A bill that would allow the federal government to trade mineral rights and federal land for two parcels of state land inside Grand Teton National Park has passed the Wyoming Senate.
The swap is needed after the federal government backed out of a previous deal to pay the state for the two parcels. Laramie Senator Phil Nicholas added an amendment that the land would have to be mineral property with proven reserves, so that the swap is worthwhile for the state.
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.