We Need Your Help to Save Sky Ranch!
By filling out this form, you are showing the National Park Service your support for Sky Ranch. Help us try to save this beautiful historic ranch! See below the form for some reasons why we think the sky ranch should be preserveD.
You can review the National Park Service's document here.
Read more about the history of sky ranch here.
The Alliance for Historic Wyoming believes the National Park Service (NPS) should preserve Sky Ranch because:
Architectural and cultural significance
Sky Ranch has high cultural significance as one of the only architect-designed complexes remaining in the Park. The complex was professionally designed and expertly built in the Rocky Mountain Rustic Style. The craftsmanship and attention to detail in the three main buildings is extraordinary. The buildings are a textbook example of double-saddle-notched log building technique performed by Norwegian log craftsmen. Sky Ranch represents a rich cultural history which was well documented by the family that built and used the property for more than 50 years.
Sky Ranch is also a defined cultural landscape that illustrates a commitment to conservation on privately held land. In fact, the National Park Service website uses Sky Ranch as an example of a cultural landscape.
Practical Use and Federal Responsibilities
There is a shortage of employee and seasonal housing in Grand Teton National Park. The agency’s own policy (Director’s Order #36, National Park Service Housing Management) states, “The use of historic structures for housing is encouraged when NPS managers determine that this use contributes to the preservation of these structures, and after feasible cost-effective alternatives have been considered.” The potential for housing for employees and/or special guests of the Park at Sky Ranch should be revisited.
The HPMP states, “Using existing buildings to meet park needs is more sustainable and beneficial to the environment than constructing new buildings.” Given the need for housing in the Park it makes no sense to demolish a well-built housing complex in good condition.
Sky Ranch is just one mile from the Western Center for Historic Preservation (WCHP) at White Grass Ranch, an NPS program that provides training in historic preservation and log construction. Perhaps Sky Ranch could serve as a learning laboratory for WCHP, as well as provide overflow housing.
As a relative of the original owner stated, “It is hard to understand how the park wants to demolish beautiful and historic log cabins 1 mile away from its new center intended to preserve the art of building and preserving log cabins.”
General comments on the Historic Properties Management Plan (HPMP)
We commend Grand Teton National Park on prioritizing the preservation and use of historic buildings within its boundaries. As noted in the HPMP, the majority of historic sites in Grand Teton National Park are currently being used, either by concessionaires or the Park itself. The NPS-preferred Plan B provides additional funding for preserving several underutilized or unused historic properties. In particular, under Plan B, we support the use of the 4 Lazy F Ranch for employee housing and the plan to preserve/stabilize and interpret the majority of buildings at the Bar BC.
However, we believe that the plan does not adequately address potential uses for underused or unused buildings, especially additional partner and concessionaire possibilities. Given the fact that the Park is satisfied with existing partner/concessionaire use of historic buildings, wouldn't it make sense to explore this further for other historic buildings that NPS is responsible for preserving?
Federal agencies are required to use existing properties to the maximum extent feasible. (“Prior to acquiring, constructing, or leasing a building for purposes of carrying out agency responsibilities, a Federal agency shall use, to the maximum extent feasible, historic property available to the agency, in accordance with Executive Order No. 13006 (40 U.S.C. 3306 note)”). We believe this plan should balance the Park’s facility needs with its inventory of historic buildings. The needs side of this equation should be further developed before any historic properties are demolished.