Thursday, December 22, 2016

Supporters celebrate new Teton park land

The accolades Friday afternoon went to the movers, shakers and donors — 5,421 of them, from all 50 states — who helped bring a 640-acre swath of Antelope Flats into the fold of Grand Teton National Park. Speaking before a room packed with supporters munching on above-average hors d’oeuvres, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell singled out Grand Teton National Park Foundation President Leslie Mattson. “It’s not easy to raise $23 million in eight months, unless you’re Leslie Mattson,” said Jewell, whose days on the job as an Obama administration appointee are numbered. “Leslie’s a force of nature equal to the Tetons.” The donors and philanthropic organizations in the room that contributed to the acquisition — $46 million split down the middle with the federal government — also earned the praise of the interior secretary. Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, Grand Teton National Park Superintendent David Vela and Mattson also spoke. Mattson thanked everyone in the room, including her board members, who hesitantly took on the challenge of the largest fundraising drive in the history of the nonprofit foundation. The Grand Teton Foundation collaborated with the nationwide National Park Foundation on the project. The fundraising was so fast-tracked that a $9.5 million loan from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation was needed to cover money dedicated but not yet in hand at the closing date...more

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