Teton County, the conservation community, and the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance have lost one of its greatest champions.
Hank Phibbs was a distinguished attorney, in private practice and as a County Attorney, where his advocacy for protection of Teton County and State resources helped provide some significant protections. Hank helped create Teton County’s Comprehensive plan, which has protected open land and responsible development for decades.
Hank was a founding member of the Jackson Hole Alliance for Responsible Planning, which is today’s Conservation Alliance. In the Alliance’s infancy, the organization’s office was on the second floor of the Murie Cabin, which housed Hank’s and Chuck Resor’s Law office on the first floor, when the cabin was at the base of Snow King.
Hank served as a Teton County Commissioner for between 2007 and 2014, where he continued his passionate defense of the County’s wild lands and natural resources.
Attorney Len Carlman, who served as the Executive Director of the Alliance in its early days, recalled Hank as a tenacious attorney who left no stone unturned in his advocacy for environmental protection. Carlman cited Hank’s citation of the arcane Krug Amendment of 1947, that played a critical role in helping preserve significant tracts of the Bridger Teton National Forest from clear cutting, as an example of his steadfastness in advocating for the protection of Jackson Hole.
Hank most recently served on the Alliance Advisory Board. He will be missed by the entire Alliance family and by so many in this community.
Hank is survived by his partner of 46 years, Leslie Petersen, who shares Hank’s passion for the protection of Teton County and its natural resources.