In keeping with the National Park Service’s conservation mission, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, in partnership with Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition (YTCEC), secured a grant in the amount of $547,645 to support clean transportation projects in the Greater Yellowstone Area.
The Greater Yellowstone Area currently participates in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program, which deploys alternative-transportation initiatives. The YTCEC, whose ongoing mission is to promote clean energy efforts and improve air quality, serves as the DOE’s advocate for implementing the Clean Cities Program for the area. Currently, it is the region’s sole participant in the program.
“We appreciate the chance to promote Clean Cities programs and generate broader use of alternative fuels and vehicles while building partnerships such as those with Grand Teton and Yellowstone. After all, national parks are a perfect place for these technologies and strategies to gain national and international exposure,” said YTCEC Executive Director Phil Cameron.
The grant focuses on reducing petroleum consumption, improving air quality and providing education to the public about alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles. Grand Teton National Park received five Ford Escape Hybrids, worth a total of $146,175, which will be used by their Wildlife Brigade and reduce their fuel usage by 30 percent.
Yellowstone National Park obtained two hybrid transit buses and an electric utility vehicle with a solar charging station costing $280,000. The remaining $121,470 will be used to purchase two additional hybrid vehicles and outreach for advance clean vehicle technologies and an education program to reduce unnecessary idling throughout the various federal agencies in the Yellowstone area.
“The Greater Yellowstone Region has been promoting clean fuels and low emission vehicles for the past decade, and the YTCEC and DOE have played a pivotal role in the success of these programs,” noted Jim Evanoff, Yellowstone’s environmental protection specialist. “This grant demonstrates the commitment both parks have in advancing sound environmental stewardship practices and reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the ecosystem.”
Yellowstone Teton Clean Energy Coalition will provide ongoing support throughout the implementation of the projects and the vehicles’ deployment. Their partnership with the Clean Cities Program helps contribute to the nearly three billion gallons of petroleum that have been saved since the program’s creation in 1993.
“This innovative program supports both national parks in their ongoing efforts to create sustainable and energy efficient operations,” Cameron added. “It also offers a unique opportunity to educate park visitors about energy conservation measures.”