Too many ATVs in Spread Creek, WY area; scare elk

Spread Creek rises east of Jackson Hole and flow into the Park. It is terrible fishing because it was degraded by a dam to divert waters to Elk Ranch Reservoir for irrigating hayfields for CATTLE inside Grand Teton National Park.

The lower reaches of Spread Creek are lousy for fish, but the country around it is great elk country, moose, deer, bear and wolf too. The Bridger-Teton NF is supposed to have wildlife management as the number one multiple use for the area, but ATV crowds are pushing in.

This story is about Wyoming Game and Fish Department asking the US Forest Service to limit the Spread Creek area to reduce ATV density because they scare the elk on their summer range. The Forest Service sure seems to be proposing a lot of motorized access for a wildlife first area.

Of course, the Blue Ribbon (blue smoke) Coalition was there to speak up for the fat the lazy.

Story in the Jackson Hole News and Guide. State: ATVs scaring elk. By Cory Hatch

See also, Elk prefer people on foot. Study finds ATVs, bikes disturb them most. Jackson Hole News and Guide. By Corey Hatch.




  1. Bob Caesar Avatar
    Bob Caesar

    The Blue Ribbon Coalition & the State operated Wyoming Trail Program are interested in one thing – having a place for motorheads to motor. They pay only lip service to wildlife. They lobby the Forest Service with expertise and vigor. They are not fools.

    Those interested in a more restrictive approach to motorized travel in our National Forests have no one to blame but themselves if they fail to go on record with the Forest Service in writing. It is “put up or shut up” time with all the National Forests Travel Plans! Please don’t leave it up to someone else – THAT someone will be the Blue Ribbon Coalition! Do you really want them speaking for you?

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Yes, the Blue Ribbon Coalition is single minded, and in every state their cash kitty is their state trail fund (property owners beware!)

    There also are very good at sending out alerts to their members for every Forest Service meeting.

    Here is a typical one below (from the BRC to members)


    Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

    Attention Western Wyoming and Eastern Idaho recreationists!

    I don’t normally write the Action Alerts, but as part of my job I do try to keep track of all the latest stuff going on with the travel management planning in all the National Forests. Well this morning I got an email from David Wilkinson, Travel Planner on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, and I thought I needed to pass along this information. It seems that they are hosting a public discussion panel forum later this month entitled: PERSPECTIVES ON MOTORIZED RECREATION AND WILDLIFE — Trends, Opportunities, and Effects. BRC’s own Public Lands Director, Brian Hawthorne is going to be one of the speakers.

    I have pastes the information from Dave’s email along with driving directions which he attached. If you need additional information, contact David Wilkinson at the Jackson Ranger District at (307) 739-5544.


    Thanks for your continued support,
    Ric Foster
    Public Lands Assistant
    BlueRibbon Coalition


    Travel Plan Participant:

    This is an official invitation to attend a public panel discussion forum entitled: PERSPECTIVES ON MOTORIZED RECREATION AND WILDLIFE–TRENDS, OPPORTUNITIES, AND EFFECTS 6:30 pm on Wednesday, February 21st 2007 at the Teton Science School’s Jackson campus in Jackson, Wyoming. The following attachments detail the 7 notable speaker panelists, the event, and directions on the event location. We very much hope you can attend this informative event. Please email or call if you have any questions regarding this event.

    David Wilkinson
    Travel Plan/GIS Support
    Bridger-Teton National Forest
    Jackson Ranger District
    PO Box 1689
    Jackson, WY 83001
    (307) 739-5544


    Trends, Opportunities, and Effects

    The Bridger-Teton National Forest is hosting a Public Panel Discussion of Current Science and Motorized Recreation on Wednesday, February 21st 2007 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm in the Dining Lodge Room of the Teton Science School’s Jackson Campus. This event will have presentations by seven notable speakers: Michael Wisdom-Research Wildlife Biologist (Perspective: current research of motorized use and wildlife effects at the Starkey Experimental Forest in Oregon). Brian Hawthorne-Blue Ribbon Coalition Public Lands Director (Perspective: the national view on OHV use, trends, and the organization’s position on balancing motorized use with wildlife). Dr. Chuck Schwartz-(USGS) Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team Leader (Perspective: impacts of roads, trails, homes, developments on grizzly bear survival in the GYE). Brad Hill-Program Manager for Wyoming State Trails (Perspective: State view regarding goals and attributes of a designated motorized system and OHV use with wildlife and other interests). Steve Kilpatrick-Habitat Biologist for Wyoming Game & Fish Department (Perspective: relationship, effects, and opportunities between OHV use and hunting). Eric Grove-Local Jackson Hole OHV Rental Business owner and recreationist (Perspective: OHV trends regarding use/sales locally and what he is hearing from customers). Franz Camenzind-Executive Director of the Jackson Hole Alliance (Perspective: relationship and trends between local OHV use and non-motorized/quiet recreation). The public is invited to attend this free event that will include time for questions from the audience and an opportunity to Meet and Greet the Panelists, following the panel forum. This event is part of the Travel Plan Revision process and the development of a Designated Motorized Road and Trail system for the North Zone of the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

    For additional information call David Wilkinson-BTNF Travel Plan Coordinator at 739-5544.


    Driving Directions to the Jackson Campus

    From the north:
    Follow HWY 89/191 south to the Jackson Town Square. Turn right at the square onto Broadway. Continue 1.5 miles on Broadway to the US 89/191 and HWY 22 intersection (Albertsons & Jackson State Bank on your left). Turn right onto HWY 22. Head west on HWY 22 for approx. 1.7 miles. Watch for the Teton Science Schools sign on the right at Coyote Canyon Road. Turn right onto Coyote Canyon Road. Follow Coyote Canyon Road .6 miles to the Jackson Campus.

    From the south:
    Follow HWY 89/191 north to the US 89/191 and HWY 22 intersection (Albertsons on your right side). Turn left at the light onto HWY 22. Proceed on HWY 22 for approx. 1.7 miles. Watch for the Teton Science Schools sign on the right at Coyote Canyon Road. Turn right on Coyote Canyon Road and follow it .6 miles to the Jackson Campus.

    From the west:
    Follow HWY 22 (from Teton Pass) east to the town of Wilson. Stay on HWY22. You will reach the HWY 390 junction after approx. 1.5 miles. Continue on HWY 22. Travel approx. 2.4 miles past the HWY 390 junction. Watch for the Teton Science Schools sign on the left at Coyote Canyon Road. Turn left onto Coyote Canyon Road and follow it .6 miles to the Jackson Campus.

    Approximate Distances to the Jackson Campus

    From the North
    Moran Junction 34.6 Miles
    Moose Junction 14.7 Miles
    Airport 12.8 Miles

    From the South
    Hoback Junction 14.3 Miles

    From the West
    Wilson (Post Office) 3.5 Miles

  3. Bob Caesar Avatar
    Bob Caesar

    I attended the above meeting thinking the motorheads would pack the place. Evidently it was half price night at the beer hall because they didn’t! In fact, and thankfully, the anti-Motorized seemed to outnumber them by 3 or 4 to one. And, the few that attended were relatively quiet.The Forest Svc notes this!

    The presentations by the Biologist from the Forest Svc itself & Wyoming Game & Fish gave them little to rebuke! Hard science is …hard science…facts are facts! Motors and wildlife do not mix!

    I often poke sticks at Wyoming Game & Fish just to keep them on their toes, but on this Travel Plan they are on the side of the critters and they are speaking up. They may be our best hope of controlling this beast! I was especially impressed by Steve Kilpatrick-Wyo G&F Habitat Biologist. We need to get make sure he can get his story out!

    Finally, all over the USA the Forest Service is rewriting their Travel Plans. No matter where you live, where you recreate PLEASE, PLEASE do write letters and attend meetings. They are talikng about YOUR forest! We have to keep the pressuer on or the folks from the Blue Flibben Coalition will be riding all over hill and dale!


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan