Land near Jackson Hole's scenic highway could be sold and commercialized. Governor Matt Mead and U.S. Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell signed an agreement to try and change that possibility.
The 640 acres of land must be sold by December. Jewell says the Department of Interior will provide half of the money for the $46 million land parcel. Grand Teton National Park officials are starting a fundraising campaign to raise the other $23 million so the land would stay as park land.
Grand Teton National Park Superintendent David Vela said, "By acquisition of the Antelope Flats parcel, not only do we have the opportunity of protecting critical valuable wildlife habitat, but preserving and protecting the human footprint on the landscape, which is equally important.”
Vela says the land parcel is in the middle of an important wildlife migration zone.
Governor Mead insists the land has to be sold for what it's worth. The money from the sale goes directly to Wyoming Public Education. So far, the park service has raised five million dollars for the purchase, and hopes private donors will provide the rest.
Governor Mead explained that he's pro-commercial expansion, but says this parcel's iconic location isn't the place for more houses.