Bridger-Teton, Trust for Public Land finalize deal to make forest bigger

JACKSON HOLE WYO –  The US Forest Service and The Trust for Public Land announced yesterday that more than 900 acres have been added to the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

The purchase of the 990-acre Upper Gros Ventre River Ranch by the Forest Service from The Trust for Public Land significantly advances the effort to conserve one of the most pristine and beautiful landscapes in Wyoming.

Located immediately north of the Gros Ventre Wilderness Area, protection of the land has been a top priority for local conservationists because of its importance within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. It has more than 2.5 miles of frontage along the Gros Ventre River and six headwater tributary systems.

The purchase cost was reported to be $3 million. US Senator Herb Kohl, D-Wis., donated the land to The Trust for Public Land three years ago. The funding was appropriated by Congress from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). As Kohl wished, The Trust for Public Land will use all the money to support high priority land protection in Wyoming.

“This is a critical land acquisition which serves to link pieces of land that are owned by the public to make them more manageable. These lands are remote and undeveloped, and provide outstanding views and high-quality wildlife habitat,” said Bridger-Teton supervisor Tricia O’Connor. “It gets right to the heart of the motto of the National Forest System, ‘Caring for the Land and Serving People.’ This will protect the backcountry locations from future development and allow for their use and enjoyment by the general public.”

Chris Deming, Senior Project Manager for The Trust for Public Land added, “We are pleased to have helped protect this pristine land and important inholding for the public rather than perhaps seeing it developed. And we are particularly gratified that the special land protection fund established with the proceeds of this critical purchase will be used to protect other critical lands in Wyoming. Senator Kohl’s donation truly is a gift that will keep on giving.”

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