Upper Gros Ventre River Ranch Land Conservation Receives Boost

January 7, 2015
Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Today, Former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), along with the Jackson Hole Land Trust, and Trust for Public Land announced that Senator Kohl has donated nearly 1,000 acres in the Upper Gros Ventre to The Trust for Public Land—the nation's leading nonprofit working to conserve land. The transfer from private ownership to The Trust for Public Land will support multi-pronged efforts to conserve one of the most pristine, beautiful landscapes in Wyoming.

Located immediately to the north of the Gros Ventre Wilderness Area, this acreage is a top protection priority for conservationists. It contains over 2.5 miles of frontage along the federally designated Wild and Scenic Gros Ventre River and six headwater tributary streams. In close proximity to the National Elk Refuge, the Wind River Range and Grand Teton, and Yellowstone National Parks, this land maintains a critically important connection for wildlife within the region’s ecosystem.

A conservation easement was put in place in 1983 to restrict development on some of the same land now being donated. A founding member of the Jackson Hole Land Trust, Kohl continues to own property in the Gros Ventre River Valley.

“Back in the early 1970s, I fell in love with the natural beauty of the area. Its preservation and protection have been part of my blueprint as owner. I am pleased to continue that effort with this gift to the Trust.” Herb Kohl said. “The Trust for Public Land is a national leader in the American conservation movement and the perfect partner to carry out the goal of preserving this area.”

“Herb Kohl is to be commended for his generosity and even more so, for his vision that began decades ago with an investment in some of the most beautiful land in the country. That investment has fortified the land that he now turns over to us as its steward. We are humbled to partner in this effort and proud to support his vision and love of nature,” said Will Rogers, President and CEO of The Trust for Public Land.

"This means so much to the Land Trust -- and everyone lucky enough to live in Wyoming," said Laurie Andrews, Executive Director of the Jackson Hole Land Trust. "It is an exciting first-time partnership with The Trust for Public Land which also highlights the extraordinary generosity and conservation-mindedness of one of our earliest supporters, Senator Kohl. We are thrilled with the wildlife habitat and connectivity this conservation brings to the Upper Gros Ventre and the existing conservation lands in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem."

The Jackson Hole Land Trust, a land conservation nonprofit that works in Jackson Hole and the Gros Ventre, has joined this multi-pronged effort as a partner and contributing supporter. Kohl’s gift, and the partnership of the Jackson Hole Land Trust, gives a significant boost to The Trust for Public Land’s work to give the public free access to the beauty of the Bridger-Teton National Forest and other high priority areas in this part of Wyoming.