GTNP Bighorn Sheep

Backcountry Skiing/Splitboarding and Bighorn Sheep in the Tetons

TBCA is working to raise awareness about Teton bighorn sheep conservation issues with backcountry users.

At issue: BC winter recreationists are going further and further afield in the Teton high country. Areas of the Teton high country are habitat for a population of bighorn sheep of the Tetons that is  low and decreasing.  Recent research showed that Teton bighorn sheep are avoiding good habitat where there is high BC ski activity.

On November 15, 2019 TBCA held a public gathering where 45 Teton backcountry skiers & boarders, as well as several non-profit and agency staffers, gathered to launch a discussion on how best to balance BC recreation and Bighorn Sheep conservation in the Tetons. The evening included presentations by agency biologists who summarized the status of the sheep population and what is known about the effects of human disturbance. TBCA Steering Committee members, Pistono and Turiano, shared their experiences and perspectives on the topic. Formal presentations were followed by a constructive discussion. TBCA is also working with Teton winter mountain guides to raise awareness on the issue, establish a set of best practices, and share observations of bighorn sheep.

Outstanding questions remain:  Apart from avoiding formal closure areas, what can BC skiers and splitboarders do to help? Where can users get more information?  Where does this process go from here?


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Teton Backcountry Alliance

PO Box 1210
Wilson, WY 83014

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