Ranching and conservation join forces in an iconic valley
As one of the most iconic and recognized viewsheds in Jackson, land in Spring Gulch has been at the top of the Land Trust’s conservation priority list since 2001, when we first protected acreage on the Hansen Ranch at the southern end of Spring Gulch closest to Highway 22 through the Campaign for Our Valley.
The outstanding conservation valleys of Spring Gulch include the incredible scenic views of the pastoral valley and Teton peaks from Highway 22 and Spring Gulch Road, the ranching heritage and history of the land, and the important wildlife habitat and migration corridors it provides for elk, mule deer, and moose.
In addition to the 211-acre Hansen Ranch parcels, other Jackson Hole Land Trust conservation easements in and around Spring Gulch include 247 acres at the Jackson Land & Cattle Equestrian Center, the 507-acre Bar BC Meadow easement, and 447 acres of easements surrounding the Spring Creek Ranch and Amangani developments.
A renewed focus on Spring Gulch has been bolstered by a new project with Mead Ranch landowners Brad Mead, Muffy Mead-Ferro, Governor Matt Mead, and Pete Hansen on lands that have been ranched by their families for four generations. The new Spring Gulch Meadows conservation easements would cover five parcels to the north and west of the ranch’s headquarters and the turnoff to Spring Creek Ranch Road.
The Spring Gulch Meadows project is being funded through the contributions of donors to the Jackson Hole Land Trust’s Forever Our Valley capital campaign and a loan from the Bank of Jackson Hole. Joining the 41-acre Rendezvous Park and 181 acres on East Gros Ventre Butte, Spring Gulch Meadows is the third conservation project to be funded by the Land Trust’s Forever Our Valley capital campaign. The purpose of the $35 million campaign, which began in its quiet phase in 2012, is to generate funding that provides the necessary financial resources to secure conservation easements on priority projects like Spring Gulch.
Project update, May 2015: The Spring Gulch Meadows project is complete!
“The Jackson Hole Land Trust has a long and successful history of permanently protecting valley property. And they do it responsibly, by creating voluntary partnerships with local landowners. Our family has worked with the Land Trust before, and we know they share our commitment to open space, whether it’s used by cattle or wildlife or both. We’re pleased to think that future residents and visitors can look across the meadows in Spring Gulch and see essentially the same views Peter Christofferson Hansen did when he settled there almost a century ago. The volunteers and donors at the Land Trust have made that possible,” –Brad Mead, fourth-generation rancher and attorney.
The pastoral valley of Spring Gulch, with the 211-acre Hansen Ranch easement in the foreground and the new, 380-acre Spring Gulch Meadows easements in the middle. Photo: Drew Rush.
Google image to accompany the above photo, showing the location of the new and existing JHLT conservation easements in Spring Gulch.