University of Wyoming Extension News

Virtual Field Trip videos help examine Teton Canyon issues

Teton Canyon Virtual Field Trip videos are available to the public to learn more about human impact, forest fuel buildup and wildlife habitat issues to help determine best options for keeping the canyon healthy.

The videos, presented by the U.S. Forest Service and University of Wyoming Extension, are offered to help inform citizens in advance of a public forum 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 15, in the Teton High School cafeteria in Driggs, Idaho, to determine if there is consensus on solutions. The videos are linked to specific canyon locations and describe issues associated with wildlife habitat, forest diversity, prescribed burns, dispersed camping and roads and trails.

“With one road in, one road out, up to a thousand people recreating, years of forest fuel buildup and deteriorating wildlife habitat, Teton Canyon provides fodder for many different opinions about what should or should not be done,” said Basil Barna of the Teton Area Advisory Forum (TAAF), a non-profit group asked by the Teton Basin District ranger and the Teton counties of Idaho and Wyoming to stimulate discussion.  “Burn it, cut it or leave it alone?”

TAAF has presented three public forums to gather what the public values about the canyon and options for addressing specific problems.

The Virtual Field Trip replicates the Teton Canyon field trip from the second forum in July.

“Even if you haven’t participated in the first three forums, the virtual field trips and a brief review of the forum reports available on the TAAF website or at the Teton County extension’s website provide the necessary background for anyone interested in participating in Forum IV,” said Barna.

The Virtual Field Trip videos are at http://tetonforum.org and http://tetonwyo.org/ext.

“While the U.S. Forest Service has not yet proposed any specific course of action, it’s inevitable that if nothing is done nature will eventually implement a plan of her own,” said Barna.

Written comments can be submitted to TAAF at taaf@tetonforum.org for those unable to attend the Oct. 15 forum.