Park Super quits

By on October 25, 2013

Mary-Gibson-Scott-175x175JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Mary Gibson Scott announced her retirement today from the National Park Service. As superintendent of Grand Teton NP since 2004, Scott has guided the park through several major projects and transitions.

During her tenure at Grand Teton, Scott oversaw construction of the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center completed in 2007; design and construction of over 14 miles of multi-use pathways, (2008-present); and construction of 32 residential units at Moose and Beaver Creek  (2011-2012).

Scott also initiated and facilitated the first-ever comprehensive environmental impact statement for the Jackson Hole Airport, the only commercial airport in a national park – a [process which resulted in a lease extension granted to the airport through the year 2053.

Scott has also received criticism from locals opposed to the elk reduction hunt like Tom Mangelsen and Tim Mayo. Mayo, in particular, has repeatedly called for Scott to step down. He would not comment on news that Scott did just that today.

Scott’s 33-year career with the Park Service included stops at Santa Fe and Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico; Golden Gate, Santa Monica Mountains and Channel Islands in California; Gateway in New York; and Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. In 2010, Scott served as acting regional director for the NPS Intermountain Region Office in Denver, Colorado for four months while on leave from GTNP.

Park spokesperson Jackie Skaggs said an acting superintendent will be named soon. That person may come from within GTNP or be assigned from anywhere in the country by Regional headquarters. An application and interview process will begin immediately for Scott’s permanent replacement. Superintendent Scott’s last day in the office will be November 8, 2013.


About Jake Nichols

Jake is a work in progress.


  1. that is indeed whack

    October 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Only true pathway advo cats really know how much her obstructionist tactics failed to keep paths from being constructed in our national park.

  2. Best Wishes.

    October 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    She did her job and, as expected, got some abuse from critics. You can’t please everyone. She’s not a politician but the job requires the skills of one.

    A fresh perspective will be nice but not necessarily better.

    As for the pathway – they are a waste of money and in the wrong location. Too bad she didn’t get to kill it.

  3. anonyholic II

    October 25, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Jake, why drag down Scott by dignifying Mayo with inclusion in your piece….

  4. 22

    October 26, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Pathways a waste of money? Tell that to the throngs of people who are on it mid summer….hopefully the new super will open up some dirt to bike on when the pathway gets overrun.

  5. China paid for it, not you.

    October 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Just because someone likes a pathway doesn’t mean it’s a good investment. It doesn’t transport people to work. Other locations would have been more scenic, enjoyable, and practical. It’s right next to a busy highway – hardly a quiet ride in the country. It’s closed most of the year. It doesn’t contribute to the economy in any substantial way. It doesn’t cut carbon emissions – if it brings in more tourists, it increases our carbon footprint. WYDOT could have just increased the highway shoulder for a lot less money – that would have allowed year-round use assuming it gets plowed. The refuge has no control over a federal highway.

    I’d like quality affordable apartments to be built in Jackson. That would be a better use of federal money.

    What did the pathway cost? “Throngs” of people who are on it mid summer should pay to use it. Make it a toll road if it’s in such great demand.

  6. can dish out the heat

    October 26, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    A woman should not wear a suit and tie. Add a funny hat that is never seen in the real world and the look is almost uncomfortable, perhaps silly. MGS can finally dress in some attractive clothes and relax while collecting the fat federal pension.

  7. 22

    October 27, 2013 at 8:50 am

    It does take people to work….it does bring in lots of money….it does promote a healthy active lifestyle….unlike a road, it does promote healthy wildlife and social interaction…unlike a road, it does cost very little to make and operate…the pathway in the park IS a toll pathway and will pay for itself….

  8. Don't buy it

    October 27, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Other investments would have been a better use of Federal money. Ignoring the cost, a pathway system in a major metropolitan area would have been a better investment.

    There’s no proof that the pathway has increased the number of visitors to GTNP-Jackson Hole or that they are spending more money because of the pathway. Money spent on pathway activities by visitors might reduce the amount spent on other activities.

    And there’s no proof that an increased visitor count is a good thing in the long run for a healthy ecosystem or economy. You need more slavish labor to cater to it and it harms the very ecosystem you’re trying to protect. Our carbon footprint is greatly increased by every visitor especially those that fly in.

    If the economic return was greater than the cost than clearly the County & the business community could have picked up the tab. They didn’t. They waited for the handout from a broke federal govt.

    If the economic return to Federal taxpayers was so great then we could pay off the national debt just by building more pathways. One can see that the idea doesn’t hold water. There’s a limit to the value of all investments.

    The entrance fee isn’t a toll for the bike path. It’s a fee to get into the park and pay for all park services. And of course, much of the pathway is outside the entrance-fee area. Additionally, the price of admission didn’t go up with the addition of the pathway. Costs continue to rise for all services so pathway users aren’t paying for the new pathway or its maintenance. Their activities are subsidized in our National Parks.

    You can have healthy wildlife & social interactions without spending millions of dollars – I do it everyday.

    You can promote a healthy active lifestyle without spending more money. We already have thousand of miles of trails in Teton County and plenty of bike riding pathways. You can ride the highway alongside the pathway all year long.

    There might be a few people taking the pathway to work. They could have used the roadway. They aren’t using the pathway during the winter months and they probably aren’t using it during bad weather.

  9. Patsy

    October 27, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Private companies do build and operate toll roads in America. The same should be done for every pathway & dirt trail in Teton County. Look at the biking trails at the JHMR. People pay to use them.

  10. Told ya so.....

    October 28, 2013 at 6:03 am

    How apropos.

    Only days later and here comes more handout news from today’s N&G:

    If it’s so valuable to Teton County residents, then pay for it yourself.

  11. Dirty Sanchez

    October 28, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Roadways in teton county should be tolled, and the road over teton pass tolled at $12 both ways. Cars need to pay their fair share.

  12. 22

    October 28, 2013 at 10:27 am

    There is proof that the pathway has increased the amount of visitors to Teton Park and Jackson….I have met several folks who came up for that exact purpose of riding that path…If those people rent a bike then there is proof that the average person who uses the path, is indeed spending more money, then if they were walking….I don’t like to hike, so the pathway has greatly increased my visitorship, and the concessioneers in the park have benefited financially from my presence….Also, I can access the in park path through the elk refuge path, eliminating the need to drive, thus reducing the carbon footprint, and fewer auto assaults on wildlife…You sound like a very negative person (that you JN?) a bike ride in the park is something that would help clear the gunk out of your brain….Your mind is obsessed with the pathway, at least let it do you some good.

  13. 22

    October 28, 2013 at 10:32 am

    sure Patsy I agree, first lets get the private companies to own and operate all the auto based roads, sound fair?

  14. 22

    October 28, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Teton county would pay for know through taxes…a connector to Idaho would be huge….motorists on teton pass are total d`bags

  15. What are you thinking?

    October 28, 2013 at 11:33 am

    “Teton county would pay for know through taxes”


    Wyoming gets far more in Federal Revenue than it pays in. additionally, The Feds are broke. Wyoming isn’t. Use State money – you know, the welfare doled out by the extractive industry so you don’t have to pay income taxes.

  16. Yelp

    October 28, 2013 at 11:45 am

    The only common sense approach if you include tolls on bikes using a pathway.

    The Future:,0,6090226.story

  17. Just say no

    October 28, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    I love how everyone thinks Americans have all this extra money at the Federal level to pay for bike paths – and whatever – in every community.

    A pathway over Teton Pass is NOT a necessity. It’s a luxury that we don’t need. We just want it. It has no great value. It doesn’t provide food, water, or shelter to any human.

    The Federal Govt should not be paying for this. I will certainly be contacting Federal agencies and asking them to not fund the extravagant activities of the people of Jackson Hole.

  18. Just say no

    October 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Good. Then there is proof that YOU can pay for the pathway. You use. You pay for it.

  19. Just say no

    October 28, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Hearsay is not proof.

  20. Path to riches

    October 28, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    “The concessionaires in the park have benefited financially from my presence”

    All the more reason to have them, and you, pay for the pathway instead of some schmuck in Alaska.

    Get off the welfare. And get the concessionaires off it too.

    I bet someone benefited form the Bridge to Nowhere.

  21. Bettter things to spend money on

    October 28, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    What the Feds really need to do is fund bike paths in one of the richest communities in the nation (in one of the richest states) while we cut funding to science & education, while we defer maintenance on our infrastructure, and while we weaken our national safety net.

    Only in Jackson, where we subsidize airfares for trust-funders, would someone say with a straight face that you’re a ‘very negative person’ for suggesting that this community is living too high on the hog while the more deserving go without. This is indeed the land of the entitled spoiled class.

  22. JHWeeklyReadersSuck

    November 11, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Why do just about all of the above of you suck so damn much? The only semi-intelligent commenter was 22, but even still the intellectual level of readers of JH Weekly is so low. Embarrassed to even be on this site at this point.

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