Bears are back on Moose-Wilson Road

NPS Photo/C. Adams

Hold your horsepower. The bears are back on the Moose-Wilson Road.

The road that runs from Teton Village to Moose is seeing its annual increase in bear activity once again, since the corridor is lined with hawthorn, chokecherry and serviceberry shrubs, which produce the very berries black bears eat in preparation for hibernation.

“While there is no way to measure whether it is a 5 percent or 40 percent increase, we know activity is up because the food source there is hardy,” said Valerie Gohlke, public affairs specialist with Grand Teton National Park.

Berry production along the Moose-Wilson Road, which winds along the foothills of the Tetons, has been abundant this year, so the risk of bears on the road has increased.

The short viewing distances, dense vegetation and narrow road can make it challenging to spot bears while driving. To reduce the chance of human-bear conflict, officials with the Grand Teton National Park recommend:

•Following direction from park staff

•Remaining inside a vehicle while observing bears

•Driving slowly, since bears frequently cross the roadway

•Respecting no-parking zones

•Viewing only from zones identified with signs

•Remaining patient to allow for positive bear-viewing opportunities for all passersby and

•Reporting bear sightings to the nearest visitor center.

Park rangers may close the Moose-Wilson Road if bear activity increases to protect local black and grizzly bears. 

Federal regulations require people stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and 25 yards away from other wildlife.

To learn more about bears, safe bear viewing and how to use bear spray, visit go.nps.gov/tetonbears.

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