Teton backcountry Alliance releases survey to measure backcountry user conflict on Teton Pass

Ambassador Jay Pistono keeps the peace on Teton Pass. [Photo] Courtesy Jackson Hole News and Guide

On Saturday, April 15, The Jackson Hole News and Guide reported that a survey administered by the Teton Backcountry Alliance (T.B.A) was released with the goal of gauging the level and type of winter recreational use on Teton Pass. The Jackson Hole News explains that because Teton Pass sees more than 100,000 ski runs a year, user safety and conflict must be managed better to avoid future potential tragedies.

To help understand and mitigate conflict between user groups, the survey asks participants to explain their thoughts on issues ranging from human-triggered avalanches and parking conflicts to uncollected dog poop. In addition to voicing concerns, survey takers are also asked to provide input on possible solutions to these issues, like the temporary closure of high-avalanche danger zones, the institution of new hitchhiking parameters and the limitation of pedestrian traffic along the Highway 22 corridor during the winter months.

The survey also presents the possibility of better stakeholder education, with the option to rate the level of importance of expanding the Teton Pass Ambassador Program, posting better signage and providing more comprehensive online educational resources outlining proper protocol for visitors to the area. T.B.A also asks survey participants to rate other solutions to the dangers of overcrowding on Teton Pass, including a shuttle transportation service to the top of the pass to potentially alleviate parking congestion. Other solutions include building a visitor center with bathroom facilities and constructing snowsheds along avalanche-prone sections of Highway 22 to keep slides from threatening commuters. T.B.A also poses the option for a Teton Pass parking permit, the proceeds of which would go to fund an ambassador program and the proposed bathroom facilities.

T.B.A plans to collect and present survey answers to state agencies involved with the maintenance and safety of the Teton Pass region. The survey is anonymous—T.B.A emphasizes participants exclude their names from the form.

Visit the Teton Backcountry Alliance Facebook page to learn more and click here to take the survey. The survey will remain open until April 23.

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