Human History of the Grand Teton

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Human history of the Grand Teton region dates back at least 11,000 years, when the first nomadic hunter-gatherer Paleo-Indians would migrate into the region during warmer months in pursuit of food and supplies. In the early 19th-century, the first Caucasian explorers encountered the eastern Shoshone natives. Between 1810 and 1840, the region attracted fur trading companies that vied for control of the lucrative beaver fur trade. U.S. Government expeditions to the region commenced in the mid 19th-century as an offshoot of exploration in Yellowstone, and the first permanent white settlers in Jackson Hole arrived in the 1880s. Efforts to preserve the region as a national park commenced in the late 19th-century and in 1929, Grand Teton National Park was established, protecting the major peaks of the Teton Range. The valley of Jackson Hole remained in private ownership until the 1930s, when conservationists led by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. began purchasing land in Jackson Hole to be added to the existing national park. Against public opinion and with repeated congressional efforts to repeal the measures, much of Jackson Hole was set aside for protection as Jackson Hole National Monument in 1943. The monument was abolished in 1950 and most of the monument land was added to Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is named for Grand Teton, the tallest mountain in the Teton Range. The naming of the mountains is attributed to early 19th-century French speaking trappers—"les trois tetons" (the three teats) was later anglicized and shortened to Tetons. At 13,775 feet (4,199 m), Grand Teton abruptly rises more than 7,000 feet (2,100 m) above Jackson Hole, almost 850 feet (260 m) higher than Mount Owen, the second highest summit in the range. The park has numerous lakes, including 15-mile (24 km) long Jackson Lake as well as streams of varying length and the upper...
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