(Jackson, Wyo.) – The Jackson Hole Land Trust (JHLT) today announced that the organization will be accepting a transfer of 58 easements totaling 32,000 acres from the Green River Valley Land Trust (GRVLT). These easements will be held by the Jackson Hole Land Trust under the organization’s new Green River Valley Program.
According to the organizations, the creation of a Sublette County-focused program and procurement of GRVLT’s 58 easements by JHLT secures the conservation values of important protected private lands.
“This is a proactive approach by two conservation organizations to become more sustainable and to safeguard the future of Sublette County’s ranch lands, open space and wildlife habitat,” said Bob Budd, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust Executive Director.
“Proper stewardship of conservation properties in this region is critical to maintaining important, large-scale wildlife migration corridors that run across two major mountain ranges, along three primary river systems, in all directions, and to preserving important ranchlands that contribute to the agricultural resources and heritage of Sublette County.”
Both JHLT and GRVLT have long histories of conservation success in Wyoming. According to a release issued today, the Jackson Hole Land Trust was a critical partner in the founding and creation of the GRVLT and has since been a resource and ally in land protection. Over the last 36 years, JHLT has helped more than 220 landowners conserve more than 25,000 acres in Teton County and through the Wind River Program in Fremont County. Founded in 2000, the GRVLT has secured more than 32,000 acres of easement-protected property for 44 landowners.
Working closely over the past three years after GRVLT (then known as the Wyoming Land Trust) announced it would be transferring its easements to other conservation organizations, JHLT and GRVLT have made considerable efforts to strengthen landowner relationships and restore donor and community trust in Sublette County.
“The new Green River Valley Program of the Jackson Hole Land Trust has been carefully designed to provide stewardship and landowner services to the unique and valuable conservation lands of Sublette County, while leveraging the historically strong leadership and financial security of the Jackson Hole Land Trust,” said Pete Lawton, JHLT Board President.
“We believe that this is a great opportunity to ensure the future of our easements and honor our commitment to the landowners,” said Brian Gray, GRVLT Board President. “We are grateful to all those that have worked so hard to get us to this point so that we can continue our local presence and the wonderful work in Sublette County.”
The Jackson Hole Land Trust will begin the process of taking responsibility for GRVLT’s easements on October 1, 2016 and GRVLT will conclude its separate operations. Moving forward, the staff of JHLT will work with the existing GRVLT staff, board, partners, and volunteers to ensure that partner landowners, and new potential conservation landowners, have a quality experience as they work to protect a critical portion of the Wyoming landscape.
Feature Photo: Valley Springs Swan Ponds near Rafter J. h/t Jackson Hole Land Trust / Pitchengine Communities
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