Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center upgrades services
Operations supported by Recreational Trail Program Grants
by Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center
November 6, 2014
JACKSON, WYOMING – The Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Center was able to perform essential upgrades this year to the local avalanche hazard forecast program by receiving three Recreational Trail Program (RTP) grants. These grants will ensure the sustainability effort of the avalanche center hazard forecast for the next 10 to 15 years.
The 2014 grant enabled the center to replace aging electronics in its network of 18 remote automated weather stations. These stations provide continuous data that are a crucial component of the daily avalanche hazard forecast issued by the center. The aging components were purchased 13 to 17 years ago and had a projected lifespan of 10 years. The project to install the new components has been underway for the past two months and is nearly complete.
The other two RTP grants funded additional maintenance tasks on the weather station network, the purchase of two new snowmobiles, the purchase of web cams that will be deployed in remote locations, the statewide expansion of avalanche hazard education efforts, the purchase of safety gear for the centers avalanche specialists and field reconnaissance missions to monitor conditions in the backcountry during the upcoming seasons.
It is important to acknowledge that these upgrades would not have been possible without the required matching funds provided by the centers partners and donations made by local businesses and the community to the non-profit Friends of the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center.
Recreational Trail Program grants are funded by the Federal Highway Administration and are derived from taxes collected from off-road fuel sales in Wyoming. These grants were obtained by the Jackson Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest in partnership with the Wyoming Trails Program. Partners who provided matching funds include the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the Friends of the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center, the International Snowmobile Manufactures Association and the Jackson Hole Snow Devils.