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Welcome to the first of the Park Avenue group's features on the National Parks. Today's feature is on Jackson Hole National Monument in Wyoming, a monument created in 1943 and later merged with Grand Teton National Park. The former monument contains some of my favorite spots on earth and thusly will always have a special place in my heart.

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One evening in the late spring of 1942, the noted landscape photographer Ansel Adams stood above a bend in the Snake River facing west southwest and took one of the most iconic and famous images ever recorded: “The Tetons – Snake River.”

The Tetons - Snake River (1942) by Ansel Adams
At the time Adams was on the payroll of the Department of the Interior for a project to create a photographic mural for the DOI building in Washington, DC, a photographic mural of the national parks. The great irony however was that the spot on which Adams was standing was not a national park.




In the 1880’s when General Philip Sheridan took at a personal interest in the protection of the newly created Yellowstone National Park and its wildlife, Sheridan lobbied Congress for the southern border of the park to be extended to include the valley known as Jackson Hole. Sheridan believed it was essential to the protection of Yellowstone’s elk herds, whose winter migrations took them south into the valley to escape the harsh, snowy winters of the Yellowstone plateau.

Sheridan failed to win approval for his plan and Congress ignored a similar proposal made in 1897 by acting Yellowstone superintendent Col. Samuel Baldwin Marks Young; however, later that same year President Grover Cleveland used his authority under the Forest Reserve Act to create the Teton Forest Reserve, preserving over 800,000 acres of land including most of the northern part of Jackson Hole.

1901 USGS Map of the 1899 survey of the Teton Forest Reserve
1901 USGS map of the 1899 survey of the Teton Forest Reserve
When Theodore Roosevelt upgraded the forest reserve to a national forest in 1908, his proclamation to that affect actually opened hundreds of acres of land in the valley to homesteading because the land lacked significant timber, while the timbered higher elevations remained under federal protection. In essence, Roosevelt’s action unwittingly created a land rush into the open areas and within a matter of a few years, settlers had claimed large swaths of the valley.

Two years later in 1910, the Bureau of Reclamation began work on a new dam at Jackson Lake where the Snake River flows out of the lake to replace a much smaller log dam that had failed in 1907. Water and irrigation ditches sprang up along the Snake River as it winded its way through the valley bringing valuable water resources for farming and ranching activities. Ranchers began fencing off areas bringing hundreds of cattle and farmers began transforming rich soil areas into fields for crops.

In 1916, Stephen Mather, director of the newly created National Park Service, and his assistant Horace M. Albright paid a visit to Jackson Hole to inspect the  construction of a new road from the southern border of Yellowstone National Park to the valley. Both men, particularly Albright, became enamored with the Teton mountains and the series of glacial lakes at their base. The following year, as part of their duties in overseeing the parks then in existence, they issued a report to their boss, Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane, on the seven most urgent needs facing the Park Service. One of those seven needs Mather and Albright listed in their report was the same as General Sheridan and Superintendent Young before them, the expansion of Yellowstone National Park to include the Teton Mountain range, Jackson Lake and much of Jackson Hole. A bill to that affect passed the House in 1919, but was blocked in the Senate by an Idaho senator over his concern over the loss of sheep grazing rights that would result from an expanded Yellowstone Park.

But Horace Albright wouldn’t give up. That same year, Albright became superintendent of Yellowstone, a post he would hold for a decade and use as a bully pulpit to save the Tetons. By 1923, the increased development in Jackson Hole and a plan to dam the outlets of an additional two lakes in the area prompted a meeting of several ranchers and business leaders in the valley. Albright attended the meeting to pitch his idea of turning the area into a national park, but soon discovered a pervasive anti-park sentiment among those in attendance. The meeting attendees, however, did not want to see the valley developed any further. Instead of a national park, they wanted what they described as a recreation reserve that would preserve the Old West character of the valley, a place that would still permit hunting, ranching, grazing activities.

When the millionaire heir of the Standard Oil fortune, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. paid a visit to Yellowstone in 1926, Albright saw another chance to advance his dream. Rockefeller had already been generous to the national parks system, donating handsome sums of money for other park projects. As superintendent, Albright escorted the Rockefeller family down to Jackson Hole for a visit.

The John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Family
The John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Family ca. 1922 (l to r): Laurance, Abby, John D. III,
Abby, David, Winthrop, John D. Jr, Nelson.
As Albright had in 1916, Rockefeller fell in love with the area and was dismayed by the haphazard development marring the spectacular views of the mountains. As they headed north returning to Yellowstone, the Rockefellers and Albright stopped to eat dinner and watch the sunset, choosing a small hill near the Amoretti Inn (where the Jackson Lake Lodge now stands). As they sat taking in the view Albright laid out the dream he had had since 1916… “to preserve the Grand Tetons in the only way [he] knew, through the National Park Service.”

Within a matter of months, Rockefeller had committed to the idea of saving the Tetons and Jackson Hole using both his money and influence to protect a special place from being ruined by further development. In 1927, President Calvin Coolidge visited Yellowstone and was escorted on a grand tour of the park by Albright. As they toured, Albright lobbied Coolidge about the Tetons somewhat to Coolidge’s annoyance as he simply wanted to go fishing. But when Rockefeller later lobbied the President about the Tetons as well, Coolidge decided to listen. After his visit, Coolidge signed a proclamation removing some 23,000 acres of land in the valley from being homesteaded (an action which greatly angered the local population) in part to preserve Yellowstone’s migratory elk herd, but due in no small part to Rockefeller’s prodding, a fact not publicly known at the time.

Yellowstone Superintendent Horace Albright escorts President Calvin Coolidge around Yellowstone Natl Park in 1927
Yellowstone Superintendent Horace Albright escorts President Calvin Coolidge
around Yellowstone Natl Park in 1927
In the mean time, Rockefeller had established the Snake River Land Company, a Utah based corporation that ostensibly was a ranching business, and covertly began buying up land in Jackson Hole through the company. The real purpose of the company, however, was to consolidate privately held land in the valley for the purpose of donating it to the nation for a national park.

By 1929, a tentative consensus had been reached with the local government in Teton County for the creation of a national park. On February 26, 1929, Calvin Coolidge signed the bill creating Grand Teton National Park, but the new park set aside only the mountains and some of the lakes at their base, and not the valley. Rockefeller’s attempt to have his private holdings included in the new park also let the cat out of the bag on the Snake River Land Company’s true purpose. The backlash against him in Wyoming was so sweeping, the state’s congressional delegation managed to initiate a congressional investigation of Rockefeller’s Snake River Land Company dealings. Several former landowners who had unwittingly sold their land sued to try nullifying the sales. The idea of including the valley in the park became radioactive and remained politically untenable for years.

Over the next decade and a half, Rockefeller continued to purchase lots when he could, but no progress was made in securing NPS protection for the valley floor. By 1943, Albright concluded that there was no political solution to save the valley, that the only viable route to saving Jackson Hole was through the Antiquities Act of 1906, an act which gives the President the power, by proclamation, to set aside public land and accept the gift of private land to create national monuments to protect “objects of historic and scientific interest.” The retired Albright, with the help of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, convinced Rockefeller to write the President threatening to sell his land, which totaled over 33,000 acres (about 51 sq miles). It was a gamble, but it paid off. On March 15th, 1943, Roosevelt issued a proclamation:

WHEREAS the area in the State of Wyoming known as the Jackson Hole country, including that portion thereof which is located in the Teton National Forest, contains historic landmarks and other objects of historic and scientific interest that are situated upon lands owned or controlled by the United States; and

WHEREAS it appears that the public interest would be promoted by establishing the aforesaid area as a national monument to be known as the Jackson Hole National Monument,

Now, THEREFORE, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, under and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the act of June 4, 1897 (30 Stat. 11,36; U.S.C., title 16, sec. 473), and the act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225; U.S.C., title 16, sec. 431), do proclaim that the Teton National Forest lands within the aforesaid area are hereby excluded from the said national forest and that, subject to all valid existing rights, the lands excluded from the said national forest together with all other lands within the following-described area are reserved from all forms of appropriation under the public land laws and set apart as a national monument, which shall hereafter be known as the Jackson Hole National Monument.
[…]
Warning is hereby expressly given to all unauthorized persons not to appropriate, injure, destroy, or remove any feature of this monument and not to locate or settle upon any of the lands thereof.

The Director of the National Park Service, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, shall have the supervision, management, and control of the monument as provided in the act of Congress entitled “An Act to establish a National Park Service, and for other purposes," approved August 25, 1916 (39 Stat. 535, U. S. C., title 16, sees. 1 and 2), and acts supplementary thereto or amendatory thereof, except that the' administration of the monument shall be subject to the reclamation withdrawals heretofore made under the authority of the act of June 17, 1902, 32 Stat. 388.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this 15th day of March in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty seventh.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT.

In all, Roosevelt set aside over 221,000 acres of land as a national monument, including the more than 33,000 acres owned by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

1901 USGS map of the Tetons updated in 1945 to include the boundaries of the Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole National Monument
1901 USGS map of the Tetons updated in 1945 to include the boundaries
of the Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole National Monument
While the land would not enjoy the same level of protection it would as a national park, the status as a national monument would suffice in stemming the tide of development in the valley. The new monument was almost twice the size of the national park adjacent to it.

Included in those 221,000+ acres was the perch from which Ansel Adams had stood a year earlier to take his iconic image of the Tetons, a spot now known as Snake River Overlook. Also preserved within the new monument were many of the other iconic locations people immediately think of when they think of Grand Teton National Park, locations such as Schwabachers Landing,

Schwabachers Landing
the Mormon Row barns,
The Most Photographed Barn in America
John Moulton Barn
Oxbow Bend,
Oxbow Bend
Signal Mountain
Jackson Point Morning
and Teton Point.
Teton Point
The furor ignited by the President’s proclamation led to efforts to not only overturn the President’s creation of the national monument, but an effort to abolish the already existing Grand Teton National Park was launched. The abolition effort failed to catch steam, but a bill repealing the proclamation of Jackson Hole National Monument did pass Congress, but Roosevelt vetoed it.

Eventually, cooler heads prevailed and a political compromise permitted the consolidation of Jackson Hole National Monument into an enlarged Grand Teton National Park in 1950. Though only in existence for 7 years, Jackson Hole National Monument and its subsequent absorption into Grand Teton National Park represented a lifetime of work for Horace Albright and a substantial investment by the Rockefeller Family. It also saved a part of the park essential to what makes Grand Teton National Park such a special place. I shudder to think what would have happened if their efforts had not been successful. Looking back now, if FDR had not used the Antiquities Act to preserve Jackson Hole it is quite likely the valley floor would have never become part of the park and would be subject to the commercialization and development that we see just south of the park at Teton Village with its condos and high dollar resorts. It is not difficult to imagine the magnificent views from some of the places I show above being marred by a multi-story luxury resort hotel or a subdivision of multi-million dollar homes like those now built between the park and the Town of Jackson, Wyoming.  

In Ken Burns’ documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, the writer Martin Murie, son of the late Wilderness Society executive director Olaus Murie and nephew of the late NPS biologist and noted conservationist Adolph Murie, said it best when he remarked, “So it's not just the spectacular. It's the foreground. You have to have foregrounds to wilderness, you have to have the highlands and middle lands and the lowlands, and a huge piece of northern Jackson Hole is saved from strip malls, saved from what happened to down in the town of Jackson.”

The former Jackson Hole National Monument saved some of the most important viewpoints of those magnificent mountains. We get to see them unimpaired by development. We get Martin Murie’s foreground and middle lands. Horace Albright’s dream “to preserve the Grand Tetons in the only way [he] knew, through the National Park Service” was indeed the right course of action and today, we are much richer for his efforts. For his lifetime of service to the National Park idea, in 1980 Albright was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter.

Horace M. Albright on his first day as Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park in 1919 and with his Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to him by President Carter in 1980
Horace M. Albright on his first day as Superintendent of Yellowstone
National Park in 1919 and with his Presidential Medal of Freedom
awarded to him by President Carter in 1980
The Rockefeller Family would continue to enjoy the Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole. John D., Jr. and his wife would celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary there. And the family would keep coming back for decades to come. While the 1943 proclamation had brought their land within the boundaries of the national monument and the 1950 compromise transfered ownership of most of their land to the Federal government, the family retained ownership over some of their property at the base of Mount Hunt near the park's southwest border. There they maintained a private retreat (known as the JY Ranch). Over the years, the family donated some of the land to the government. In 2001, Laurance S. Rockefeller, the 3rd son of John D., Jr. and a man upon whom Lady Bird Johnson heaped grand praise calling him America’s leading conservationist, donated the last tract of 1106 acres of the family’s land to the People of the United States on the condition that the lodge and cabins and other associated structures of the ranch be removed. In total, some 30 structures were either removed from the park or relocated elsewhere in the park to be used as facilities for the NPS and its personnel. The former JY Ranch was renamed the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve and a small visitor center opened there in 2008, four years after his death.

Thanks for reading and I hope everyone enjoyed this little bit of history of Jackson Hole and how some of the grandest views of the Tetons came to be protected within Grand Teton National Park.


[Update] I forgot to mention the next several features in the Park Avenue series on the parks. Next week we have JenS writing about Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine followed by Phoenix Rising's feature on Capitol Reef National Park and then SJerseyIndy's story on the Petrified Forest National Park. Please join us each Thursday at 11:30am ET/8:30am PT as the series continues.

Originally posted to Park Avenue on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 08:30 AM PST.

Also republished by National Parks and Wildlife Refuges and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's truly an amazing, majestic place. (11+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the interesting diary.

  •  Magical place (11+ / 0-)

    and a great historical look at what it took to make sure we could all experience it in a natural state. Let's keep it that way!
    Thank you, craigkg...I look forward to more :)

  •  aagghh! i swear (5+ / 0-)

    i hit "post comment"!

    didn't mean to reply to the tip jar. very sorry. :/

    "Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair." --Khalil Gibran

    by birdbrain64 on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 09:38:59 AM PST

  •  Oh the nostalgia. (11+ / 0-)

    I spent two summers working there during college. Thanks for the diary and the fantastic pics.

    There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

    by slksfca on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 09:40:19 AM PST

  •  Great diary & a wonderful national treasure (13+ / 0-)

    I've been to Yellowstone, Jackson Hole and Grand Tetons several times...in different seasons--- and love the area.

    It's hard to pick a favorite national park...but I am so grateful that we have so many of them, and that--for the most part---they remain protected (though they are woefully underfunded.)

    Some of my favorites are Canyonlands N.P., Zion, Capitol Reef, Arches and Bryce...all in southern Utah.

    As stunning as our national parks are, some of the wildest and most beautiful land in our national treasure chest lies on the borders of our parks...just like the Jackson Hole land did until it became part of the park system. Much of ths land---millions of acres---is managed by the Deparment of Interior's Bureau of Land Management, and it has very minimal protections from resorce exploitation (like oil and gass drilling and mining) and misuse (like off-road vehicles.)

    Historically---despite widespread public support for protecting public land---Congress has been unwilling (or stymied by a minority) to pass legislation to protect the land, or provide adequate funding to do so.

    That is why the Antiquities Act was (and is) such a useful tool in protecting our public land. Unfortunately---right now---there is an effort by Republicans in Congress to gut the Antiquities Act, and make it virtually impossible to create new National Monuments.

    I'll post a link below.

    Thanks for the great diary!

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 10:05:49 AM PST

  •  Wow - great historical background (7+ / 0-)

    And marvelous pictures to boot!

    Having only been to the Tetons a few times, I never really knew the history of the current park.  This extensive glimpse into its rich history is fascinating.  Knowing what I learned here, I have perhaps one or two pictures of the Tetons that I actually took while in the original park boundaries - everything else was taken in that "foreground" area, and I don't know what the park would be without it.

    Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

    by Phoenix Rising on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 10:21:53 AM PST

  •  Absolutely gorgeous diary with (9+ / 0-)

    meaningful content and education we desperately need.

    I didn't know about the Antiquities Act. Thank you so much.

    •  The Antiquities Act (5+ / 0-)

      The Antiquities Act has been probably one of the most important tools the Presidency has had to protect threatened places quickly before that can be destroyed. When mining threatened to plunder and damage the Grand Canyon back when it was just a part of a national forest, Theodore Roosevelt picked up his pen and reserved 806,400 acres of it as a national monument since the politically well connected owner of many of the mining claims, loosely with Roosevelt's own head of the forest service, opposed closing it off to development. Roosevelt meant it when he said of the Grand Canyon

      I want to ask you to do one thing in connection with it in your own interest and in the interest of the country: keep this great wonder of nature as it now is. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve it. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it. What you can do is keep it for your children and your children’s children and all who come after you as one of the great sights every American, if he can travel at all, should see.

      The act was expressly and specifically designed to allow the President to identify threatened and endangered areas and protect them quickly before they are irrevocably destroyed. Which is exactly was Theodore's cousin Franklin was doing when he saved Jackson Hole. As the recently deceased former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall said in Burn's documentary, "History always vindicates what they did. There is not a single person in Arizona today who would say the Grand Canyon was a mistake." Much the same can be said of Jackson Hole. One of the county commissioners of Teton County when FDR issued his proclamation was the also recently deceased Clifford Hansen who later became Governor and Senator of Wyoming. At the time he was one of the leaders of the anti-monument forces in Wyoming, but years later he would remark "I was one who was very critical of the Rockefellers and did all I was able to do to try to thwart their plans and I am grateful now that I wasn't successful because I have to appreciate as everyone else does the uniqueness and the beauty of this area. Thank God for the Rockefellers I've told them on more than one occasion that I'm glad I lost that fight."

      "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

      by craigkg on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 01:30:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jackson Hole Monument (10+ / 0-)

    I am lucky enough to live about 80 miles from Jackson Hole and have spent lots of time hiking, kayaking and camping under the Tetons. The only thing you have to avoid is the town of Jackson - it is a nightmare and really ruins the area.  We spent a week kayaking, hiking and camping at Leigh Lake where we witnessed the most beautiful sunsets ever. No one around except the bugling elk we heard every night! Paradise and what a treasure. I am not surprised that Wyoming's two idiot senators want to gut the antiquities act - they are a couple of knotheads.

  •  Beautiful pix to accompany a well written (7+ / 0-)

    diary on a magical place.  I'm looking forward to more in this series!

    I believe there's a bill in the WY state legislature to sell a tiny piece of land in the southern part of the park to the feds that had been owned by the state for historic reasons.  Cleared one house of the state legislature this week, on to the next...I think...may also require Congressional approval.  

    Join/follow Climate Hawks and Public Lands; @RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 01:12:57 PM PST

    •  I think its been approved by both houses (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jlms qkw, JenS, RLMiller, arizonablue

      It authorizes the state's board of land commissioners to sell the state's land (about 1366 acres of land plus some additional acreage on which they own mineral rights) to the Department of the Interior in exchange for money or, if the legislature approves, an exchange of comparably valued land, increased mineral royalties for Wyoming, or other non-monetary consideration. This will prevent the land from being put up for auction as the former Dem Governor of Wyoming threatened to do last year. The state expects to get about $107 million for the land. It will keep it out of developers would likely would build luxury resort hotels or multi-million dollar home subdivisions.

      "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

      by craigkg on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 01:35:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Visited Tetons & Yellowstone 3 years in a row now. (6+ / 0-)

    We go to the Tetons to see Moose. We never fail to find them. We're going again in June and I can't hardly wait!
    thanks for the historical information and gorgeous photos.

    •  We were leaving Yellowstone to return home (5+ / 0-)

      and drove by GTNP, and that was the only spot we saw moose. They were feeding in a shallow part of the water near enough to the highway to be seen.  
      We had a great time telling the kids how the Tetons got their name.  
      We're looking forward to passing through again this coming July.  MORE MOOSE!

      The road to excess leads to the palace of Wisdom, I must not have excessed enough

      by JenS on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 01:37:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is debate on that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        We Want Change

        Obviously the connection to the French word for that particular part of the female anatomy is the most common story for the origin of the name, but actually they very likely got their name from one of the tribes of native Americans. The Tetons were a tribe of the Sioux people just like the Dakota and the Lakota. Their lands were west of most Sioux people in what would be Wyoming. While the area was explored and used by French trappers in the late 1700's and early 1800's, the first mention of the Teton indians was from the Lewis and Clark expedition but they did not actually pass by the Tetons (though once John Colter left the expedition group, Colter did visit Jackson Hole and saw the mountains).

        "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

        by craigkg on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 02:02:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I've gone 3 of the last 5 years... (4+ / 0-)

      ...but this fall it will become 4 of the last 6. It will be my first trip there in the fall. I'm going to the elk rut, fall foliage and for the position of the sunset (while I'm there, the sun sets behind the cathedral group from Snake River Overlook and sets behind Mount Moran from Signal Mountain and Oxbow Bend). I hope to get a sunburst behind the mountains with the peaks in silhouette.

      "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

      by craigkg on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 01:38:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Planned a family trip to Yellowstone (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    craigkg, birdbrain64, arizonablue

    9 years ago. Grand Teton NP was pretty much an after thought - as in, we'll drive through it to get to Yellowstone. Boy, did we underestimate the beauty of the place. Considering my then 4 year old refused to get near the geysers because he hated the smell, Grand Teton was the hit of the trip. We also spent a night at Targhee, and the older kid and hubby went horse back riding. Younger kid and I had ice cream - everyone was happy!

    •  I love Yellowstone, but... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JenS, Ginger1, arizonablue

      The Tetons is definitely the favorite. Lots of great trails and lots of great vantage points to photograph the mountains. I just love how they take on different shapes, have a different character depending upon the angle from where you are shooting.

      "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

      by craigkg on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 01:40:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    craigkg, jlms qkw, arizonablue

    I did much of my graduate research in and around Grand Teton NP and the Wind Rivers and really loved it there. Still make it to Jackson every once in a while, but those were some great summers. Thanks for reminding me.

    Ester - it's the Berkeley of Interior Alaska.

    by pacotrey on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 01:30:18 PM PST

  •  Lest we forget (11+ / 0-)

    This was the homeland to the Shoshone and other Native American nations. Often, the Park Service tends to ignore or minimize the Native American heritage. Keep in mind that the geologic features which now carry English names once carried Shoshone names.

    This is not a criticism of the diary--good diary, by the way--but simply a reminder that there is often another dimension to history.

    •  While I was there this summer (7+ / 0-)

      They were doing a survey on the use of the Colter Bay visitor center area and I was glad to see that it looks like they are planning to upgrade the museum there and give their native American collection of artifact a more appropriate home than the somewhat ramshackled building in which it is currently housed. I do think the NPS does need to do a better job bringing out the story of the prior inhabitants and Grand Teton offers some unique stories with which to do that. One of the most popular parts of Grand Teton Natl Park with the tourists is the Jenny Lake area. "Jenny" was not some anglo woman as most might suspect by the name, but rather the Shoshone wife of Beaver Dick Leigh, an early settler and trapper in the Hole. She and their children died of smallpox in the winter of 1876. Jenny Leigh had served as a guide helping the 1871 Hayden expedition to Yellowstone chart the area.

      "So it was OK to waterboard a guy over 80 times but God forbid the guy who could understand what that prick was saying has a boyfriend."--Jon Stewart

      by craigkg on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 01:50:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you so much for this beautiful (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    craigkg, JenS, JupiterSurf

    Diary.

    My husband and I are retired and this is what we do!
    Well, we also visit Presidential Libraries.

    We are trailer/camper people - yeah, I know about leaving our carbon footprint but we saved and sacrificed for years and we do own a truck that gets fairly good mileage considering.

    We've been to Jackson numerous times and usually stay right outside of the Grand Tetons at Gros Ventre, which is our favorite campground in the area.

    My husband is a fly-fisherman, and he loves Gros Ventre since it's near running streams and there's a buffalo herd that goes through there as well as moose.

    I cannot name all the National Parks that we've camped around the USA, if you consider living in a trailer camping.

    The Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho are also spectacular, and last summer we visited for the first time Glacier National Park and that was really awesome.

    We are members of the National Parks Conservation Association.

    I will definitely be following your group as it is right up our alley!

    Thank you again for a very informative and beautiful diary and I look forward to reading more!

    •  Mt. Rainier National Park (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miscanthus, JupiterSurf

      was in my backyard.

      Mt. Rainier Pictures, Images and Photos

      The CLEAR Act would sell carbon shares to fuel producers and return 75 percent of the revenue in checks of $1,100 per year to every American. - Sen. Maria Cantwell

      by mrobinson on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 04:08:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, (0+ / 0-)

        We were hoping to go there, but with gas prices, we are probably going to stay closer to home.

        I went there as an 8th grader years ago, when my oldest brother moved to Seattle.

        I love Washington, and tried getting a job at Boeing, twice.

        It's probably a good thing that we - my husband and I - were rejected.

        The corporation in Arizona sent us to France instead, and I would not trade that experience for anything.

        The company paid for everything, and we did not abuse it, so they rewarded us for that, unlike the other American couple who tried to take them for everything they were worth.

  •  National Parks in Danger (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JupiterSurf

    The CLEAR Act would sell carbon shares to fuel producers and return 75 percent of the revenue in checks of $1,100 per year to every American. - Sen. Maria Cantwell

    by mrobinson on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 04:13:54 PM PST

  •  I totally love (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SJerseyIndy

    this kind of thing!  Thanks for posting it!

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 04:36:47 PM PST

  •  That place is magic. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JenS, JupiterSurf

    When I was a kid, we spent a couple of summers on a ranch just south of Moose WY, of off Moose Wilson Rd.
    The family that lived there was third generation on that spot, probably 4th gen now. They had been grandfathered in to be able to continue living there, even though it was now a National Park. They just weren't permitted to sell it to anybody other than the park service.
    The flood of memories this diary is bring back is amazing. I've been back twice as an adult, and, fortunately, the place hasn't changed.  The last time I was there one of the locals was griping about all the security, helicopters, etc, that came in when Cheney wanted to go fishing. One of the docents in the park jokingly told me that all of the millionaires were moving out. They were selling out to the billionaires.  On the other hand, camping is cheap there ($12 a night), and they don't take reservations.  I've never had a hard time finding a tent camp site in that park.
    There and Banff are my two favorite places in the world. And maybe, oddly, New Haven, CT.

  •  my ashes are to be ceremoniously (0+ / 0-)

    hurled over hidden falls. favorite sacred place. great group idea. i will follow!

    "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan." final words of R Holbrooke

    by UTvoter on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 05:07:48 PM PST

  •  This is where I live (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miscanthus

    I worked at the Rockefeller family ranch in the early 80's. Every day I am still in awe of this beautiful place. Thank you for this wonderful diary.

  •  Wonderfully detailed story, (0+ / 0-)

    and gorgeous pics. Thank you.

    I was heartened by the story of the unsuccessful attempts to roll back TR's work. We need always to to protect the progress we have achieved.

    Joe

    Save energy! Install the dimmest bulbs available: Vote Republican.

    by CitizenJoe on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 06:39:55 PM PST

  •  Great Diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JupiterSurf

    Thanks for writing this.

    I've click to follow Park Avenue.

    Plastic ocean: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

    by eeff on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 06:45:29 PM PST

  •  Wonderful diary-thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JupiterSurf

    A great introduction to a spectacularly beautiful place.  I would still love this area even if my husband and I hadn't gone there for our honeymoon many years ago.

  •  This is what I come to dkos for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    willyr, JupiterSurf

    i came originally for the politics. I stayed for the brilliant company. Yer on my list now.  

    Frankly, I blame everything on Nixon.

    by J Orygun on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 07:04:57 PM PST

  •  Cross-posted to NPAWR by LoE. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JupiterSurf

    Lemme know as my deadline/slot is approaching for Petrified Forest National Park.
    :)

    More and Better Democrats

    by SJerseyIndy on Thu Feb 24, 2011 at 07:40:53 PM PST

  •  First time I've had a chance to drop in (0+ / 0-)

    and see this. Here are a couple of mine from the one day I got to spend in Grand Teton, three summers ago:

    The USGS benchmark atop Signal Mountain, with my shadow falling on it:

    And one of my favorite shots of all from that trip, mountains, flowers, and clouds:

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