Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Park foundation seeks $23M for Wyo.-owned land

A philanthropic partner of Grand Teton National Park has officially begun a fundraising campaign for the acquisition of a square-mile, Wyoming-owned tract of land in Antelope Flats.Half of the funds for the $46 million land purchase would come from federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, U.S. Department of the Interior officials say. The Grand Teton National Park Foundation, which would raise the balance, has a lofty goal: The nonprofit organization has until the end of the year — a six-month window — to cobble together $23 million. “It’s an ambitious goal,” foundation officials said in a recent newsletter, “but this moment in time will not come our way again.”Because the land in question is a Wyoming trust parcel, the cash from the deal would be added to a permanent fund that benefits the state’s public schools. To date, the Grand Teton Foundation has raised $5.1 million, which leaves $17.9 million remaining. Donations are being taken online at https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1415716. Attempts have been made for years to acquire Wyoming’s inholdings within Grand Teton Park, but a lack of Interior Department funds has led to missed deadlines to purchase the land. Frustrated Wyoming legislators have in the past threatened to auction off the parcels to the highest bidder if the federal government doesn’t come through on its promise...more

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