Wildlife Brigade

Grand Teton National Park attracts visitors from around the world to enjoy the mountain scenery, recreate outdoors, and view the wildlife. While visitors come to the park year-round, the bulk of visitation occurs during the summer months. The seasonal influx of large numbers of visitors puts pressure on park wildlife and often results in the disturbance and displacement of animals. Between 2005 and 2006, Grand Teton documented a 10-fold increase in vehicles creating wildlife jams due to stopping to view large animals alongside the roadways. At the same time, there was a doubling of bear incidents in the campgrounds where the bears were getting human food and causing property damage. In response, park managers implemented a new strategy in 2007 to prevent human injury and wildlife mortality. The park created a Wildlife Brigade, comprised of both paid and volunteer personnel, to respond to the wildlife jams, enforce food storage regulations throughout the park, and educate visitors on safety in bear country.