JACKSON HOLE, WYO –The Jackson Hole Land Trust (JHLT) protected 191 acres of land in Teton County in 2018, rounding out another successful year of conservation in Northwest Wyoming.
Three properties totaling 191 acres were protected throughout Teton County over the past year, with conservation gains for wildlife habitat, migration corridors and ranching heritage. This acreage adds to the existing 55,000 acres of Land Trust protected conservation easements across Northwest Wyoming.
This year’s protected properties aim to conserve wildlife habitat, safeguard vital water sources, and link together existing conservation areas. Together these projects protect 112 acres for elk, 40 for moose, 35 for mule deer and sage grouse, 103 acres of elk calving habitat, and 1.5 acres of wetlands.
“We are excited about the exemplary habitat protected through this year’s easements,” said Jason Snider, Jackson Hole Land Trust board chair. “With an additional 191 acres under protection, we are moving into 2019 with greater space for wildlife to roam and greater connectivity of parcels in the landscape-scale patchwork of protection in Teton County.”
In April, the third and final phase of the 300-acre East Gros Ventre Butte project was completed, rounding out the project with 35 acres on the hilltop protecting wildlife and scenic values. This undisturbed land within a Sage-Grouse Core Area also provides essential winter refuge for mule deer.
During other times of the year, elk and moose may be found on the land as they move between their summer and winter habitats. Birds find haven on the property – with nesting strata for prairie falcons, red-tailed hawks, mountain bluebirds, western meadowlarks, and Brewer’s sparrows.
The property is bordered to the north by 40 acres owned by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, to the west by a Teton County Scenic Preserve Trust easement, and to the south and east by two JHLT protected properties.
In August, 44 acres were protected in Crescent H, featuring Wyoming Game and Fish Department designated habitat for bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, moose, and mountain goat.
Located along the forested slopes of the eastern front of the Snake River Mountain Range, and in close proximity to the Snake River and Fish Creek aquatic and riparian corridors, the parcel features highly elevated biodiversity in composition, structure and function. It borders the Bridger-Teton National Forest to the west and south and borders at Teton County Scenic Preserve Trust easement to the east.
In December, 112 acres further south off of Fall Creek Road were protected preserving winter-long habitat for moose, in addition to seasonal habitat for elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, and mule deer.
The property is located on the west side of South Fall Creek Road, sharing a border with Bridger-Teton National Forest and the Snake River Riparian Corridor.
Also in 2018
Over the course of 2018, R Park continued construction on various park amenities, in partnership with the Jackson Hole Land Trust and the LOR Foundation. This includes a permanent restroom, a small office, and a caretaker’s unit to better service our community, visitors, and neighbors. Construction is on schedule to be completed by summer 2019.
JHLT also worked with the Town of Jackson to sponsor an Environmental Assessment for Karns Meadow in an effort to move forward on the original intent of the property to be a low-impact public space with pathways.
New board members as of October 2018 include Jan Davis, Cody Lockhart, and Michael Schrotz. Three staff joined the team in 2018: Amy Hemenway, Betsy Neal, and Kathryn Tolley. Four new members joined the Open Space Council: Max Ludington, Meghan Bell Lori, Mary McCarthy, and Charlie Moyer.