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Kelly Parcel sale is in the final budget, but Gov. Gordon still needs to sign it

A sign reading regulations for using Wyoming State Trust land.
Hanna Merzbach
The Kelly Parcel is adjacent to Grand Teton National Park.

Wyoming is closer than ever to selling the Kelly Parcel to Grand Teton National Park for not less than $100 million.

But it’s come with a big catch.

The Legislature sent a budget bill to Gov. Mark Gordon’s desk last Friday that contained a measure authorizing the sale of the 640 acre lot.

In order to approve the Kelly Parcel deal, the governor will first need to make sure the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) doesn't pick ‘alternative B’ for managing public lands in southwest Wyoming. That’s the result of an amendment added to the sale by Rep. Bob Nicholas (R-Laramie).

The BLM’s more conservation-focused plan for the Rock Springs area drew outrage from Wyomingites this past fall who felt it was an overreach.

Sen. Mike Gierau (D-Jackson) is the author of the Kelly Parcel sale amendment. He said he’s nevertheless excited that the deal is still an option.

“By putting more constrictions (on the sale), it could hurt, not help,” said Gierau. “But we'll work with it.”

The Kelly Parcel is a critical wildlife corridor adjacent to Grand Teton.

Philanthropic partners of Grand Teton will be on the hook to raise part of the sum that the federal government cannot.

If the governor doesn’t line-item veto the amendment in the next nine days, they’ll have two years to make it happen.

The BLM is expected to come out with a final plan for Rock Springs this coming spring.

This reporting was made possible by a grant from the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, supporting state government coverage in the state. Wyoming Public Media and Jackson Hole Community Radio are partnering to cover state issues both on air and online.

Chris Clements is a state government reporter and digital media specialist for Wyoming Public Media based in Laramie. He came to WPM from KSJD Radio in Cortez, Colorado, where he reported on Indigenous affairs, drought, and local politics in the Four Corners region. Before that, he graduated with a degree in English (Creative Writing) from Arizona State University. Chris's news stories have been featured on KUNC, NPR newscasts, and National Native News, among others.

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