Grand Teton National Park is the beating heart of Jackson Hole, Wyoming; an international tourist destination, gateway to Yellowstone National Park, and a core component of the globally significant Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Grand Teton is among the best known, highly visited, and beloved national parks in the United States. Famous for its stunning mountain vistas, abundance of rare, iconic wildlife species, and world famous outdoor recreational opportunities, Grand Teton attracts roughly 3.5 million recreational tourists each year.

For more than two decades, The Conservation Fund has worked closely with the National Park Service (NPS), the Jackson Hole Land Trust, the local community and private landowners to acquire and protect various properties within the Park’s boundary known as inholdings. By acquiring these inholdings and transferring them to NPS, we’re ensuring that these world-renowned scenic vistas remain unimpaired, and wildlife habitat for species such as grizzly bears, black bears, bison, moose, pronghorn antelope, bald eagles, and the largest elk herd in North America is forever protected. Grand Teton protection supports Wyoming’s robust outdoor recreation economy, which in 2018 generated $5.6B and supported 50,000 jobs.


It’s not an easy feat to purchase undeveloped land within one of the country’s most iconic national parks. Thankfully, The Conservation Fund is backed by fantastic partners, immense public support and imperative federal funding from various programs such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). At times, Grand Teton’s wildlife relies upon land outside of the Park. In particular, the Snake River riparian corridor is extremely important to wildlife as both a daily and seasonal movement corridor. The Snake River’s blue ribbon trout habitat, scenic views, and quiet solitude are also incredible resources for recreationalists. We’ve worked with partners to protect these riparian and associated forestlands, with the essential support of the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Initiative.

Grand Teton National Park. Photo credit: Stacy Funderburke.

When we began our conservation efforts at Grand Teton, we targeted six of the national park’s priority inholdings. Today, we have successfully acquired and transferred half of those parcels to the Park, and we are actively working to secure LWCF funding to conserve the remainder. We continue to build upon our conservation efforts along the Snake River corridor, which have included our work at Munger Mountain and Rendezvous Park.

  • Land on Munger Mountain has long faced an acute threat of residential development, yet also contains undisturbed forest and riparian land home to wildlife such as bald eagles, grays wolves, moose, elk, and federally threatened species including grizzly bears and the Canada lynx. We helped Wyoming allocate federal funding through the Forest Legacy Program (FLP), supported the state’s first successful FLP project completed by the Jackson Hole Land Trust in 2014 on Munger Mountain, and are actively working to increase area conservation. The land is a crucial migratory corridor for hundreds of elk moving from the National Forest to winter habitat managed in South Park by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.


  • Rendezvous “R” Park was paradoxically a 40-acre former gravel pit and the site of one the county’s most popular boat launch sites. Today, it is a shining example of how our partner, the Jackson Hole Land Trust, engaged in community conservation to save the land from development. The land trust wanted to protect the property, but it was sold in 2011 to a housing developer. When the developer expressed willingness to sell the land to the land trust—but only if completed in 90 days—the organization sprang into action, approaching The Conservation Fund for a $3 million bridge loan. We worked cooperatively with the land trust to fund the purchase and conserve the land. A new entity was formed, the gravel pit reclaimed, and a landscaped community vision created. Today the Rendezvous Land Conservancy manages the former gravel pit as a public park with fishing, a bike path and a boat launch, as well as valuable wildlife habitat.

“The ability of The Conservation Fund to move quickly saved the deal. The Fund understood what we were doing, our conservation model, our donors, and how we work. That understanding makes for a unique and special partnership.”

—Laurie Andrews, Executive Director, Jackson Hole Land Trust