Fall is in the air and that means Election Day is coming up. We want you to get out and exercise your right to vote! Before you make that important decision, we thought you might want to know the candidates’ positions on pathways and making walking and biking a preferred mode of travel in Jackson.

Kudos to all the candidates for stepping up to be leaders in our community!

MAYORAL CANDIDATES

HAILEY MORTON LEVINSON

Do you use our local pathways system and/or cycling lanes? If so, for what purposes?

Of course! I use our pathways system for commuting and recreation. I commute daily on my bike and so use the cycling lanes/ shared lanes everyday.

Friends of Pathways is working to ensure a future where every neighborhood is connected to a pathway. Do you support that goal and support the use of public funds to achieve it?

I do support this goal. Having young kids, I recognize how important it is for safe access and use of our pathways. Additionally, as a one car household, I see how critical this access is to encourage our community to use alternative transportation. 

How do you feel about the Integrated Transportation Plan and its level of representation for human-powered transportation? How should walking and biking be incorporated into future transportation goals?

Current updates to the Integrated Transportation Plan and Comprehensive Plan better emphasize and call out human-powered transportation and that’s a step in the right direction. I support ways to make walking/ biking/ alternative modes of transportation more of the norm than single occupancy vehicles. 

Do you support the development of additional separated biking lanes and multi-use pathways, and if so, where would you prioritize that new infrastructure?

We have made significant strides in adding pathways throughout the valley. I am interested to see Friends of Pathways most recent survey results of where we could do better connecting in town and making that network easier for people to navigate. Protected lanes like what I have supported on Snow King Avenue are great additions to get our community comfortable in using bikes as their preferred choice of transportation. 

MICHAEL KUDAR

Do you use our local pathways system and/or cycling lanes? If so, for what purposes?

In our household, we share two commuter bikes and one e-bike. Our teens primarily use the local pathway system to and from High School Road and to visit friends in Wilson.

Friends of Pathways is working to ensure a future where every neighborhood is connected to a pathway. Do you support that goal and support the use of public funds to achieve it?

Pathway connectivity is our most responsible, independent long term solution to combat the negative impacts on our environment. With more locals looking for different ways to commute, I will look to support cycling infrastructure with the safest routes wherever possible. 

How do you feel about the Integrated Transportation Plan and its level of representation for human-powered transportation? How should walking and biking be incorporated into future transportation goals?

As your mayor, I will support initiatives, incentives, sound policy, and software technologies for smarter walking and cycling options alongside public transport, making it easier for people to move around Jackson. I would like to create incentives to future developments who build walking and cycling infrastructure for direct connectivity to trails, green alleyways, pathways, multi-use lanes, and transit routes/hubs.  

Do you support the development of additional separated biking lanes and multi-use pathways, and if so, where would you prioritize that new infrastructure?

Yes. We know the community is long overdue for real solutions to ease traffic congestion and reduce wildlife collisions. In town, taking long term planning advice from Friends of Pathways and START Bus and Bike Transport, and our citizens, I will support pathway designs that vastly improve safe routes to and from schools, as well as connections making it easier for residents to access retail, grocery, and small business.

TOWN COUNCIL CANDIDATES

DEVON VIEHMAN

Do you use our local pathways system and/or cycling lanes? If so, for what purposes?

Yes, my family and I love using the bike paths. They make me feel safer than biking directly on the road. 

Friends of Pathways is working to ensure a future where every neighborhood is connected to a pathway. Do you support that goal and support the use of public funds to achieve it?

Yes, I support this goal. Our pathways system contributes to less traffic, less greenhouse gas emissions, and adds to Jackson’s dynamic character. 

How do you feel about the Integrated Transportation Plan and its level of representation for human-powered transportation? How should walking and biking be incorporated into future transportation goals? 

When the town and county plan new neighborhoods, walkability/bikeability is imperative. Thanks to a grant I secured with the National Association of Realtors last year, I was able to host a free seminar on Smart Growth Principles. Two of the Smart Growth Principles are “Create walkable neighborhoods” and “Provide a variety of transportation choices.” I will use these principles to guide my decision-making regarding neighborhood development, along with the new national policy to create “Complete Streets,” and I will encourage my fellow Councilors to learn about and implement these principles as well. 

Do you support the development of additional separated biking lanes and multi-use pathways, and if so, where would you prioritize that new infrastructure? 

Safety is one of the main reasons I use the bike paths, and creating separated biking lanes would increase safety and usage. I know that students and parents of students attending Munger Mountain Elementary are eager for the bike paths to connect south of town so that the school is accessible by bike, and I can’t wait to see that project finished. The prioritization of new infrastructure will be dependent on the health of our Town Budget, particularly in light of the strain that COVID-19 has put on our resources. 

JESSICA SELL CHAMBERS

Do you use our local pathways system and/or cycling lanes? If so, for what purposes?

Yes, my family and I use our bike pathways and cycle lanes multiple times a day. We take them everywhere we go because we mainly take our bikes and e-bikes everywhere we go. This summer every weekday I used the pathways from town to go out to the Science Schools for my son’s summer camp. When I worked out in the Aspens I would bike out and back every day as well. We love our pathways! We ride from the moment it is warm enough until the moment the snow sticks. We avoid our car (singular) as often as we can, especially with the worsening traffic. 

Friends of Pathways is working to ensure a future where every neighborhood is connected to a pathway. Do you support that goal and support the use of public funds to achieve it?

Absolutely, I support connecting as many places as possible via a pathway. We need to get people out of their cars as much as possible for so many reasons. In non-pandemic times, I support using public funds for the public good, such as pathways. *All of these projects take a backseat though until we get our bearings with COVID-19. We have yet to figure out what this next year will bring – and we also need to pass the 7th cent sales tax! But pathways and mass/public transportation, in general, are major priorities for me. 

How do you feel about the Integrated Transportation Plan and its level of representation for human-powered transportation? How should walking and biking be incorporated into future transportation goals?

Given the effects of climate change and the Town’s commitment to being carbon neutral, we absolutely must increase human-powered transportation. Part of getting people out of their cars is making alternative modes of transportation more appealing and accessible, which is done through a robust walking and biking system. The ITP is great for so many reasons and it really layouts a thorough path forward, no pun intended. Expanding the ITP breadth a touch more in the direction of human-powered means of transportation is just one more step, no pun intended again, toward getting people out of their cars and us to carbon neutral.  

Do you support the development of additional separated biking lanes and multi-use pathways, and if so, where would you prioritize that new infrastructure?

Having separated biking lanes is great; it’s safer, faster, and less congested. I would ask that we make sure all neighborhoods are connected to some kind of pathway network to begin and then adding additional lanes in town to make biking on the streets safer and more conducive to biking. We love the bike lanes down Snow King Ave and across town past Miller Park. These kinds of bike routing are a good direction to move in. (Transportation puns abound!) 

JIM ROOKS

Do you use our local pathways system and/or cycling lanes? If so, for what purposes?

My family and I use the Pathways daily,….at least during Spring, Summer and Fall! We live on Flat Creek Drive and can coast downhill to connect with the Snow King Ave Pathway, and thus the entire network of extraordinary “Human Lanes” that connect our Town and County. We use the Pathways for both recreation and utility. Between my wife and 2 kids, we have a dozen different bikes in our corral. Our favorite family trip is South through town down Russ Garaman Park past the schools, past 3 Creek and around South Park back home. I am recovering from catastrophic injuries due to being hit by a motor vehicle while mountain biking last summer, so my wife and I’s “fast laps” on the road bikes up to Jenny Lake and back haven’t happened much lately! But, we all increasingly use the Pathways to get to work, school, athletic practices, and community events, which is the best “pro move” in Jackson. I call it the only “shortcut” left in Jackson Hole!

Friends of Pathways is working to ensure a future where every neighborhood is connected to a pathway. Do you support that goal and support the use of public funds to achieve it?

Connectivity is critical. I both support and applaud this endeavor to make sure we all have access to our Pathways. Pathways represent the best of the “common good” and thus requires government support. There will be no greater champion of Friends of Pathways than me. And I say that knowing most candidates and elected officials support Pathways. Pathways enriches and saves the lives of our citizens and visitors. I will work to maintain and expand funding, both to care for our current Pathways, as well as expanded funding for improved connectivity. The Pathways also “give back” economically and environmentally to society, making them an excellent investment in every sense of the word.  

How do you feel about the Integrated Transportation Plan and its level of representation for human-powered transportation? How should walking and biking be incorporated into future transportation goals?

Section 3 of the ITP, “Active Transportation,” details that “neither the Town of Jackson nor the neighborhoods and villages in rural Teton County have extensive, safe accommodation for local bicycling on local roads and streets.” “Walkability” is also a weakness within the current system. The data suggests that “short trips” to the “first and last mile” are a perfect place to invest resources. And, of course, parking and winter maintenance on in-town Pathways remain areas of improvement. That said, I would like to see expanded emphasis on human powered transportation, both in the ITP and Comprehensive Plan, including massive active transportation options in Northern South Park.  

Do you support the development of additional separated biking lanes and multi-use pathways, and if so, where would you prioritize that new infrastructure?

After my accident, I am extremely “gun shy” to send my 11 year old son and his friends racing across town to flag football practice, but the Pathways provide! The separated bike lanes are the primary reason why I feel safe having my kids bike. They are also extremely beneficial to daily bike commuters. I think the best additional bike and multi-purpose lanes are in direct connection to existing ones, namely Snow King Avenue and Maple Way. The Snow King lane could be extended East to either Willow or Vine, then further East to Redmond Avenue and beyond. The downtown area also begs for new and expanded human-only pathways.  

PETE MULDOON

Do you use our local pathways system and/or cycling lanes? If so, for what purposes?

I use both pathways and cycling lanes, primarily for transportation. I’m an e-bike user, and have replaced my car with the e-bike whenever feasible. 

Friends of Pathways is working to ensure a future where every neighborhood is connected to a pathway. Do you support that goal and support the use of public funds to achieve it?

I support that goal 110%. We have to stop subsidizing and prioritizing SOVs, and I believe residents are demanding better alternatives. 

How do you feel about the Integrated Transportation Plan and its level of representation for human-powered transportation? How should walking and biking be incorporated into future transportation goals?

I believe a large percentage of our residents are willing and able to ride bikes and walk. We’ve got a responsibility to create the infrastructure to allow them to do that. If we do, we can reduce reliance on vehicles, help families move from two cars to one or from one to none, and reduce not only VMT and the associated impacts, but reduce the need to dedicate land to parking rather than housing. I believe the ITP needs to go much further, particularly by envisioning a radically different alternative to our current land use and transportation paradigm. 

Do you support the development of additional separated biking lanes and multi-use pathways, and if so, where would you prioritize that new infrastructure?

I do. I would like to start by extending the SK bike lane to the Snow King Hotel and to the Rec Center/school complex, as well as to the hospital. We also need more east/west connectivity. We will need to better manage residential parking in order to do that, which I have consistently advocated for. 

COUNTY COMMISSION CANDIDATES

GREG EPSTEIN

Do you use our local pathways system and/or cycling lanes? If so, for what purposes?

Yes, for exercise, recreation and commuting.

Friends of Pathways is working to ensure a future where every neighborhood is connected to a pathway. Do you support that goal and support the use of public funds to achieve it? 

Yes, I see a future Jackson Hole where there are safe options regarding how you travel around this valley. My voting record has been pro pathways and I will continue to support pathway connectivity.

How do you feel about the Integrated Transportation Plan and its level of representation for human-powered transportation? How should walking and biking be incorporated into future transportation goals?

Overall I support the ITP despite the reality that we are falling behind in its recommendations and milestones. One place that I do think we are keeping up with is pathways. While we could always do more, with the new pathways on South 89 added to the system we are slowly connecting more of the community. I really think we need to look at the system as it stands now and identify where hazards exist and address those. Whether it’s an underpass on 390 to the Milward Addition, speed control around Garaman Park or more education on safe pathway use, safety needs to be a priority. 

Do you support the development of additional separated biking lanes and multi-use pathways, and if so, where would you prioritize that new infrastructure?

I could be open to multilane pathways, but I would like to see more information on where the most necessary locations should be. We probably need an updated pathways masterplan pinpointing where these lanes should exist. Additionally, we would need to sell the community on why additional pathway lanes might be necessary since public funds will be required. In my opinion I could see multi-lanes on 390 and in town extending one mile north and south of the Jackson boundary.

NATALIA MACKER

Do you use our local pathways system and/or cycling lanes? If so, for what purposes?

Yes! My family uses them for biking, and I use them for running. They’ve also been a great help for walking meetings outdoors to stay as safe as possible.

Friends of Pathways is working to ensure a future where every neighborhood is connected to a pathway. Do you support that goal and support the use of public funds to achieve it?

Yes. I think there is tremendous opportunity to advance equity through this type of connectivity. While different projects will have different funding combinations, I will continue to support public funds for pathways.

 How do you feel about the Integrated Transportation Plan and its level of representation for human-powered transportation? How should walking and biking be incorporated into future transportation goals?

The ITP is a place to start and needs improvement. Moving forward, I am particularly interested in how we can leverage and reimagine the pathways taskforce to be a driving force in incorporating human-powered transportation within the ITP but also in relation to our health, equity, climate, and housing goals.

Do you support the development of additional separated biking lanes and multi-use pathways, and if so, where would you prioritize that new infrastructure?

Yes, the ones the immediately come to mind are completing South Highway 89 to Hoback and the ongoing effort to ensure pathways along the Highway 22 corridor. 

PETER LONG

Do you use our local pathways system and/or cycling lanes? If so, for what purposes?

Like many Teton County residents, my family and I regularly use the pathways system for recreation and commuting. Working with small businesses throughout the valley, I frequently use our pathways to bike to and from meetings. My wife and I have a two-year old son, Walter. All the time we use our pathways to get him out for a walk or bike ride, and to access local trails. 

Friends of Pathways is working to ensure a future where every neighborhood is connected to a pathway. Do you support that goal and support the use of public funds to achieve it?

I fully support expanding our pathways system to connect neighborhoods throughout the valley. Doing so will help reduce traffic on our roads, reduce emissions and protect our wildlife. Everyone should be able to access our pathways system conveniently from where they live. As your Commissioner, I look forward to working with Friends of Pathways to continue to grow and improve our pathways system.

How do you feel about the Integrated Transportation Plan and its level of representation for human-powered transportation? How should walking and biking be incorporated into future transportation goals?

The Integrated Transportation Plan is a good guiding document to reduce vehicle traffic and support our transition to alternative forms of transit. It deserves credit for seeking to make our neighborhoods more accessible to bikers and pedestrians, including its call for greater pathways funding, and for considering “first and last mile” access to public transit (i.e., making START routes easier to get to on foot or by bike).

That said, the ITP would benefit from greater specificity. There is a noticeable lack of guidance about how the plan intends to increase human-powered transportation, especially relative to other modes, like public transit. 

Practical considerations – like a schedule that prioritizes new pathways and bike lanes, clear assignment of authority, recommendations for bike shares and programs that will improve usage, “rules of the road” for pathways, and clearer partnerships with our non-profits and private sector – will better ensure the ITP fosters human-powered transportation and reduces vehicle traffic. 

Finally, the ITP is toothless unless it is implemented with fidelity. WYDOT’s recommendation against dedicated HOV / bus lanes on Highway 22 and 390, which conflicts with the ITP, demonstrates the importance of building relationships in every direction to ensure the ITP is implemented in a way that achieves its goals and changes behaviors.

Do you support the development of additional separated biking lanes and multi-use pathways, and if so, where would you prioritize that new infrastructure?

I fully support continued development of our pathways and bike lanes. These resources connect our community, provide access to recreation and alternative forms of commuting, and will help alleviate traffic on our roads. 

It’s important that new development be considered as part of a comprehensive transportation picture so that we are building synergy between public transit, carpooling opportunities and pedestrian traffic. That means putting in pathways that connect neighborhoods with public transit nodes and extending the pathways system to incorporate outlying areas, like Hoback. We should consider bike lanes along primary arteries in residential areas, like Rafter J, to better plug in with existing pathways. 

At the same time, we should be considering ways to increase usage of our pathways and bike lanes—like incentive programs for biking to work, clearly communicated “rules of the road” to make pathways and bake lanes safer, and programs that will foster a bike and pedestrian culture.

As Commissioner, I pledge to work with Friends of Pathways and likeminded organizations to continue to build on our outstanding pathways system and to make our roads and alternative forms of transportation safer and more effective. 

WES GARDNER

Do you use our local pathways system and/or cycling lanes? If so, for what purposes?  

Yes, occasionally. Although I’m not much of a biker, I do enjoy using the pathways to jog and walk. As a Game Creek resident, it’s great to know that we have access so far down south.

Friends of Pathways is working to ensure a future where every neighborhood is connected to a pathway. Do you support that goal and support the use of public funds to achieve it?

Absolutely! I live in Game Creek, and it’s so great that we have pathways connected to a neighborhood so far from town. I love that our pathways not only range so far from town, but they are also so interconnected, so that riders can get almost anywhere in the valley using them.

How do you feel about the Integrated Transportation Plan and its level of representation for human-powered transportation? How should walking and biking be incorporated into future transportation goals?

Two summers ago, I spearheaded and ran a program aimed at getting downtown employers to reward employees for certain methods of getting to and from work. Biking/walking earned the most rewards, with carpooling and riding the bus a close second, and parking in the parking garage representing a third tier (it was built as an incentive program to get employees to stop parking in the three hour zone). While this program did achieve some success, I believe that we can do much better. START is now offering an employer-funded, annual Universal Pass which will give riders year round access to the entire system at no charge. I envision a system whereby motivated employers can track their employee’s behaviors and reward those who walk, bike, carpool, or ride the bus to work. I have been working on this for a couple of years and am proud of the role that I played as a START board member to create the Universal Pass.

Do you support the development of additional separated biking lanes and multi-use pathways, and if so, where would you prioritize that new infrastructure?

I do support the development of additional connectivity of our bike lanes and pathways. I am particularly interested in creating meaningful connections through town, so that pedestrians and bikers feel safe as they travel through town. Further, I am very interested in the completion of the bike path loop running from Teton Village to Moose.

CHRISTIAN BECKWITH

Do you use our local pathways system and/or cycling lanes? If so, for what purposes?

Yes, for everything—commuting, grocery shopping, kiddo shuttles, the works. The pathway system has allowed us to make our e-bikes our car replacement strategy. 

Friends of Pathways is working to ensure a future where every neighborhood is connected to a pathway. Do you support that goal and support the use of public funds to achieve it?

Yes. At the 2014 SHIFT Summit, I worked with The Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance and the (then) Jackson Hole Community Pathways to bring Chuck Marohn, the President and Co-Founder of Strong Towns, to Jackson to participate in a workshop on effective, efficient transportation systems. The workshop explored the financing and planning of efficient and effective transportation systems with key Jackson Hole stakeholders. Since then, I’ve been a proponent of strategic use of financing to connect all neighborhoods to pathways.

How do you feel about the Integrated Transportation Plan and its level of representation for human-powered transportation? How should walking and biking be incorporated into future transportation goals?

It’s a good start. It can be made better. The 2014 SHIFT Summit convinced me of the opportunity to crowdsource the successes (and failures) of communities like ours to strengthen initiatives like the ITP.  

In 2014, we solicited nominations from transportation, conservation, and affordable housing initiatives from GEMS (Gateways to Environments of Major Significance—communities like ours that depend on the environment for the economic and community success) from around North America, and then invited community partners such as the the Jackson Hole Community Pathways, the Teton County Conservation District and the Community Housing Trust to evaluate their work.

The nominees deemed to be the most innovative, impactful and replicable received our Sustainability Awards, and were invited to present their work at the festival. The result was a unique gathering of leaders of GEMS, sharing the practices that were making their communities more sustainable.

Using that year’s SHIFT as a template, we could create RISE (Resilient. Inspired. Sustainable. Everyday), an annual summit that looked at sustainability’s future through the prism of GEMS.

Each year, RISE would choose a topic relevant to GEMS. Let’s use transportation as an example.

We could invite members of transportation organizations like FOP in our community to evaluate the work of transportation initiatives from other GEMS on the basis of impact, innovation and replicability. We could honor the work deemed to be the best with The RISE Awards, and then invite representatives from the winning organizations to share their insights and initiatives here in Teton County at the annual summit.

The summit would thus highlight success stories, explore solutions to shared challenges and create networking opportunities among participants, our own community members included. The networking and sharing of ideas that it fostered would contribute to a stronger ITP and the protection of the “golden goose” of our ecosystem, which should be a priority for all of us, at the same time.

Do you support the development of additional separated biking lanes and multi-use pathways, and if so, where would you prioritize that new infrastructure?

The current biggest impediment to safe biking I’d like to see addressed is crossing the intersection at the Y and continuing toward Smiths. From the intersection on, you’re taking your life in your hands. I’d like to see a separated bike lane or bike path on that section next.

This summer the Friends of Pathways (FOP) trail crew worked on the following projects as part of our Cache Creek and Game Creek Trail Improvements.  We had some alterations due to Covid-19 but were able to complete most of the project.

Invasive Weed Mitigation – Teton County Weed and Pest ceased working with groups in person with invasive species mitigation but offered sprayers and seminars at discounted rates.  FOP purchased a 5 gallon sprayer and we educated our youth trail crew on musk thistles.  We completed two blanket spraying days in Game Creek in early June to help quash the major infestation there and the youth crew carried a small 32 oz sprayer with them each day to address weeds we encountered on these trail and elsewhere on our trail system.  We also revisited Game Creek in late summer to manually cut any blooming musk thistle to try and minimize seed spread.

Reroutes – The crew constructed two small reroutes in upper Cache Creek around small landslides totally ~900 feet.  They also completed a larger reroute in Game Creek around a section of the road that floods each spring totaling ~1200 feet.  They also closed and rehabbed the older sections of trail with seed and aspen based compostable rehab netting.

Bridges – The crew constructed two new single log bridges in the upper reaches of Cache Creek.  They also raised the Noker Mine bridge which was flooding each spring and set it on new sill logs ~12 inches higher.  The crew got to use a griphoist and rigging for these projects and said they were their favorite projects this summer.

Culverts – We replaced 3 culverts and added 3 more on the Cache Creek Road/Trail.  We also cleaned out 24 culverts in the Cache Creek drainage.  We have a machine scheduled for the end of September to work on the Game Creek Road and address the drainage issues there.

Drainage Ditches – We dug ~2400 feet of drainage ditches in conjunction with the culvert work in Cache Creek.  These ditches function both to capture year round seeps and also spring snow melt.  There is minimal drainage work to be done in Game Creek but we are adding about a dozen rolling grade dips to allow water to naturally exit the road surface.

Turnpikes – The crew constructed 12 turnpikes this summer on upper Cache Creek and the Game Creek singletrack.  These consisted of cutting, peeling, and setting guide logs, digging ditches to channel water through a culvert, and adding rock and gravel fill to the surface.  Turnpikes are good one day projects and provide lots of tasks to keep everyone on the crew busy.

Backslopes – We re-graded several areas of the Cache Creek Trail where either landslides or the creek had narrowed the width of the trail.  Although this is a singletrack non-motorized trail it is groomed for xc skiing in the winter and we fixed these areas after coordinating with Parks and Rec to make sure they had adequate width to safely navigate their snow-cats grooming equipment.

We are almost finished with these projects with only a small amount of work left to be done in Game Creek with the mini excavator.

 

This week the crew started on the new Game Creek connector trail.  This trail will connect the Game Creek trailhead to the S. 89 pathway and will provide safe access from the neighborhoods along S. Hwy. 89 to their public lands without having to take a trip in a vehicle.  We hope this will help alleviate some of the parking issues at the Game Creek trailhead.  If you are out in the Game Creek area and would like to help we have a cache of tools and instructions at the western end of the trail and you are more than welcome to stop and dig for a little while.  I highly suggest mornings and evenings as our crew was baking in the sun last week on the south facing slopes.  Our youth crew has one more week of work and we will see if we can finish the stretch on the BTNF.  The crew also worked on the Phillip’s Pass and Arrow trails this week cleaning drains and fixing tread.  On Thursday they helped the town relocate the Rodeo/Pine Dr. Access trail.  The trail was created by users over the last two decades but was actually on private property slightly to the west of the access easement.  They brushed back the the larger trees and willows and re-dug it about 8 feet to the east.  The Phillip’s Ridge and Snotel trails are opening back up now that the thinning crews have finished chainsawing in that area.  I suggest heading up there this weekend as I imagine a byproduct of the thinning is better views of the mountains and valley!

This week the crew finished up the last new log bridge up Cache Creek.  These are a fun endeavor where the crew gets to use the griphoist to maneuver the several thousand pound logs into place, a good physics lesson in action.  We then installed a new culvert on the Phillip’s Connector trail where the Glory Bowl snow melt runs across each spring.  We cleared some trees off of the Hagen and Wilson Canyon trails and will get one off of Phillip’s Canyon.  We also spent some time on the History trail clearing down trees, cleaning drains, adding fill to bridge approaches, clearing culverts on turnpikes, and cutting back the infamous “Nettle Nam” section.  This trail really is amazing and the upper section is a perfect combo of peak wildflowers, beautiful Aspen groves, and dark shady Douglas Fir stands right now.  If you’re looking for a nice hike this weekend to avoid the heat at high elevation this would be a great one.

From: Teton County and Town of Jackson, Jackson Hole Community Pathways
Date: July 30, 2020
Re: 2020 Pathways Sealcoating Project

Contact:   Brian Schilling, Town of Jackson/Teton County Pathways Coordinator

                    bschilling@tetoncountywy.gov

                    (307) 732-8573

Teton County and the Town of Jackson will be performing annual pathways sealing during the week of August 3 to 7, 2020. Pathway users should be aware that selected pathways will be closed to public use for periods of up to several hours, but the closures will be limited to the minimum amount of time needed for the sealant dry. For the majority of the project duration, the pathways in the project area will be open for public use. This year’s project areas include the following pathways: the Garaman Path along Flat Creek from the new Post Office to Gregory Lane; the pathway along Blair Dr. from the Community Garden to Whitehouse Dr.; the South Park Loop Pathway west from Middle School Road and then south to High School Road; South Park Loop Pathway from the south end of 3 Creek Ranch (Cody Creek Dr.) to Highway 89; and the Von Gontard Pathway south of Melody Ranch from South Park Loop to Game Creek.

Pathways officials will post signs on paths in the project area informing the public of the estimated date and time for pathway closures. However, the public is advised that the actual date and times are subject to change based on weather, equipment, or other delays that may be beyond the contractor’s control. Current updates and project area maps will be posted as available on the Teton County website at http://www.tetoncountywy.gov/2167/Sealcoating.

People that choose to travel on the pathway during the sealing project should exercise extreme caution and should expect to encounter sections of hot oil sealant that may cause injury or damage bicycles or other equipment and clothing. Users should also expect to encounter construction crews, large equipment, and trucks.

All pathway users are requested to respect and obey instructions from maintenance crews and any signage along the pathway system, and to stay off freshly sealed pathways until the sealant is completely dry.

For more information please visit http://www.tetoncountywy.gov/2167/Sealcoating.

This week the crew continued working on some new footbridges on Cache Creek between Noker Mine and the Wilderness boundary.  We used the griphoist to swing the logs into place which involved some tree climbing and pulley work.  The crews then peeled the logs, milled them flat on top, and built approaches to easily step on and off of the bridges.  We rebenched several sections of eroded parts of the Cache Creek trail where mud slides had occurred.  They also added gravel to the ridge trail with ambassadors Randy and Cam as well as cleared a few fallen trees off of the trails.  With the bit of rain this week the trails are in great shape so get out and enjoy the weekend!

This week the crew went up Game and West Game and brushed back willows and rebenched narrow outsloping sections of trail.  They also continued the good fight against Musk Thistle which has crept up the drainages over the years.  It looks like the beavers have also moved up canyon and there are several new pool and dams up West Game.  The crew also took all our rigging in to Cache Creek to raise the Noker Mine bridge which has flooded the last few years.  We were able to hoist it up, add more gravel under, set new higher sill logs, and make new approach ramps for the taller decking height.  The crew worked with the USFS on the new Sheep Gulch take out trail adding a rope hand line along the steep sections of the trail.  They also cleared the Big Kahuna Wave access trail and we surveyed the Rodeo Wall climbing trail for a project with the Access Fund and the Teton Climbers Coalition.  With the dry weather the trails are a bit dusty so watch yourself and don’t slip or skid.  DO however get out and enjoy a banner year for wildflowers, they are as vibrant as I have ever seen them!

 

Check out the MBT dirt report for the Teton Valley trails here:

This week the crew cleared drains on Putt Putt and upper Blacks.  They re-stained and fixed up the benches on Nelson Knoll and Putt Puttat the town overlook.  The built a turnpike on the Big Rocks trail and cleared brush along all of those sections of trail.  We also cleared trees off of Big Rocks, Snotel, Arrow, and Skyline that fell within the last week.  As you head into the weekend remember that the Old Pass Road paving project will be happening Monday-Wednesday next week so please plan accordingly and use other trails in the area, especially if you are biking Jimmys as it will be hard to connect to Parallel as they pave past Crater Lake.

 

For reports on the trails in Teton Valley check MBT’s trail updates here:

It looks like we will have some hero dirt for the July 4th weekend.  All of the trails are drying out after the rain this week and are in great shape.  The trail crew cleared the Skyline trail on Wednesday and cut 31 trees so everyone can enjoy a long adventure with great views on the ridge this weekend.  The crew also brushed Munger Mountain for better line of sight and respite going through the Aspen thickets.  They cleared a bunch of drains this week that were filling up with sediments from all the rain.  That is why these are so important to get water off of the trail so it doesn’t erode the tread.  Similarly the crew closed shortcuts on Ferrins and Sink or Swim where people are trying to take a straight line.  The natural swoop and grade reversals on the trails act as natural drainage points for water to flow off.  Please don’t short cut because you are lazy or trying to get a faster Strava time, and call out your friends if you see them doing the same.  Fun fact the newer trails like Ferrins and Arrow only have a few drains because they were designed to shed water.  However older trails like Ski Lake and Phillip’s Canyon have over a hundred drains each because they tend to be too steep and in a straight line down the slope.  Have fun, stay on the trails, and enjoy some good weather this weekend!

Find MBT’s trail report on Teton Valley here:

This week there is just a bit of lingering snow on Teton Pass but everything is getting to be very passable.  If we get another week of warm temps we should make the July 4th date of all the trails being snow free and dry.  Our youth crew has been hard at work over the last two weeks, building lots of turnpikes, clearing drainage, brushing along trails, and building some new features at the Blair Dr. Bike Park.  We also adopted a viewpoint trail on Teton Pass that branches from the top of the History Trail and heads out for a few hundred yards to an overlook above Devils Slide.  The crew lovingly named this the Teton Tourist Traverse from the number of travelers we saw hiking out to take a picture.  We also surveyed the north side of the Big Munger Trail with the USFS and the crews from DIRT and Crosscut Trails who have a grant to reroute and improve the Big Munger Trail.  The new route avoids the fall line climbs up the fence line and ridge and instead will climb through some beautiful Aspen ridges.  This really is one of the most stunning trails on the frontcountry system with views of the whole valley and amazing wildflowers.  If you get a chance go check it out this weekend!

Check out the trail updates for Teton Valley from MBT here: