The Department of Interior has paid the state of Wyoming 16 million dollars for a second parcel of state land located inside Grand Teton National Park. Two more parcels remain to be purchased.
The Grand Teton Program Manager of the National Parks Conservation Association says she is thrilled. Sharon Mader notes that since the land is owned by the state, it could have been made available to private developers. So having the federal government buy the land is important.
The scenic views that people certainly expect when they come to this amazing national park would be altered buy development within the park boundaries, whether it be commercial or even residential housing. Wildlife would be affected in their movements through the park.”
Mader admits she was worried that the government would not be able to afford this second installment
“Give the debates over the budget and the looming fiscal cliff, there was always the possibility that the money wouldn’t come through. Which would have really been a travesty for Wyoming and for Grand Teton National Park. So everyone is really thrilled with this wonderful victory and the preservation of these lands within the Park.”
Mader says finding the money for the remaining two parcels will be a challenge, but she says federal officials are looking at creative ways to pay for the rest of the land.