There is a danger in Grand Teton for bicyclists from vehicles, especially the big RVs that they let in for some reason and for the same fare as a small automobile.

The Park Service wants bike paths separate from the roads. This may be a very good idea. However, many of them will be in the northern part of the national park where grizzly bears are plentiful.

Grizzlies have already demonstrated that they will attack a bicyclist that surprises them, and this plan makes such surprises likely, maybe even commonplace.

Black bears have become very common along the backwoods Moose-to-Wilson, WY Park road. Some are now calling it the “moose to bear” road. Questions are raised about the wisdom of bike paths through this stretch of bears and often cranky moose.

Here is a link to the plan

Read article in the Jackson Hole News and Guide

New. As if to underscore the growing presence of bears in the Wilson, WY area, this story appeared the day after I first posted this article — “Bear and cubs roam area trails.” AP. A warning has issued after three women were charged by a bear with cubs on the trail system near Wilson. Earlier two women with dogs were charged.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

3 Responses to New Grand Teton plans to build miles of paved path in heavy grizzly turf

  1. avatar Shelley says:

    Our canyon has become a popular cyclist spot. However the most dangerous animals are not bears but rattlesnakes and people walking on the bike trails.

    Note that Shelly is writing about Palo Duro Canyon in Texas, a 120-mile long canyon that resembles the Grand Canyon, but with less relief. Ralph Maughan

  2. avatar Alan Gregory says:

    Towns and cities across the nation should be building bike paths — and the country should be embarking on a massive Marshall Plan-scale to rebuild the passenger rail network.
    As for the Teton bike path, it’s probably not a good idea.
    I’ve commuted twice to work (6.2 miles one way) via bicycle in recent weeks and lack of knowledge on the part of vehicle users toward sharing the road with cyclists is also quite astounding.

  3. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    If I were a bear I would want people to be predictable, calm and non-lethal. It is in the offtrack and trail areas where bears get surprised by bikes. . perhaps this would keep the cylists on a predicatable path . . the real problem is you can’t legislate people’s behavior, body language and reactions but this is a tough question. They seem to be able to do it well in Jasper, Canada by educating the cylists before they take to the trail . . and then because the people are afraid of bears THEY DON”T LITTER there!! Amazing.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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