After considerable discussion, the Wyoming legislature approved a bill that would let the state and the federal government move forward with finalizing a deal to swap state owned land in Grand Teton National Park with the federal government. Some senators expressed concern that the federal mineral land won't match the estimated $100 million value of the state's park land, but Jackson Senator Leland Christensen says the bill was changed to ensure the trade will be fair.
"I think this bill absolutely sets us on a course that Wyoming's interests are pretty well protected," Christensen says. "Of course at the end of the day not only what we did in the Senate and the House this year, but also with the agreement SLIB [State Loan and Investment Board] has with the Department of Interior, there are a number of protections for Wyoming."
Sharon Mader of the National Parks Conservation Association says it is good news for Grand Teton National Park and for the state of Wyoming. The bill goes to Governor Mead for his signature.