◆ 960-acre parcel in Teton County, Idaho added to the forest.
The Caribou-Targhee National Forest is nearly 1,000 acres bigger this week. The U.S. Forest Service and The Conservation Fund have announce the acquisition of 960-acres of land located in a remote forested area in Teton County, Idaho.
The land acquisition was made possible with the help of the Teton Regional Land Trust, supportive landowners at the Beartooth Group, Teton County Commissioners, the Valley Advocates for Responsible Development (VARD) and Idaho’s Congressional delegation.
According to information provided by the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, the Maytag-Teton Timbers property has been “a top Forest Service priority for protection in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest for several years.”
Adding the 960-acres of private land within the northern end of the Big Hole Mountain Range to the Caribou-Targhee National Forest was made possible through funding from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
“The Maytag-Teton Timbers property is a prime example of LWCF working in a collaborative way,” said Congressman Mike Simpson. “Engaging with the local community and ensuring their needs were met, was critical to the success of this project. I applaud the U.S. Forest Service and all the partners involved, for working diligently to accomplish this great project. When the Great American Outdoors Act was signed into law last month, I said this bill is for future generations. The Maytag-Teton Timbers property will achieve this goal by opening up public access for Idahoans for centuries to come.”
According to the Forest Service, the acquisition “conserves open space, protects habitat from future development, mitigates wildfire risk and protects clean water for the benefit of fish, wildlife and people.”
“Protection of these critical riparian areas and headwaters stretches will ensure high-quality water flows from the upper reaches of Pack Saddle and Horseshoe Creeks to their confluence with the Teton River, a world class, blue ribbon trout fishery,” said Mel Bolling, Caribou-Targhee National Forest Supervisor.
According to the Forest Service, when the property went up for sale in 2017, The Conservation Fund began working with Beartooth Group and then stepped in to purchase the Maytag property in April 2020, allowing the Forest Service the “necessary time needed to acquire funding.”
The Teton Regional Land Trust assisted The Conservation Fund in the “effort to acquire, hold and ultimately transfer the land to the Forest Service.”
“Partnerships and collaboration go a long way in making these important conservation projects viable,” said Mark Elsbree, Western Director and Senior Vice President at The Conservation Fund. “Securing the Maytag property for a community that highly values its public lands for wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities will have a lasting positive impact.”