Press Release
Public Cooperation Needed to Ensure Safety of People and Bears on Togwotee Pass
Responsible human behavior ensures bears and people remain safe
Media Contacts

JACKSON — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Wyoming Highway Patrol, Wyoming Game & Fish Department, and Teton County Sheriff are continuing unified efforts to ensure the safety of both people and grizzly bears on Togwotee Pass. These efforts include intermittent hazing by wildlife agencies and additional patrols from law enforcement agencies. 

People and cars dangerously close to a grizzly bear on Togwotee Pass (U.S. Highway 26/287), creating unsafe conditions for people and wildlife.

 
Wildlife managers are asking for the public’s assistance to help keep both bears and humans safe by observing responsible wildlife viewing behavior and lawfully operating vehicles by not parking on the highway or roadside. Interagency staff have witnessed wildlife viewers and photographers parking unlawfully on the roadway and approaching wildlife in an unsafe manner. The behavior of wild animals remains unpredictable, particularly a grizzly bear with offspring. 
 
Wyoming Highway Patrol and the Teton County Sheriff have committed additional patrols to the Togwotee Pass area and will take enforcement actions when necessary. Stopping, standing, or parking on or along the highway is unlawful. See Wyoming Title 31 (31-5-504(a)/(i)/(J), 31-5-102(a)(vii), 31-1-101(a)(viii), and 31-5-102(a)(xl)).  

The local community, particularly wildlife viewers and photographers, can assist in ensuring a safe future for humans and bears by modeling the appropriate behaviors we ask of all visitors: 

  • Continue to avoid the Togwotee Pass area, ensuring efforts to date remain successful, mitigating the need for further action. 
  • Never approach bears; remain in your vehicle, or at a minimum, stay at least 100 yards (300 feet) away, about the length of a football field. 
  • Do not feed, leave food for, or make food accessible to wildlife. 

  • Obey signs, laws, and regulations – stop only in lawfully designated paved pull-off areas. 

  • Follow the direction of law enforcement and wildlife management officials; never interfere with or approach hazing operations. 
     

Help keep bears wild by following the Bear Aware guidelines from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.

Story Tags

Human-wildlife conflicts
Mammals
Wildlife management

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