The State Lands Board voted yesterday four-to-one to support an agreement that would trade 1,300 acres of prime wildlife habitat in Grand Teton National Park for federally-owned property. The state is obligated by law to manage or sell state lands to maximize revenues for the State Education Trust. But the land in question is appraised at $107 million, if commercially developed.
The Grand Teton Conservation Association’s Sharon Mader says ideally the feds would have bought the land outright, but the swap would still be a great boon for Wyoming schools.
“By exchanging those four much more productive lands elsewhere in the state, it really will increase funding to the state of Wyoming,” she says. “And the direct recipients being the Wyoming Education Trust and school children throughout the state.”
Mader says the deal must still be approved by the legislature in the upcoming budget session. The bill will go before the senate as early as next Monday.