736 Acres Protected in the Upper Green

The Jackson Hole Land Trust (JHLT) announced today that 736 acres in the Upper Green River Valley have been protected through a new conservation easement on the Bar Bar E Ranch, now held by the JHLT’s Green River Valley Program.

Protected in perpetuity on December 29, 2020, Bar Bar E Ranch II is contiguous to 873 acres that the landowners placed under a conservation easement in 2007. The additional acreage conserved will safeguard historic working lands and open space and support valuable big game and aquatic habitat.

The family of Bar Bar E Ranch has deep roots in the community of the Upper Green. The conservation property is part of a Wyoming Centennial Ranch, an honor reserved for families who have owned and operated their land for more than 100 years. They are also a founding family of the Upper Green River Cattle Association that move their herd along the Green River Drift, one of the oldest and longest cattle drives in the country. The new conservation easement ensures that the land will support continued agricultural use, including grazing and hay production, which in turn will help the culture and tradition of ranching continue to thrive in Sublette County.

“We are thrilled to partner once again with the family of Bar Bar E Ranch,” said JHLT Director of Conservation Liz Long. “It is incredible to see the result of careful stewardship on this now-historic homestead over three generations of living and working on the land. The Green River Valley Program of the JHLT is proud to play a role in ensuring the ranch will be a boon to the community and Wyoming wildlife for generations to come.”

The New Fork River and Willow Creek flow through the property, creating lush, resource-rich areas critical to sustaining resilient wildlife populations across the arid, sagebrush-dominated landscape that covers much of Sublette County. The property’s diverse topography, vibrant riparian areas and wetlands, and connectivity to vast swaths of adjacent open lands provide important resources for Wyoming’s native migratory big game species and is used by both pronghorn and moose on their seasonal migrations. Bar Bar E Ranch II supports native species of raptors and waterfowl and lies entirely within the Daniel Sage-Grouse Core Area, with multiple active leks nearby. Protection of Bar Bar E Ranch II ensures continuity between the Wind River Mountains, Willow and New Fork Lakes, and the New Fork River.

Funding from the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, and an anonymous donor through The Conservation Fund helped secure the Bar Bar E Ranch II conservation easement. In addition to the public funding, the landowners generously donated a portion of the easement’s value.

“The Conservation Fund is pleased to have secured and contributed funds that assist the landowning family, the JHLT, and our federal and state funding partners to complete this easement,” said Dan Schlager, The Conservation Fund’s Wyoming state director. “This effort will honor the agricultural traditions of Sublette County and protect its unique and vibrant wildlife resources, both essential components of Wyoming’s economy.”

18 Acres Protected on High School Butte

Jackson Hole Land Trust Safeguards Public Access through the Conservation of an 18-Acre Parcel on High School Butte

Community access and wildlife habitat protected at a favorite local recreation spot  

The Jackson Hole Land Trust announced today the purchase and protection of 18 acres of public access conservation land on High School Butte in the Town of Jackson. The parcel is located on the southwest-facing slopes of High School Butte and holds significant community, wildlife, and scenic conservation values. The conservation of the property will extinguish development rights, secure public access, and preserve an important refuge for wildlife above the light and noise from an increasingly dense residential area.

“While this parcel has been owned privately for decades, it has historically been accessed and used by the community as part of the High School Butte trails,” said Liz Long, interim co-director and director of conservation at the Jackson Hole Land Trust. “When this property went up for sale, we recognized it as a unique opportunity to formalize and safeguard public access to a piece of land that the community loves and uses regularly, while also protecting important wildlife acreage immediately adjacent to additional JHLT easement-protected properties.”

Accessible from the classic High School Butte switchbacks on the adjacent property owned by the Teton County School District, this parcel is home to multiple social trails and a rudimentary double track which have been used as unofficial hiking trails. The Jackson Hole Land Trust, working within a conservation-oriented management plan, will perform erosion mitigation, work to eliminate invasive plant species, and create a low impact loop trail for the community to enjoy.

“We know that access to nature and open space is critical to the mental and physical health of our community, especially during these challenging times,” explained Jenny Wolfrom Holladay, interim co-director and director of advancement and engagement at the Jackson Hole Land Trust. “High School Butte provides safe and easy access to the outdoors for families, students, and hikers of all ages. We are committed to inclusivity in conservation and believe that this protected public access property will be a place where everyone can seek out and experience the benefits of open space.”

The Jackson Hole Land Trust’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan includes a community engagement goal in which the organization pledges to protect and create natural community spaces that have special meaning for people and provide access to land. Community conservation projects like R Park, Save the Block, and now High School Butte provide the community with access to open spaces that may have otherwise been private. They are a tangible result of the JHLT’s commitment to making land conservation relevant and beneficial to everyone in the community.

As with most conservation efforts, the High School Butte project has been a collaborative effort and was made possible in partnership with a local family who wishes to remain anonymous and their agent, Greg Prugh, who thoughtfully reached out to the JHLT in hopes of this conservation solution, as well as Teton County School District who willingly agreed to allow access via their High School Butte property. The purchase and protection of the 18-acre lot on High School Butte was funded through private protection dollars raised by the Jackson Hole Land Trust. Additional funding opportunities for the project exist.

The Jackson Hole Land Trust plans to host several focus groups with neighbors, partners, and community members over the upcoming winter to collect community feedback and ideas about property use and management. Trail maintenance, upgrades, and construction is anticipated to begin in summer 2021. The JHLT-owned High School Butte parcel will be subject to winter closures to protect and benefit wildlife.

240-Acre Loomis Ranch Transferred to the National Forest

“This project embodies the spirit of our work to provide migration connectivity and stopover habitat to our region’s wildlife and to support agricultural operations.” 

The Jackson Hole Land Trust’s Green River Valley Program has partnered with The Conservation Fund and U.S. Forest Service-Bridger-Teton National Forest to conserve the 240-acre Loomis Park Ranch by transferring this parcel to the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

For more information, read our joint press release or find related articles in the news:

Jackson Hole News & Guide

Buckrail

San Francisco Chronicle

 

Photo courtesy of Dan Schlager

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.

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.

We Saved the Block!

Learn the full story of the Save the Block closing, here.

Read the Jackson Hole News & Guide cover article about the project’s successful completion, here.

Browse the full list of donors, here. Anonymous cash donations excluded.

Thanks to everyone who supported the Save the Block project.

Land Trust successfully raises over $7M to Save the Block

The Jackson Hole Land Trust is excited to announce the successful completion of the Save the Block campaign, which raised over $7 Million through more than 5,500 individual gifts.

A 500-person crowd cheered on Sunday afternoon at the Jackson Hole Land Trust’s Annual Picnic at Snake River Ranch as bottles of prosecco popped while JHLT President Laurie Andrews announced the much-anticipated news: the organization had met the $7 Million fundraising goal for the Save the Block project.

Read the full press release, here.

Four Days to Save the Block

The race to Save the Block is quickly coming to a conclusion, with just four days to secure a final 425 gifts from the community, after an extension on the fundraising deadline was announced Monday afternoon.

The Jackson Hole Land Trust, leading the fundraising for the project, is emphasizing the need for quantity of gifts, as opposed to number of donors, in their “Last Chance” challenge to raise the remaining funds for the campaign to save the historic community greenspace on the Genevieve Block in downtown Jackson, Wyoming.

Read the full press release, here.

Gifts of every size make an impact, and you can give as often as you’d like. Donate here.