Story by Lauren Conte. @LaurenConte8
The National Park Service called for comment on an environmental assessment for the demolition and rebuild of structures in Grand Teton National Park.
The proposed Historic Properties Management Plan specifically focuses on 30-year-old buildings for removal and a restoration of four other properties, according to Local News 8.
“The Historic Properties Management Plan/Environmental Assessment (HPMP/EA) that evaluates present conditions and future uses for the 44 historic properties located within Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway,” according to the National Park Service.
The comment period was open from Jan. 5 to Feb. 17, according to the National Park Service website.
Andrew White, assistant public affairs officer at Grand Teton National Park, said that the environmental assessment is in the process of reviewing the comments sent in by the public.
“We will ultimately make a decision and release what’s called a ‘finding of no significant impact’ sometime in the spring,” White said.
Three alternatives were provided on the National Park Service website, with one option being no action and two other action alternatives, according to National Park Service.
“Alternative B (the NPS preferred alternative) proposes to focus funding on rehabilitating up to four properties for adaptive reuse, while improving care for most of the other properties,” according to the National Park Service. “The properties for adaptive reuse are 4 Lazy F Dude Ranch, the former Snake River Land Company Office, the historic park headquarters at Beaver Creek and Mormon Row.”
Alternative B calls for the removal of properties that have limited potential use and have low cultural significance, according to the National Park Service website.
“Those properties are Aspen Ridge Ranch, the McCollister Residence and Sky Ranch,” according to the National Park Service website.
Alternative C calls for continued care of existing park properties, according to the National Park Service.
“In order to retain all historic properties, the park would spread its future preservation efforts more thinly across the underused properties,” according to the National Park Service.
This environmental assessment for Grand Teton National Park has encountered resistance from community members, according to Local News 8.
Marcus Van Deventer, a sophomore studying business management, said that if the project proposed by the National Park Service detracts from the beauty of the park, then he would understand why there would be opposition.
“I feel like the historical landmarks shouldn’t be tampered with,” Van Deventer said. “It takes away from the beauty of the national park.”
A proposal to restore the 4 Lazy F Dude Ranch, on the banks of the Snake River north of Moose, for housing of seasonal employees of Grand Teton National Park is receiving specific resistance from some community members, according to Jackson Hole News and Guide website.
Arguments against the restoration of 4 Lazy F Dude Ranch claim it would negatively impact native wildlife, leading to more encounters between humans and grizzly bears, according to Local News 8.
Andrew White, park spokesman, said the proposals to reuse historic properties in Grand Teton stem from a need for housing, according to Jackson Hole News and Guide website.
“Like most employers in Jackson Hole, housing our workforce is always a challenge for us,” White said, according to Jackson Hole News and Guide website. “We feel that crunch at the same time everyone else does: in the summer when our workforce swells from maybe 140, 150 to over 400 people.”
The Alliance for Historic Wyoming created an online petition to oppose the demolition of the Sky Ranch as part of the proposal in Grand Teton National Park, according to Jackson Hole News and Guide.
“The alliance has started an online petition at HistoricWyoming.org/save-sky-ranch,” according to Jackson Hole News and Guide website.
The petition from the Alliance for Historic Wyoming states reasons why Sky Ranch should be preserved and why people should oppose the demolition to the National Park Service, according to the Alliance for Historic Wyoming website.
“Sky Ranch represents a rich cultural history which was well documented by the family that built and used the property for more than 50 years,” according to the Alliance for Historic Wyoming website.
The petition states the National Park Service’s plan does not address underused and unused buildings within Grand Teton National Park, according to the Alliance for Historic Wyoming website.
“Given the fact that the Park is satisfied with existing partner/concessionaire use of historic buildings, wouldn’t it make sense to explore this further for other historic buildings that NPS is responsible for preserving?” according to the Alliance for Historic Wyoming website.