Update on the Grand Tetons "what will be closed"

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Posted by albee ( on 10:12:33 04/27/13

Still need to work on getting Schwabachers Landing open.

Funds open park doors

By Mike Koshmrl, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
April 27, 2013

Two of Grand Teton National Park s visitor centers will be open this year thanks to private donations.

The Jenny Lake Visitor Center and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve were originally set to be closed this summer according to plans submitted by Grand Teton officials to the National Park Service s Washington, D.C., office. Grand Teton accountants were trying to manage a 5 percent budget cut as part of federal sequestration.

But after receiving $116,000 in donations about 17 percent of the park s overall cut park managers will open both buildings to visitors.

The Grand Teton Association pitched in $46,000, which will help pay to keep doors open at Jenny Lake, park spokeswoman Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles said. The funding, which will be raised through book sales, will cover two Park Service employees and two interns to staff the small but heavily used building, Anzelmo-Sarles said.

Even so, the visitor center will have reduced hours and a shorter season. It will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., from June 1 to Aug. 25.

Jackson Hole Preserve Inc. chipped in $70,000 to allow the park to open the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, Anzelmo-Sarles said. The group maintains an endowment for the Rockefeller Preserve. This year s donation is a one-time grant, she said.

The Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve will also have reduced hours and a shorter season. It is scheduled to be open between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., from June 1 to Sept. 22.

The Flagg Ranch Visitor Contact Station and the Jenny Lake Ranger Station will be closed through the summer due to budget cuts from sequestration. With the ranger station closed, visitors can get information and backcountry permits at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose.

Other effects of the budget cuts include closed campsites and vault toilets along the Spaulding Bay and Grassy Lake roads and the closing of Schwabachers Landing. Schwabachers, a popular site for summer weddings, has no infrastructure other than bathrooms and trash receptacles, but it will be closed because of the cumulative effects maintenance there would have on Grand Teton staff, Anzelmo-Sarles said.

It s about the ability to take out trash and clean the facilities, she said. There s less law enforcement patrol.

With 154 seasonal employees in 2013 compared with 180 last year, the park s seasonal workforce will be down 14 percent. In 2010, there were 237 seasonal workers employed at Grand Teton National Park.

Future donations to ease the pain of Grand Teton s $700,000 budget cut will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, Anzelmo-Sarles said.

Most of our hiring deadlines have passed, the spokeswoman said, but we re always very appreciative of people that step in to help out, because we can t do it on our own.

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