% Is Not Enough

Support the Earth Friends Challenge to benefit Grand Teton National Park Foundation and help us raise $150,000 by September 30, 2011.  Through this challenge grant we hope to encourage more giving to environmental and animal-based organizations, which currently receive only 2% of all charitable giving in the U.S.   Make a gift to help us reach our goal to support Grand Teton!


GTNPF logolocation: 25 S. Willow, Suite 10, Jackson, WY  83001

mailing address : P.O. Box 249, Moose, WY 83012                      

tel: 307-732-0629 fax: 307-732-0639 

e-mail: director@gtnpf.org 



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