The Draft Plan/EIS is comprised of four alternatives, a no-action alternative (Alternative A) and three action alternatives (Alternatives B, C, and D).The 674 page document was developed by an interdisciplinary team of NPS managers, scientists, and staff in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, State of Wyoming, Teton County, and Town of Jackson.
The planning team relied on a broad array of scientific research and public feedback to produce the document and identify the NPS preferred alternative (Alternative C). During the public scoping and preliminary alternatives stages of the planning process, the planning team received 1,007 and 2,605 individual comments, respectively. In addition to this public input, the planning team reviewed scientific studies of cultural landscapes, human-bear interactions, visitor use and experience, archaeology, road safety, and other topics to develop the Draft Plan/EIS. This background research, much of which has been publicly released over the last year, is available for review atgo.nps.gov/moose-wilson.
The NPS preferred alternative is the alternative that the NPS has identified to best fulfill the mission of the NPS as well as the purpose and need for the plan. “We believe Alternative C provides for the greatest protection of fundamental park resources and values—from wetland ecosystems, to the heritage of our affiliated tribal communities, to grizzly bears and moose—while allowing for appropriate opportunities to enjoy and recreate in this special area,” said Superintendent David Vela.
Key components of the preferred alternative include realignment of the northernmost 0.6 miles of the road, paving the unpaved portion of the road, use of timed sequencing to establish a maximum number of people in the corridor at any one time during peak use periods, establishing pullouts, relocation of the Death Canyon trailhead, and continued shared use of the road by both motor vehicles and bicycles. The preferred alternative includes a number of actions that will improve the safety and experience of bicyclists including a reduction in the speed limit, paving the unpaved section of the road, managing traffic volumes, and improving the road surface and edge.
While all public comments are informative, the planning team is particularly interested in feedback regarding the accuracy and adequacy of the information and analysis presented in the Draft Plan/EIS. “We have identified a preferred alternative so the public knows which direction we are headed and has a robust opportunity to comment,” said Superintendent David Vela. “The preferred alternative reflects current information and science, and at this point we are particularly interested in any new information, questions, or ideas that will improve the Final Plan/EIS.” After the public comment period is complete, the planning team will carefully review those comments and address them as necessary. Those comments and their responses will then be incorporated into the Final Plan/EIS which will be completed by summer 2016. A Record of Decision will be signed in the fall of 2016 and the document will then guide management of the corridor for the future.
The Draft Plan/EIS, as well as an informative newsletter that summarizes the plan and its alternatives, is available for viewing and download on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website at go.nps.gov/mwplan under the “Documents” tab. Those wishing to comment can provide their thoughts electronically by selecting “Open for Comment” on the website. Comments can also be submitted by standard mail to Grand Teton National Park, ATTN: Moose-Wilson Planning Team, PO Drawer 170, Moose, WY, 83012-0170, by hand delivery to park headquarters in Moose, or during the open house event. Public comments and the names of those making them may be released to the public at any time in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.