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Grand Teton National Park Report

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Jackson Hole, the Teton Range and the Yellowstone Country are perhaps unmatched in alpine beauty. Millions of Americans yearly draw inspiration and renewal through visiting this diverse region of nature's splendors unsurpassed. Yet the region was among the last to be revealed to the American people. Certainly not because the region is uninteresting. On the contrary, it represents one of the most geologically intriguing and scenically compelling lands within America. No, the region was unknown for more practical reasons. It was hundreds of miles distant from the primary immigrant routes across the nation. No significant mineral strikes provided "instant urbanization." Not even pioneer farmers or cattlemen found the region attractive. Altitude, deep snows, shallow soil, and a short growing combined to discourage farmers. Ranchers did better but struggled during the long winters. Even the timber was classed inferior. Lodgepole Pine trees of marginal commercial worth carpeted the hills. Lumbermen found opportunity further west, amongst the mist and fog-shrouded coastal ranges of the Pacific Slope. In short, aside from scenery and some rather bizarre geothermal activity, there was little attraction to the Greater Yellowstone area, and no reason for settlement.