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 [email protected]

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.

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 https://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

April 2020 Update: The Search for JHLT’s Next President

The Jackson Hole Land Trust is embarking upon a search for the organization’s next president, and the JHLT board has partnered with the executive search firm Russell Reynolds on this important search. In this beginning phase of the search process, Russell Reynolds is spending time with various Jackson Hole Land Trust staff, board members, partners, and other stakeholders to understand the context for leadership and formulate a position description for the role. If you would like to provide your insights and ideas to the search committee, we invite you to participate in our online survey.

If you would like to express interest in the role or nominate a potential candidate, please reach out directly to [email protected]. We benefit from the multitude and diversity of perspectives our community can offer about the JHLT’s next chapter.

Meanwhile, as the search process moves forward, the JHLT continues to be led by Interim Co-Directors Liz Long, Derek Schaefer, and Jenny Wolfrom.

Photo: Apres Visuals

Next for The Block: Partnership with Hershberger Design Landscape Architects

It is with great excitement that the Jackson Hole Land Trust announces today a partnership with the local landscape architecture firm Hershberger Design, marking another step by the JHLT toward creating and enhancing a community-friendly greenspace on the historic Genevieve Block. JHLT chose Hershberger Design to lead the project based on the firm’s extensive experience in designing beautiful and engaging public spaces that express the spirit of the place, and their ability to creatively address the unique dynamics presented by the conservation easement-protected property.

The greenspace on The Block was protected in August 2019 following a four-month long fundraising campaign led by the JHLT during which over 2,600 individuals donated more than $7 million to purchase the conservation easement and underlying fee on the greenspace. Additional contributions to the Save the Block campaign were designated for funding the design and creation of a space where the community can safely enjoy a quiet piece of nature in the heart of bustling downtown Jackson. Once completed, the 1.2 acres of community greenspace will offer low impact pedestrian connections, plenty of shade under the community-cherished cottonwood trees, open common areas to gather and socialize, and functional access to the local businesses that inhabit the preserved historic buildings on the block.

“We are honored to be collaborating with the Jackson Hole Land Trust on The Block landscape. As a local firm, we followed and supported the campaign to save this block through its entirety and are committed to designing a space that is inspired by the community’s strong vision and passion for this important piece of our town,” said Bonny Hershberger, Vice President, Managing Partner, Organizational Genius at Hershberger Design. “As we embark on our visioning for the possibilities of this greenspace, we are concentrating on capturing the spirit of this project for current and future generations to experience while visiting the block.”

The timeline for construction to start on the block is mid-to-late spring. Utility updates and enhancements as required by the Town of Jackson, including burying the power lines that currently run through the property, will need to be completed prior to the landscape design implementation and

construction. Visitors to the greenspace on the block will need to expect closures to the property during the utility burials and portions of the landscape construction process throughout summer 2020.

“The greenspace on the block has been a place for the community to gather, escape the frenzy of town, enjoy a locally made treat or beverage, and reconnect to the history and roots of this special place. We are so proud to have been a part of the campaign to safeguard the space and the public’s ability to access it,” said Jenny Wolfrom, Interim Co-Director and Director of Advancement and Engagement at the Jackson Hole Land Trust. “We are confident that Hershberger Design joins us in our passion for this community space and we look forward to working closely with their team to transform the greenspace into a more usable and vibrant common area for all to enjoy, forever.”

The JHLT and Hershberger Design will work together to provide the community with more details on the design plan as the creative process unfolds. The JHLT is not currently planning programs or events on the block for summer 2020 due to the utility and construction work planned for the space.

 

Photo: Orijin Media

Jackson Hole Land Trust’s Response to COVID-19

Dear Community and Supporters,

It is times like these that the power and camaraderie of this community become clear as we band together to prioritize the health and safety of our local, national, and global populations. The Jackson Hole Land Trust (JHLT) is monitoring the status of COVID-19 in Northwest Wyoming and doing our part to prevent the risk of exposure and potential spread of the virus. In order to safeguard the health of our staff, board, partners and community, JHLT has implemented the following policies based on the recommendations made by state and local government and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Mandatory office closure and remote work for all staff, including the Jackson and Green River Valley Program office in Pinedale. All JHLT staff are actively working in a remote setting and can be reached by email, or through voicemails left via JHLT’s messaging system by calling the office at 307-733-4707. This will be in effect through March 31, 2020, and extended if necessary.
  • All internal and external meetings will be conducted through video and teleconferencing technology in order to limit close person-to-person contact within a confined area.
  • Temporary hold on nonessential, work-related travel for employees through April 2020.
  • Cancellation of all community events through April 2020 including:
    • WYLD Beacon Search with Teton County Search and Rescue at R Park on 3/19/2020
    • Eastern Egg Hunt at R Park on 4/10/2020
    • GRVP Happy Hour at Wind River Brewing Company on 4/22/2020
  • Rendezvous “R” Park will remain open to the public at this time, although the office will be closed to staff and visitors and office hours will be cancelled through at least March 31, 2020. We do recommend and request that visitors to R Park implement preventative measures recommended by the CDC, which include social distancing of at least 6 feet from other individuals and families, washing or sanitizing hands before and after visiting the park, and staying home if you or a member of your household are feeling sick.  We are proud to offer a safe, community greenspace that can provide residents with a positive connection to nature and open space- which has been directly linked to enhancing the function of the immune system and increasing mental health- in these times of uncertainty and isolation.

As the situation is changing daily, and sometimes hourly, we will adjust our policies and procedures to reflect recommendations made by local, state, and national entities. Meanwhile, our talented and dedicated team will continue their work towards fulfilling our vision of a legacy of protected open spaces, wildlife habitat, working lands, and community spaces across Northwest Wyoming that inspire current and future generations.

Please use the online staff email directory to contact the appropriate JHLT team member with questions and concerns.

Thank you,
JHLT Interim Co-Directors Liz Long, Derek Schaefer, and Jenny Wolfrom

Notes from the Field: Landscape Recovery Post Roosevelt Fire

On September 15, 2018, a fire was reported by a pair of hunters in the Hoback River drainage near Bondurant, Wyoming. This small blaze began under hot, windy conditions and expanded with frightening speed. By the time what became known as the Roosevelt Fire had run its course, it had burned over 61,000 acres, tearing through the community of Hoback Ranches and destroying more than 55 homes. The devastation and displacement of people was heartbreaking, and the diverse landscape of Hoback Ranches—old-growth conifer forest, open aspen stands, sagebrush steppe hillsides, and rich riparian willow communities—was left barren and charred. In the fall of 2018, as the determined community came together to recover and prepare for winter, many were wondering what this treasured landscape would look like come spring.

Hoback Ranches view shortly after the fire in 2018.

Much of Northwest Wyoming’s landscape is described by scientists as “resilient”. This means that the habitat has the ability to bounce back to its former condition following a disturbance like fire. High resiliency is generally a product of the cool temperatures and adequate annual precipitation that create ideal conditions for plant reestablishment. The area burned in the Roosevelt Fire, particularly in Hoback Ranches, has been an incredible example of landscape resiliency. In our visits to the Jackson Hole Land Trust’s protected properties in Hoback Ranches last summer, we were met with an abundance of new, green growth. Many native plant species thrive when exposed to sporadic wildfire, and it was impressive to see their establishment after less than a year.

Aspens thrive in “early-succession” environments, so they are some of the first trees to spring up after a disturbance event. Before larger trees with spreading canopies fill in, an aspen grove will send up a multitude of small shoots that all compete for the ample sunlight available after fire moves through an area. In several places we walked, we noted that aspen shoots were already up to 3 feet high. These stands will soon become thick with new, young aspen and gradually thin themselves over time as larger trees shade out the smaller ones. Likewise, disturbance encourages the growth of willows, which can re-sprout from stumps remaining after fire. These willows will help stabilize the soil in stream drainages as other water-loving plants take root.

In areas formerly dominated by sagebrush, we were greeted by an explosion of grasses and wildflowers. Lupine, an iconic purple flower with silvery, palm-shaped leaves, blanketed several hillsides in such abundance that the hills looked purple from afar. Although sagebrush generally does not re-sprout after being burned, its seeds persist in the seed bank underground. In the spring, young sagebrush plants will appear between the scattered bunchgrasses, and the land will start to return to its former character.

We were also delighted to see plentiful signs of wildlife as we walked protected properties this summer. We documented numerous ungulate tracks left behind by elk, mule deer and moose. The green shoots of new plants are particularly nutritious for these species, and will have provided crucial forage this fall. The fire also left many burned tree snags, which are ideal habitat for cavity-nesting birds such as woodpeckers. We hope to see many of these small, charismatic birds on future visits.

Hoback Ranches has changed dramatically since the Roosevelt Fire. The tenacious residents of the community have made incredible strides in rebuilding their homes just as the flora and fauna of the area are rebuilding the ecosystem. Although signs of the fire will remain evident for many years, new growth is spreading across the landscape, restoring the scenic vistas and wildlife habitat of the area once again.

-Erica Hansen, Landscape Protection Specialist and Staff Biologist

Hoback Ranches view one year after the fire.

Photos: Jansen Gundersen; Erica Hansen; Erica Hansen.

Laurie Andrews,President of the Jackson Hole Land Trust, Announces Departure

Laurie Andrews will continue career as a community leader as President of the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole

Jackson, WY –It is with gratitude and commendation that the Board of Directors announces today the departure of Laurie Andrews as President of the Jackson Hole Land Trust, effective late February 2020. Andrews will be starting her new position as Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole in March 2020.

Since 2005, Andrews has played a critical role in land conservation for Northwest Wyoming and beyond. During her 15-year tenure at the Jackson Hole Land Trust, Andrews was responsible for the protection of over 8,000 acres of conservation land, led the organization through multiple forward-thinking strategic plans, and expanded the reach of the Jackson Hole Land Trust to encompass the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

“Laurie has been an exceptional President and leader for the Jackson Hole Land Trust” said Jason Snider, Board Chair. “We are grateful for Laurie’s visionary direction, which embraced inclusivity, produced strong results, created strong partnerships and prioritized the conservation needs of the whole community.”

“Under Laurie’s leadership, the staff of the Jackson Hole Land Trust more than doubled, the organization successfully completed two significant fundraising campaigns – Forever Our Valley and Save the Block, and we experienced record-breaking annual fundraising and asset growth benchmarks. While we are sad to see her go, we are excited about what her new role means for Jackson’s community and network of non-profits,” continued Snider.

The Board of Directors of the Jackson Hole Land Trust have created a search committee to identify an Interim Director and hire a new permanent leader for the Jackson Hole Land Trust. While the search is underway, the organization is in an excellent position with its accomplished senior leadership team of Jennifer Wolfrom Holladay, Director of Advancement and Engagement, Liz Long, Director of Conservation, and Derek Schaefer, Chief Financial Officer.

“I feel so fortunate to have been a part of such a strong and impactful organization for the past 15 years,” said Andrews. “The Jackson Hole Land Trust has taught me so much about what community means and the passion and generosity that I’ve seen shine through over and over again has been incredibly inspiring. I’m excited to continue my journey as a leader in this special place, and to continue working with extraordinary partners on meaningful projects.”

Continued Andrews, “While it is bittersweet to leave the Jackson Hole Land Trust, I know that the organization is in good hands. The current board and the leadership team are knowledgeable and talented and I will miss working with such a tremendously effective team. While my career is changing directions, my commitment to protecting open spaces is steadfast and I know I will be working with the Jackson Hole Land Trust in some capacity in the future.”

Lori Fields, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Jackson Hole Land Trust, will head the committee that will conduct a wide ranging and broad-based search for a new Executive Director.

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About the Jackson Hole Land Trust

The Jackson Hole Land Trust is a private, non-profit organization that was established in 1980 to protect and steward the treasured landscapes of Northwest Wyoming including Fremont and Sublette counties. With over 55,000 acres protected, our vision is a legacy of protected open spaces, wildlife habitat, working lands and community spaces that inspire current and future generations. For more information, please visit jhlandtrust.org.

R Park Ribbon Cutting Celebration

R Park is excited to announce the official unveiling of new park amenities and photos from the 2019 Slide into R Park program this Friday, September 27, for its 5th Anniversary Celebration.

Read the full press release, here.

605 Acres Protected in Sublette County

The Jackson Hole Land Trust announced today that 605 acres in Sublette County located along the Red Desert to Hoback Mule Deer migration corridor have been protected through the Willow Lake Pasture Conservation Easement now held by the Green River Valley Program of the Jackson Hole Land Trust.

Read the full press release, here.