Yellowstone Teton Clean Energy Coalition (YTCEC), in partnership with Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, secured a grant in the amount of $547,645 to support a variety of projects to advance cleaner and more efficient transportation in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA).
As the regional designee of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Clean Cities Program, YTCEC worked with both national parks to identify and sponsor appropriate projects for funding under a new Clean Cities National Parks Initiative. The initiative is designed to reduce petroleum use and improve air quality, as well as educate the general public about alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles.
“This innovative program supports both national parks in their ongoing efforts to create sustainable and energy efficient operations. It also offers a unique opportunity to educate park visitors about energy conservation measures,” said YTCEC’s Executive Director, Phil Cameron. “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.”
This grant included the purchase of:
- 7 Ford Escape Hybrid-Electric Vehicles
- 1 Low Speed Electric Vehicle
- 1 Medium Duty Hybrid Electric Transit Bus
- 7 On-board Idle Reduction units will be procured and installed in NPS Law Enforcement Vehicles and grant funds will be used to subscribe each vehicle to a three year data plan to track and demonstrate the effectiveness of the idle-reduction technologies. (Units will be purchased in 2013)
Grand Teton NP purchased five Ford Escape hybrid vehicles to replace older, less efficient vehicles used by the park’s Wildlife Brigade. The Wildlife Brigade is a corps of paid and volunteer staff whose primary duties are to respond to wildlife jams and enforce food storage at campgrounds, picnic sites and other developed areas.
Yellowstone NP purchased two Ford Escape hybrids that are used by supervisors in the west district office and maintenance departments.
These hybrid vehicles see thousands of hours of operation and in 2012 saved ~3,000 gallons of petroleum, $11,500 in fuel costs and more than 74,000 lbs CO2.
Other funds are supporting idle reduction technologies and the launch of an educational program to reduce unnecessary idling throughout the various federal agencies in the GYA. This education program will also target the millions of annual visitors to each park.
“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. This grant demonstrates the commitment both parks have in advancing sound environmental stewardship practices and reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the ecosystem,” stated Jim Evanoff, Yellowstone NP Environmental Protection Specialist (ret’d) and YTCEC Board Member.