Rascal. That wonderful friend and companion of the young Sterling North. Rascal was quite the charmer, who helped Sterling win (and lose) the pie eating contest… that “ringtailed wonder” who also helped Sterling learn the life lessons about loss, and in the process reconnect with society during his childhood in the time of World War I. Rascal. A best friend, a beloved companion. A common raccoon.
Common raccoons have been anything BUT here in Grand Teton National Park. That is, until about 8 years ago. Our guides had NEVER seen a raccoon along the river back in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or even through the mid-90’s. It has only really been since the turn of the century that we started to see the odd one once or twice over a floating season. This summer, we have been seeing raccoons weekly. There has even been a family of 7 that has been seen multiple times this summer, as recently as last night!
What changes in ecology, climate, or human presence/impact have collided in this recent decade and enabled raccoons to not only gain a foothold here in the Teton Range of Wyoming, but to thrive?
Wildly Scenic is a blog by Barker-Ewing employees and fellow river enthusiasts.
Established in 1963, Barker-Ewing Float Trips has been sharing the beauty and wonder of Grand Teton National Park with visitors from around the world for over 40 years, floating beneath the Grand Tetons on the headwaters of the Snake River.