Open Space Adventure: Flower Identification

We are in the heat of summer and that means there are plenty of wildflowers out and about! Grab our newest worksheet from the porch R Park, or click here to print one out yourself. Then, grab a Conservation Adventure Map & head out onto the Hoback Trail at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort to record your observation. Don’t forget to bring something to draw with, a mask, and plenty of sunscreen!

Photo: Indian paintbrush by David Stubbs.

Our Statement on State Trust Lands

Jackson Hole Land Trust Public Statement on Teton County State Trust Land Development Proposals

August 21, 2020

The Jackson Hole Land Trust (JHLT) seeks to be a strategic conservation partner in proposals focused on state trust lands in Teton County.  The JHLT is committed to providing expertise, resources, and tools necessary to create community and conservation-based solutions that protect acreage of state trust lands, thereby furthering our mission of protecting and stewarding the treasured landscapes of Northwest Wyoming

When Wyoming became a state in 1890, the federal government granted the state 4.2 million acres to be held in state trust to produce income to support public schools and other public institutions (such as the state hospital). The Wyoming Constitution and statutes require the State Board of Land Commissioners (the top five statewide elected officials) to manage trust assets for two purposes: long-term growth in value and optimum, sustainable revenue production. Currently, revenue from state lands is raised through surface leasing, mineral leasing, land transactions, and royalties and fees.

During the 2020 budget session of the sixty-fifth legislature of the state of Wyoming, Enrolled Act Number 83 was presented by the House of Representatives and passed through the state legislature. According to the bill, this is an “AN ACT relating to state lands; requiring the office of state lands and investments to solicit proposals for the development of identified school and state trust lands in Teton county; requiring the office to review proposals and make recommendations as specified; requiring reports; providing an appropriation; and providing for an effective date.”

The recently passed Enrolled Act No. 83 requires the Office of State Lands and Investments (OSLI) to seek proposals on opportunities for development of state trust lands in Teton County that would maximize the value of any of the parcels to the greatest extent possible. According to the OSLI website, any person may submit a proposal to the OSLI for consideration by the deadline for submission on October 2, 2020. There are 4,655 acres of state trust land dispersed over 18 different parcels, ranging from 20-acre to 640-acre lots, in Teton County. While each of these parcels is potentially vulnerable to a development proposal submitted to the Office of State Lands, some have hurdles – such as access issues and topographical constraints – that could potentially deter development at this time.

The JHLT has been a part of the conversation regarding the future of the state-owned school parcels in Teton County for several decades. In 1998, as part of the State Lands Pilot Project, the JHLT purchased a conservation easement on 19 acres owned by the Office of State Lands & Investment which border Grand Teton National Park in Teton County. The JHLT also contributed to the Grand Teton National Park Foundation’s 2016 campaign to purchase the Antelope Flats parcel and incorporate it into Grand Teton National Park. With the recently passed legislation requiring the Office of State Lands to solicit proposals that will generate income from state trust parcels, the JHLT has been in contact with OSLI to better understand the state’s priorities and processes, is in touch with our elected officials to discuss the potential for local involvement, and has been working to identify potential project partners with whom to work on community and conservation-minded solutions. Many of the Teton County state-owned parcels hold significant conservation and cultural values and some are surrounded by or are close to other JHLT conservation properties.

Knowing that the state’s priority is to maximize revenue and create a consistent income stream from these parcels where possible, the goal of the JHLT is to be a conservation partner in project proposals submitted to and accepted by the OSLI on parcels that hold agricultural, wildlife, and community open space values. As in former proposals submitted to the state in which the JHLT was a partner, we are committed to providing expertise, resources, and tools to create community and conservation-based solutions that protect acreage of state trust lands that fall in line with our mission of protecting and stewarding the treasured landscapes of Northwest Wyoming.

If you would like more information about how to join in the effort to create or support a conservation-based proposal for state trust land parcels, please reach out to [email protected] or [email protected].

For a map of the state trust parcels in Teton County and more information on the OSLI proposal process, visit: https://lands.wyo.gov/teton-proposals.

Photo by David Stubbs of Snake River Ranch, a JHLT-protected property adjacent to the state trust lands parcel on highway 390.

Save the Block

Celebrating the One Year Anniversary of Saving the Block

This week we are celebrating the one year anniversary of successfully protecting the greenspace on the Block forever through a conservation easement. It was a fast and furious campaign to raise more than $7 million to keep the community-cherished, historic downtown public space safe from the development of a 90,000-square-foot hotel. The Jackson Hole Land Trust had just over four months to generate enough community support and funding to cover the conservation component of the land deal. The deal was made possible by an anonymous local family who originally placed the entire block under contract to provide project partners the opportunity to develop a community-oriented plan that ensured the protection of the greenspace, preserved the historic buildings, and kept local businesses in their homes.

With COVID-19 restrictions limiting our ability to gather to celebrate the one year anniversary of this inspiring campaign, we are revisiting the exciting timeline of the Save the Block campaign and feeling grateful for each and every one of you who made a contribution to this unified community effort. Join us in recognizing and celebrating the incredible milestones that collectively resulted in Saving the Block.

Save the Block Campaign Timeline

This effort was made possible through the support of more than 2,500 individuals and businesses who made 5,700 gifts to the campaign to Save the Block. We are excited to move forward with the plans to create an even better and bigger community greenspace opening Summer 2021.

As we celebrate this success together, we hope you will consider a gift to the Jackson Hole Land Trust’s Annual Fund which will support the ongoing maintenance and programming for the Block and other community conservation properties like Rendezvous “R” Park.

WyoView: Wild. Open. Connected.

WyoView is back with the theme of WILD.OPEN.CONNECTED. in honor of JHLT‘s 40th anniversary! This year, WyoView works are for sale via a silent auction. Click here to view the entire gallery and to place your bid. Read on for featured artist Kay Stratman’s perspective and process.

This year I have the privilege to once again participate in the Land Trust of Jackson Hole’s yearly project titled WyoView. My assigned conservation easement property was the Walton Ranch.  While a bit of the ranch can be seen while driving past on Highway 22, the property extends northwards in a breathtaking view.  While I was concerned that I would interfere with the current haying operation, which is a huge undertaking, Bill, the ranch manager, and his wife Carol, couldn’t have been more welcoming.  Though Bill said I could drive around on the roads through the property, I decided to walk, which would bring me closer to the land.  I observed views that I would have missed driving by.
It was heartachingly beautiful and I treasure the experience.  Ravens and hawks above, the smell of fresh mown hay, dazzling clouds, the Tetons gracing every turn, with thick cottonwood forest bordering the western edge by the Snake River. I realized how fortunate the valley is to have an easement on this property.
The most difficult part was deciding which view to focus on for only three paintings.  I mulled over this year’s WyoView mission of Wild, Open, Connected.  These individual characteristics were evident in all directions.  (I may have to continue painting beyond these three pieces.)
I hope you enjoy the paintings, hopefully living my experience, and will consider purchasing them to further the Jackson Hole Land Trust’s legacy of protecting open spaces, wildlife habitat, working lands, and community spaces across Northwest Wyoming that inspire current and future generations.
Wild Open Spaces
Wild Wings
Stewardship – The Human Connection