River Access Park conveyed to Teton County

September 30, 2016
Driggs, ID

The Trust for Public Land, in collaboration with Teton County, Idaho, and the Teton Regional Land Trust, announced today that the 80-acre Bates Teton River Access Park has been conveyed to Teton County. The parcel is centrally located along the Teton River, a blue-ribbon fishery and the only water-based recreational amenity in the county. The protection of the property ensures public access to the Teton River at Bates Bridge and enables the county to work with the community to create a riverfront community park.

Teton County Board of County Commissioner Cindy Riegel said, “The County took a major step to secure access, improve safety, and provide a park where locals and visitors can enjoy the Teton River. We look forward to gathering input from the community on park design and amenities.”

The Trust for Public Land was approached this April by the former land owner, Conservation Solutions, about this critical property three miles outside Driggs at Bates Bridge, and their vision for protection and enhancements to the river access point on the Teton River. The Trust for Public Land’s national expertise conserving land for people and the local partners’ understanding of the community need and current property’s use allowed the group to move forward quickly and successfully.

“This project was truly a community conservation effort,” said Chris Deming, the Wyoming Senior Project Manager for The Trust for Public Land. “Working collaboratively with Teton

County, Idaho, Idaho State Parks, Idaho Department of Fish and Game and four local non-profit organizations—and with support from LOR Foundation--gave the project the on-the-ground support it needed to see the vision through.”

The public-private partnership that supported this achievement included 30% private funding, and success is only possible because of campaign gifts from individuals, foundations, and local corporations. In partnership with The Trust for Public Land, Teton Regional Land Trust, and Teton County, the LOR Foundation, local commercial operator Worldcast Anglers, Orvis, Friends of the Teton River, Legacy Works Group, Valley Advocates for Responsible Development, Harmony Design and Engineering and the Teton Valley Community Foundation all contributed resources to this community based effort to make Bates Bridge Access Park a safe and enjoyable experience for residents and visitors to Teton County.

Joselin Matkins, the Executive Director of the Teton Regional Land Trust, said “The Land Trust is excited to be able to be a part of this project. Not only does it forever protect critical riverbanks and wetlands from residential development with a conservation easement on a portion of the property, but it also improves the safety and permanence of this important access point to the Teton River.”

Deming said The Trust for Public Land was honored to assist with the protection of the property, “We look forward to enjoying the redesigned Teton River access and passive recreation park for the communities of eastern Idaho.”

Contact: Chris Deming, 307.739.3941