Item: Alpine touring access management on public lands in avalanche terrain
Title: Alpine touring access management on public lands in avalanche terrain
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 1996 International Snow Science Workshop, Banff, Canada
Authors: Robert H.Comey, Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Forecast Laboratory, Jackson Hole Ski Patrol, P.O. Box 290, Teton Village, WY 83025, (307) 733-2292, fax: (307) 733-2660, e-mail: ComeyK@sisna.com
Abstract: In Jackson Hole, Wyoming skiers and snowboarders access rugged avalanche terrain on publicly owned land from privately owned ski lifts. Backcountry avalanche terrain in Bridger-Teton National Forest (BTNF) and Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) is easily accessed by tourers from an aerial tramway operated in the National Forest. These areas are managed in a cooperative effort by the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Jackson Hole Ski Corporation (JHSC) and the Teton Sheriff's Department (TCSD). To manage these areas the US Forest Service requires an assessment of avalanche hazard and incident response planning. Daily regional avalanche hazard forecasts are provided by employees of the BTNF who operate from an avalanche forecasting laboratory located at the Jackson Hole Ski Area in Teton Village, Wyoming. On-site instrumentation, daily observations and historical meteorological avalanche activity data are used to develop these forecasts. Initial incident response is provided by the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol. Secondary response is available from the TCSD and GTNP. The management of public access to this terrain has evolved during the last 31 years primarily in response to changes in liability issues and user demands. This paper has attempted to present the current access management policy, recount the historical development of this policy and offer insight into future management issues. A discussion of alternative management options and the advantages and disadvantages of alternative options has not been the goal of this paper.
Keywords: avalanche, teton, backcountry, jackson, ski, corney
Digital Abstract Not Available