Grazing in Grand Teton National Park. Photos taken August 4, 2001.

 

These photos are of national park land, not private inholdings in the Park.

Pasture at the base of Uhl Hill, looking westward toward the Tetons.
Photo by Ralph Maughan. This is called "the East Elk Ranch Pasture."

Pasture at the base of Uhl Hill, looking north toward Moran Junction.
Photo by Ralph Maughan

Same pasture, view toward the east. Notice the tall musk thistles. This is one of the
most noxious of the alien weeds invading the United States. It has no place
anywhere, and particularly in a national park.  Photo by Ralph Maughan.

The musk thistles and Canada thistle spreads when grazing depletes the competing grasses and native plants. The area around Uhl Hill to Elk Ranch Reservoir seems to be the focal point of the growing infestation.

How much does it cost the grazer?  $20 will allow you to graze about 15 cows and their calves for a month.

Just $20 will allow you to graze about 15 cows for a month inside Grand Teton National Park

-Aug. 4, 2001.

Note from 2002. In August 2002, Canada thistle, the most difficult to eradicate, seemed to predominate at the Uhl Hill Pasture compared to 2001 when it was musk thistle.

All this grazing takes place only about 2 miles from the rendezvous site of the Teton Wolf Pack, the most successful Wyoming wolf pack outside Yellowstone National Park. In addition to wolves, mountain lions and both black and grizzly bears frequent the area. The pasture, had it grass without cattle would also be valuable for elk and bison.

This close mingling of cattle and elk and bison, the latter 2 of which carry brucellosis, is going to someday result in transmission of the disease to cattle, and Wyoming may well lose its brucellosis free status.

Note from 2003. The grazing is finally gone for good!