Understanding Community Perceptions of Recreation and Wildlife in Jackson, Wyoming

Bryce and Bea are working with the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative to investigate how to balance Jackson’s growing recreation habits while preserving existing ecosystems and protecting wildlife. This research is done in conjunction with a Social Science Working Group at the Bridger-Teton National Forest, as part of their 2021 Forest Plan Revision planning.

Their primary mode of data collection will be placing questionnaires for recreators to complete at popular trailheads in the Jackson area. The questionnaire will ask about recreators’ what motivates them to recreate, their perceptions of how their personal behavior impacts wildlife, current public sentiment on wildlife closures, and opinions about future recreation limits to protect wildlife. With their responses, we can hopefully gain a greater understanding of how to best find the balance between recreation and wildlife conservation, and how to do so with strong community backing. On a broader scale, having a large scale understanding of the motivators and interests of recreators can also inform a broader conversation about what recreation means to different people, how recreation has come to define Jackson, Wyoming, and whether it will in the future. Through this project, Bryce and Bea hope to begin to look at this critical conversation to be had.


Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative


Bea Portela, Research Assistant and Western Resources Fellow |Bea is an undergraduate in Yale College majoring in Environmental Environmental Studies (BS) and Political Science. Before coming to Yale, she participated in research on dam removal, science communication, and the coastal ecology of her native southeast Texas. With Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative and the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative (NRCC), Bea studies perceptions of recreation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, analyzing the norms that inform individual behavior and policy. As a Western Resources Fellow, she continues to work with NRCC and the Bridger-Teton National Forest to study the narratives of different communities within Jackson, WY and how community members engage with the surrounding land. Bea is interested in public lands management and advocacy, limnology, contiguous wilderness protection, and rural development.| Blog

Bryce Powell, Western Resources Fellow and Research Assistant |Bryce is a Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of the Environment specializing in Ecosystems and Land Conservation and Management. Work and play in the mountains and deserts of the American West, including his home state of Colorado, provide a foundation for Bryce’s studies at UHPSI. He is interested in the management of public lands in the American West, particularly through stakeholder engagement, conflict resolution, and the inclusion of historically marginalized perspectives. Bryce holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado Boulder. See what Bryce has been up to. |  Blog