Seasonal road closures in effect
Seasonal road closures are in effect for motorized vehicles. The Teton Park Road is closed from the Taggart Lake Trailhead to the Signal Mountain Lodge. The Moose-Wilson Road is closed from the Granite Canyon Trailhead to the Death Canyon Road. More »
Avalanche hazards exist in the park
Avalanche hazards exist in the park, especially in mountain canyons and on exposed slopes. A daily avalanche forecast can be found at www.jhavalanche.org or by calling (307) 733-2664. More »
Bears emerging from hibernation
Bears are beginning to emerge from hibernation. Travel in groups of three of more, make noise and carry bear spray. Visitors must stay at least 100 yards from bears. More »
NPS Purchases Second Wyoming State Lands Parcel in Grand Teton
Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393
National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, Intermountain Region Director John A. Wessels and Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott are pleased to announce that the National Park Service (NPS) has purchased the second of four parcels of Wyoming school trust lands within Grand Teton National Park. Eighty-six acres known as the Snake River Parcel were acquired for an appraised value of $16 million with funds made available from congressional appropriations in fiscal years 2011, 2012 and 2013.
National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said, "This second purchase makes a significant step toward ensuring that state-owned lands within the park's boundary become entirely part of Grand Teton National Park."
"I am pleased that we reached this stage in exchanging all of the state parcels inside Grand Teton National Park. The best outcome for all involved is for this land to be part of the National Park. I appreciate the work of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Director Jon Jarvis in finalizing this second sale and I look forward to working with them to complete the final transactions," Governor Matt Mead said.
Terms for the purchase of state school lands within Grand Teton National Park were set forth in a 2010 agreement between the Department of the Interior and the state of Wyoming. This agreement specified the order in which state parcels would be acquired, and the timeframes for doing so. In April 2011, the first purchase was made with the State receiving $2,000 for a 40-acre parcel of subsurface mineral rights.
Under the terms of the 2010 agreement, the next tract will be the Antelope Flats Parcel, a 640-acre section appraised at $45 million. The deadline for its acquisition is January 5, 2014. With that purchase, the NPS will retain a binding option to acquire the fourth and final parcel: 640 acres with an appraised value of $46 million located along the Gros Ventre Road adjacent to the east park boundary.
At the time of statehood in 1890, the Federal government granted Wyoming sections of land throughout the state to be held in trust to provide revenue for its public schools. Approximately 1,366 acres of school trust lands were subsequently included within the boundaries of Grand Teton National Park when the park was enlarged to its present-day size in 1950. The state of Wyoming also held title to 40 acres of subsurface mineral rights within the park. Because of their location in Grand Teton, the State could not fully realize the economic value of these lands as required by its constitution.
Efforts by the NPS to acquire school trust lands within Grand Teton date back many decades. Over the past 10 years, acquisition of these state-owned parcels has remained one of the park's highest priorities.
"We look forward to the eventual purchase of the remaining 1,280 acres of state-owned lands within Grand Teton National Park so that future generations will enjoy unrestricted access to their public lands," stated Intermountain Region Director John A. Wessels.
Did You Know?
Did you know that Grand Teton National Park was established in both 1929 and 1950? The original 1929 park protected the mountain peaks and the lakes near the base. The boundaries were later expanded in 1950 to include much of the adjacent valley floor.