- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - Grand Teton National Park officials insist that no decisions have been made about what to do with the Moose-Wilson road, as contended by Wyoming’s congressional delegation.

Park Superintendent David Vela says planners will release several options for public comment and review in mid-August, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reported Wednesday (https://bit.ly/1ut1e7I ). Vela made the statement in an Aug. 5 letter to U.S. Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso and U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis.

Vela was responding to a letter by the delegation asking the National Park Service to account for a planned environmental analysis of the 8-mile-long road.

They said there was no reason to pay for the analysis when, they claimed, the park service had already decided to turn the two-way road into a one-way route between Teton Village and Moose. They said the service was wasting $2 million on the environmental analysis.

“It is unfortunate that misunderstandings and/or inaccurate information can sometimes confuse the public about the planning process,” Vela wrote in response.

“I have no idea as to the origin of the information you received regarding statements supposedly made by park officials that, ‘it is a foregone conclusion the Moose-Wilson Road will close directionally if not entirely,’” the superintendent wrote.

The News & Guide obtained a copy of Vela’s letter from Enzi and Barrasso’s offices.

Four options will be released on Friday, said park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs. One option calls for no action, she said.

Park officials are concerned about reducing traffic wear and tear on the road. Part of the road is gravel, yet traffic has increased over the years.

If the road becomes one-way, anybody making the short drive from Teton Village into the park would face a long drive to get back.

Lummis, Enzi and Barrasso stated that they believed the issue had been addressed in a 2007 study.

Barrasso and Lummis also said they thought the terms of Grand Teton park’s 1950 enabling legislation forbid restricting access to any road. But Skaggs has insisted that the park can manage “roads and other areas according to the needs of park operations and public safety.”

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Information from: Jackson Hole (Wyo.) News And Guide, https://www.jhnewsandguide.com

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