Open Space Adventure: Happy Place

For kids and the young at heart: Animals use many different senses to guide them during migration from one “happy place” to the next. All together, these sensory cues create a mental map of landmarks like mountains, forests, rivers, or coastlines that tell an animal where to go. The Jackson Hole Land Trust helps protect a lot of happy places for animals & people. Get outside using your nature journal and explore your happy place. Our friends at the Land Trust Alliance have invited us to use the hashtag #MyHappyPlace to celebrate and share these special places. We hope you’ll do the same!

Photo: Orijin Media

Open Space Adventure: Earth Day

Happy Earth Day! 🌎💕
Here at the Jackson Hole Land Trust, we are so grateful for the incredible ecosystem surrounding us here in Northwest Wyoming that sustains our well-being and wonder, especially in these challenging times. To the young and young at heart, celebrate Earth Day by checking off all the activities in the Nature Journal we shared last week.

JHLT Protects 68.5 Acres of Wildlife Habitat along the Wind River

The Wind River Program of the Jackson Hole Land Trust (JHLT) announced today that 68.5 acres in Fremont County along the Wind River have been protected through the Wind River Rookery conservation easement, now held by the JHLT’s Wind River Program.

Protected in perpetuity on April 23, the Wind River Rookery contains important open space that supports working lands, riparian, and big game habitat. Its permanent conservation contributes to the long-term ecological viability and connectivity of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

“We are pleased to participate in the ongoing conservation protection of important wildlife habitat along the Wind River,” said the anonymous landowners, who generously donated a portion of the easement’s value. “The JHLT’s plan for protecting important land complements the other conservation easements like pieces of a larger puzzle for wildlife moving through the Wind River Valley.”

The Wind River Rookery contains 4,300 feet of both riparian and aquatic habitat along the Wind River, a Class II trout fishery of statewide importance. The conservation of this property directly benefits native wildlife in this section of the Wind River corridor, as well as the species in the arid region through which the river flows.

The property’s working agricultural lands provide diverse wildlife habitat — irrigated, hay-producing meadows, wet meadows with associated shrub-scrub wetlands, cottonwood forest, and tall-shrub communities where water seeps from sloped sagebrush-grasslands. These varied habitats benefit several of Wyoming’s Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including bald eagles and great blue herons.

Wind River Rookery’s location also promotes wildlife resilience by expanding connectivity with neighboring protected lands that stretch from the Wind River Mountains to the Wind River riparian corridor. This connectivity is of particular importance for a core population of Wyoming’s bighorn sheep, which live in the nearby Whiskey Basin, Dubois Badlands, and Spence & Moriarity wildlife habitat management areas. Wind River Rookery supports the migration of large game and contains Winter Crucial Range for pronghorn and mule deer, and year-round habitat for elk, moose, and pronghorn. The easement also permanently protects nesting, feeding, and shelter habitat for waterfowl and other birds, as well as for small mammals.

“This is a significant conservation gain for the Wind River Valley and Northwest Wyoming,” said Liz Long, JHLT director of conservation and interim co-director. “The property has been incredibly well stewarded by the current landowner. Its working lands, riparian and wildlife habitat, and adjacency to other conserved properties established the property as a priority conservation project for the JHLT. We are thrilled that the ecological and cultural values created by this dynamic open space are now protected forever and we are grateful to our funding and landowner partners who each played a critical role in completing the project.”

The Wind River Rookery conservation easement was accomplished with funding from Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. In addition to this public funding, the landowners donated a portion of the easement’s value.

Position Specification for JHLT’s Next President

The Jackson Hole Land Trust Board of Directors and contracted search consultant, Russell Reynolds Associates, are pleased to share the Position Specification for the next president of the Jackson Hole Land Trust. Qualified candidates are invited to apply by contacting JHLT@russellreynolds.com.

Following Laurie Andrew’s announcement that she would be stepping down as president in February 2020, the board of the JHLT established a search committee led by Second Vice Chair of the Board Lori Fields. The search committee has identified the current leadership team—Director of Conservation Liz Long, Chief Financial Officer Derek Schaefer, and Director of Advancement & Engagement Jenny Wolfrom Holladay—to serve as interim co-directors of the organization. The committee selected Jamie Hechinger and her team at Russell Reynolds Associates to assist with the search, working with the JHLT board and staff to select the best candidate possible for the position.

The position specification is the result of a thorough needs assessment conducted by Russell Reynolds Associates with thoughtful input from all members of JHLT staff, board members, and many members of the larger JHLT community, including landowners, donors, and people who JHLT partners with on an ongoing basis.

“We are confident that the position specification we have put forward will be a blueprint for the JHLT’s next president and will attract a deep pool of quality candidates,” said Lori Fields. “We look forward to this next phase of our search, and to ultimately introducing our next leader in the coming months.”

The search committee is committed to advancing the search process, but will continue to monitor the impacts of the current COVID-19 pandemic and prioritize the health and safety of all involved.

Open Space Adventure: Journey of Food

Welcome back to Open Space Adventures! Join us as we continue to explore working lands and all that they bring to our community in Northwest Wyoming. Last week we shared some resources on growing your own garden. This week we are exploring how foods grown on farms beyond your backdoor make it to your local market. Download our printable pages in English or Spanish and bring them to life with color and creativity to learn about the journey of food.

Open Space Adventure: Start a Garden

Looking for a fun at-home activity? Start your vegetable garden with this helpful video from another local nonprofit, Full Circle Education, at http://www.tetonfullcircle.org/. Hot tip: Kids are great gardeners!

Don’t have any seeds? Watch this video from the Land Trust for Tennessee about how to harvest and plant seeds from food you might already have around the house.

Photo: Brent Tyc

Open Space Adventure: Nature Journal

Welcome back to Open Space Adventures! For the next two weeks, we are going to be learning all about working lands like farms and ranches. This week we have two new activities for kids. First, follow along with this video to create a nature journal. Then, have your little ones grab their journals and binoculars from last week to head outside and explore. Go for a walk on the Jackson Hole Community Pathway System’s Grand Loop or out towards Teton Pass and you’ll pass numerous JHLT-conserved working lands* and experience the habitat that sustains the incredible wildlife of Northwest Wyoming. Kids can use the first observation page of the nature journal to draw and write about what they observe. Download the Nature Journal Template in English or Spanish.

*Never trespass on JHLT-protected working lands—they are private properties belonging to their respective landowners.

Open Space Adventure: DIY Binoculars

For the kids (or truly young at heart), follow along with our video and make a set of binoculars out of items found around the house. Then, encourage your kids to observe the incredible nature all around. Safely head out to one of our public access community conservation properties while respecting social distancing. Walk the perimeter loop at R Park to experience several different habitats or check out the Wilson Wetlands and you may be lucky enough to see a Yellow warbler.

Working Lands: Nature Journal Templates + Virtual Events

The Jackson Hole Land Trust is excited to continue rolling out new ways to virtually connect you, our community, to open spaces and conservation. Every other week, we’ll unveil a new theme with opportunities to connect virtually and resources to help kids get to know the natural world.

April Part II (4/13-4/26): Working Lands of Northwest Wyoming

Open Space Adventure: Journey of Food Coloring Book

This week we are exploring how foods grown on farms beyond your backdoor make it to your local market. Download our printable pages in English or Spanish and bring them to life with color and creativity to learn about the journey of food.

Open Space Adventure: Nature Journal

Welcome back to Open Space Adventures! For the next two weeks, we are going to be learning all about working lands like farms and ranches. This week we have two new activities for kids. First, follow along with this video to create a nature journal. Then, have your little ones grab their journals and binoculars from last week to head outside and explore. Go for a walk on the Jackson Hole Community Pathway System’s Grand Loop or out towards Teton Pass and you’ll pass numerous JHLT-conserved working lands* and experience the habitat that sustains the incredible wildlife of Northwest Wyoming. Kids can use the first observation page of the nature journal to draw and write about what they observe. Download the Nature Journal Template in English or Spanish.

*Never trespass on JHLT-protected working lands—they are private properties belonging to their respective landowners.

Open Space Adventure: Start a Garden

Looking for a fun at-home activity? Start your vegetable garden with this helpful video from another local nonprofit, Full Circle Education, at http://www.tetonfullcircle.org/. Hot tip: Kids are great gardeners!

Don’t have any seeds? Watch this video from the Land Trust for Tennessee about how to harvest and plant seeds from food you might already have around the house.

Past Event: 4/16 Virtual Happy Hour
Didn’t make it? Catch the recording here: https://vimeo.com/412910372

JHLT-protected working lands not only preserve wildlife habitat connectivity, but they support our local food system. Join us for another virtual happy hour on Thursday at 4 pm MST with panelists Kate Mead of Mead Ranch, Sonja Rife of Killpecker Creek Cattle Company, Huidekoper Ranch Head Farmer Brent Tyc, and JHLT Stewardship Manager Derek Ellis. Tune in to hear how they’re preparing their working lands for summertime, explore how working lands and wildlife coexist, and have a dialogue about the roles of conservation and ranching in Northwest Wyoming.

Past Event: 4/23 Virtual Trivia: Working Lands
Do you know your local producers? Thank you to those of you who joined us last week at our second virtual happy hour featuring the working lands and ranchers of Northwest Wyoming! This week, put your farming and ranching IQ to the test with trivia. Perfect for both families and quiz-loving adults alike, we invite you to join us this Thursday, April 23 at 4 pm. Grab your favorite beverage and gear up for an exciting hour of brain-teasing questions. Winners will receive a special JHLT prize as well as the opportunity to compete in our trivia championship to come.

Grab your smartphone or computer and connect via the zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/9809695673 or visit zoom.us and click Join A Meeting and enter the meeting code 9809695673.

Photo: Arnie Brokling

Birds of NW Wyoming: Activities for Kids, Trivia + More

The Jackson Hole Land Trust is excited to continue rolling out new ways to virtually connect you, our community, to open spaces and conservation. Every other week, we’ll unveil a new theme with opportunities to connect virtually and resources to help kids get to know the natural world.

April Part I (3/30-4/12): Birds of Northwest Wyoming

4/9 Trivia
Put your regional bird IQ to the test with trivia. Perfect for both families and quiz-loving adults alike, we invite you to join us Thursday, April 9 at 4 pm. Grab your favorite beverage and gear up for an exciting hour of brain-turning questions. Winners will receive a special JHLT prize as well as the opportunity to compete in our trivia championship to come.

Grab your smartphone or computer and connect via the zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/9809695673 or visit zoom.us and click Join A Meeting and enter the meeting code 9809695673.

Open Space Adventure: DIY Binoculars

For the kids (or truly young at heart), follow along with our video and make a set of binoculars out of items found around the house. Then, encourage your kids to observe the incredible nature all around. Safely head out to one of our public access community conservation properties while respecting social distancing. Walk the perimeter loop at R Park to experience several different habitats or check out the Wilson Wetlands and you may be lucky enough to see a Yellow warbler.

Past Event: 4/2 Virtual Happy Hour
Didn’t make it? Catch the recording here: https://vimeo.com/405172386

Join JHLT for a virtual happy hour with our staff biologist, Erica Hansen. Follow along as she explores the ways birding can connect you with the outside world from your own backyard. She’ll delve into which birds are making their way back to Northwest Wyoming and how JHLT-protected properties support their migration.

Bird: Swainson’s hawk
Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS