While they make up only 3% of Teton County, our private lands shape our quality of life, as they are where we live, work, and spend most of our days. Our private lands are also disproportionally important for wildlife as they contain some of the valley’s best winter ranges. We have a responsibility to ensure the rules we write for our private lands protect the wildlife, wild places, and community character of this special place while respecting private property rights.
But right now our land use rules allow too much development in rural Teton County without adequate protections for wildlife, while discouraging thoughtful growth in Town and other walkable neighborhoods. This results in fragmented and degraded wildlife habitat, conversion of open space and working agricultural lands into second homes, polluted rivers and creeks, costly infrastructure expansions, and increased traffic congestion. At the same time, we have not yet made the investments or implemented the policy tools necessary to preserve the critical wildlife habitat and open spaces that define our valley.
Jackson Hole should promote
an ethic of stewardship on our
We should build a greater Jackson Hole
with walkable neighborhoods
surrounded by protected open space,
working agricultural lands, and
connected wildlife habitat.
To achieve this vision we’ll need to update our land use rules so they encourage thoughtful growth in Town and other walkable neighborhoods, while discouraging development in rural Teton County; improve protections for wildlife and habitat; and step up as a community to permanently protect critical wildlife habitat and the lands that shape our rural heritage.
In order to build a greater Jackson Hole with walkable neighborhoods surrounded by protected open space, working agricultural lands, and connected wildlife habitat, our community should:
- Direct growth out of rural areas into walkable neighborhoods through zoning changes, updates to land development regulations, tools that shift growth, and other incentives.
- Update land development regulations to better protect fish and wildlife habitat, habitat connectivity, open spaces, scenic vistas, and rural character while strengthening wildlife protection standards for development density, intensity, location, clustering, permeability and wildlife-human conflict.
- Identify and implement additional options for the acquisition of permanent open space for wildlife habitat protection, scenic vista protection, and agriculture preservation.
What You Can Do
- Sign up to volunteer with Neighbors with Nature, the Alliance’s community planning campaign here.
- Sign up to volunteer with the Jackson Hole Land Trust here.
- Sign up to volunteer with the Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation’s Wildlife Friendly Fencing program here and help wildlife safely move through our community.