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February eNewsletter Features
eNewsletter News!  -- A sneak peek of our new eNewsletter
A Boy and His Bear Box -- The story of how one bear box has connected park visitors 
In the Spotlight -- Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole
Wildlife Whereabouts -- February wildlife updates from park senior biologist Steve Cain
2014 Youth Conservation Program -- Apply now!
NPS Science in the News -- The NPS recommends new conservation action for migratory species

Sneak a Peek at Our New eNews

Next month, we look forward to unveiling a new look for our eNewsletter! We appreciate your interest in news from Grand Teton and can't wait to share our new monthly eNewsletter with you!

Take a peek at next month's headliner:


A Boy and His Bear Box

As part of Signal Mountain campground, campsite #75 sits near the shores of Jackson Lake.  It features stunning Teton views and a standard layout: a fire ring, flattened surfaces for tents, and a few logs for sitting.  How did campsite #75 earn a unique reputation as a place that provides a way for park visitors to connect with each other throughout the summer and share stories of their experiences in Grand Teton?

            It began with a bear box, which was placed at the site in the summer of 2010. Richard Hirsch, a long-time lover of Grand Teton and supporter of the Foundation, visited the park every summer from the 1960s until his death in 2011. As often as he could, he brought his children, grandchildren, and eventually great-grandchildren with him on park visits. In 2010, through the Foundation's bear box program, Richard donated a box in honor of his 4-year-old great grandson, Max Ozbolt. When park officials installed the bear box at site #75, Max left a blank journal inside with a note encouraging visitors to contribute entries about the campsite and bear box.

            Three years later, Max's notebook is now filled with messages from campers to Max. Visitors from all over the country had left stories of their experiences at Signal Mountain and in Grand Teton.  We've shared a few of our favorite excerpts:   




 As park rangers thumbed through the notebook, they were not only touched by the stories but recognized the notebook's value in creating a forum for park visitors from around the world to share common experiences.  While the original notebook has been returned to Max, park rangers have replaced it with a new blank one.  Next time you're near Signal Mountain Campground, consider stopping by site #75 and sharing your park story with Max. 


Placement of these bear-resistant food storage lockers is playing an important role in reducing human/bear encounters in Grand Teton.  Thanks to supporters such as Richard, bear boxes are becoming easier to access throughout frontcountry campsites in the park.  To learn more about our bear box program, visit our website.

In the Spotlight!
Located minutes from Grand Teton National Park, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole brings thousands of guests into the park each year to view wildlife and appreciate the magnificent landscape. The eco-conscious resort is a sustainability leader in the hospitality industry through its efforts to reduce waste, conserve energy, purchase organic and sustainably produced products, and support Clean the World, which donates used bathroom amenities to developing nations.  

Here to discuss the resort's environmental commitment and partnership with the Foundation is Nina Braga, public relations manager.


Four Seasons Resort continues to be a generous partner in the community. Give us an idea of the breadth of efforts your company supports locally.

We are deeply committed to enhancing and protecting the area's valuable resources. Our Eco-Luxury Program allows guests to forgo having their sheets changed frequently, and the money saved is donated to Grand Teton National Park Foundation. We are a co-challenger in Old Bill's Fun Run, and we are collaborating with Craighead Beringia South on a great gray owl research project. American Cancer Society Relay for Life is an annual priority, receiving financial support as well as employee volunteers from our group for this important community event. The resort has also committed to planting 10 million trees worldwide, which has funded reforestation along the Snake River in partnership with the Bridger Teton National Forest and the Snake River Fund.


The resort has long history of connecting its guests to Grand Teton. Can you share a few examples of how the resort fosters an appreciation for wilderness and conservation among its guests?

At Four Seasons we love to share our passion for America's greatest wilderness playground.  Our Wildlife Safari Program provides road-based tours of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and the National Elk Refuge with experienced wildlife biologists.  Our astronomy program utilizes a high-tech telescope to show guests unique views of Grand Teton's night sky.  Recently, we joined the Foundation's effort to renew the Jenny Lake area in Grand Teton, which will greatly improve the hiking experience for our guests and everyone who visits.  Environmental stewardship is always part of our message.


With immediate access to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Grand Teton for guests and employees alike, how is outdoor adventure part of your company's culture?
Our culture is very much rooted to the destination. This past summer, several members of the leadership team set out to climb Grand Teton, representing a test of achievement synonymous with what we set out to do each and every day on behalf of our guests.   


What is something unexpected readers might not know about the resort's general manager, David Bernand?

Our general manager is an avid athlete. In the past two years, he has climbed the Grand twice and finished in the top category in many local competitions. He also leads weekly complimentary spin and boot camp classes for all employees. Though he would love to climb Everest, this is something his wife might put her foot down on.


On behalf of the Foundation and Grand Teton, thank you so much for all Four Seasons Resort does in our community!


  • Moose use their long legs to move through deep snow to areas of preferred forage.
  • Moose calves remain with their mothers through the winter and follow behind her while she breaks trail through the snow. Moose also use their highly developed sense of smell to find only the most nutritious parts of shrubs under the snow.
  • Hibernating animals, such as black and grizzly bears, benefit from deepening snows, which provide better insulation.
  • There are currently five packs of wolves that inhabit the park and surrounding lands.  In deep snow, wolves travel in single file lines for energy efficiency.
  • Bison use their massive heads, thick skin, and muscular necks to move snow from side to side, creating craters where they can access buried forage.
  • As days gradually lengthen, ravens, bald eagles, and great horned owls -- some of the area's earliest nesters -- begin courtship activities.
  • Wolverines, Canada lynx and wolves remain highly active, using large, snow-adapted feet to help move through the environment.
  • About 50 pronghorn, which usually migrate out of Jackson Hole for the winter, are trying to survive the winter here this year, mostly on the north end of National Elk Refuge.  Pronghorn are poorly adapted to deep snow, and, based on past attempts by others to winter here, their chances of survival are not good. 
Photo by Patrick Leary

Learn about the Foundation-funded Wildlife and Natural Resource Initiative and the crucial research of black and grizzly bears, wolves, and cougars it enables. 


YCP: Apply Now!

Do you know a teen who is interested in spending a summer outside in Grand Teton? Encourage them to apply to the Youth Conservation Program today. Grand Teton National Park is currently accepting applications for YCP 2014.  This is an exciting opportunity for 16 to 19-year-olds to gain valuable work experience through

building trails, removing debris, installing bear-resistant containers, repairing historic sites, and pulling exotic weeds, all while hiking miles of the park each day.  Participants also gain a unique education in park history, fire ecology, and rescue training.   



2014 YCP applicants must be between the ages of 16 to 19 and available from June 16 through August 21.  Applications must be postmarked by March 14, 2014
For more information, visit the park website here


Science in the News: The NPS Recommends New Conservation Action for Migratory Species

In a recent paper published in Conservation Biology, senior biologists from several national parks, including Grand Teton's senior wildlife biologist Steve Cain, are looking to new strategies to address the protection of wide-ranging animal species.  The National Park Service is made up of 401 units and manages roughly 89 million acres of public lands.  Migratory species comprise a large percentage of the wildlife that visitors love to see in national parks, but these species' migrations are threatened out of parks by habitat destruction, climate change, and other threats.  Migration protection has not been addressed in management policies, largely due to the challenging fact that while animals move, park boundaries don't. According to Steve Cain, "If you're managing a park and you're trying to protect its biodiversity, you have to start thinking outside your parks borders."
          The paper recommends that the NPS expand its influence without increasing its holdings.  To do this, the park service must collaborate with other agencies, such as partner organizations, land trusts, and private landowners.  Migration issues have been successfully addressed through collaboration between the NPS and partners in the past. For example, in 2008 the National Forest Service established the first U.S. wildlife migration corridor, the Path of the Pronghorn, in collaboration with Grand Teton, the BLM, private landowners, and other organizations.  This corridor limited the construction of fences, roads, and other impediments to the pronghorn's 150-mile journey.           

          Conservation in the U.S. is changing from the protection of static parks to maintaining species and ecosystem processes within changing landscapes.  Conservation biologists are optimistic that the NPS has the potential to work productively with outside organizations to develop successful cross-boundary migration protection strategies.   

As part of the Foundation-funded natural resources initiative, a study of Northern Teton mule deer migration is underway. 
Contact us for more details:

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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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