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House Defeats Proposal To Sell Grand Teton Land Parcel

Anna Rader

After debating how much to charge per acre, the Wyoming House of Representatives has defeated a bill that would have allowed the state to sell a square mile of Grand Teton National Park to the National Park Service.

The original proposal was to sell the property near Kelly for $500,000 an acre. That would have netted the state $320 million to be used for schools. But Casper Rep. Steve Harshman said the price was too low and convinced the House to increase the price to five million an acre.

Jackson Rep. Andy Schwartz said they need a reasonable price in order to sell it to the federal government who would be the best steward of the land.

"I think we want to have this conversation with the federal government, because I think ultimately we can have a final agreement that's good for the state, good for the national park, good for the people of Wyoming and good for the citizens of the planet by preserving this park," said Schwartz.

He added that the higher price was sending the message that the state didn't want to make a deal. Eventually the bill was defeated. Harshman said it's best for the state to hold onto those lands as long as possible.

Bob Beck has been News Director of Wyoming Public Radio since 1988. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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