Strategic direction for historic park properties approved

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The National Park Service has reached a decision on the Historic Properties Management Plan/Environmental Assessment regarding the stabilization and improvement of historic properties in Grand Teton National Park and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. The plan provides strategic direction for the rehabilitation and re-use of historic properties that tell the park’s story.

“We are incredibly grateful for the time and effort put into this plan by park staff, individuals interested in the affected properties, our partners in the historic preservation community, and the general public,” said Grand Teton National Park superintendent David Vela. “We developed a strategic path forward which will protect our important cultural assets for enjoyment by current and future generations.”

The decision is documented in a Finding of No Significant Impact signed by the National Park Service’s Intermountain Regional Director. The timeframe for implementation of the plan will vary from property to property and is dependent on availability of funding and staffing.

The decision calls for implementation of a modified “Alternative B,” which had previously been identified as the preferred alternative for the plan. The changes from the preferred alternative to the final decision were made in response to public comments and stakeholder input received after the plan was released for public review and comment in January 2016.

The changes include retaining and stabilizing-in-place Aspen Ridge Ranch, McCollister Residential Complex, and Sky Ranch—instead of removing these properties as had originally been proposed. Additionally, adaptive reuse of Mormon Row for seasonal employee housing will be limited to just one of the homesteads, instead of the four originally proposed.

The decision includes continuing current management of 32 in-use historic properties such as Jackson Lake Lodge, Murie Ranch, Cunningham Cabin, and Jenny Lake Ranger Station. The plan also identifies preservation treatments for previously underused properties. Priority will be given to rehabilitating three properties for adaptive reuse. The former Snake River Land Company Office will be rehabilitated for use as a ranger station, Beaver Creek #10 will be rehabilitated for an administrative use, and 4 Lazy F Dude Ranch will be rehabilitated for seasonal park employee housing.  Work on the Snake River Land Company Office will likely begin in 2019.

The plan calls for improved maintenance of the Luther Taylor Cabins and Lucas Homestead/Fabian Place as interpretive sites and the Hunter Hereford Ranch and Manges Cabin for park storage. Stabilization of 25 out of 32 structures at Bar BC Dude Ranch will be completed while the remaining seven will be allowed to decay naturally. Accessible parking and use at White Grass Dude Ranch will be increased to better support its function as a training center.

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