G&F Assumes New Public Access Area in Tetons

G&F Assumes New Public Access Area in Tetons

Game and Fish Commissioner Charles Price from Daniel, accepting management of the new Coco Belle van Meerendonk Public Access Area and thanking all the partners that made it happen. h/t WGFD 

(Jackson, Wyo.) - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has teamed up with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) to secure a new parcel of private land that will provide public access on the west slope of the Teton Range. The acquisition was made possible with a donation from the landowner, the van Meerendonk family.

The 44-acre parcel, just south of Alta, will provide key public access to thousands of acres of contiguous public land, including Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service’s Jedediah Smith Wilderness and even Grand Teton National Park to the east.

The property and surrounding area consists of mountain meadows with plentiful aspen and mountains shrubs, providing excellent habitat for elk, moose, mule deer, mountain grouse, songbirds and the full complement of large carnivores including black bear, grizzly bear, mountain lions and wolves.

The new Coco Belle van Meerendonk Wildlife Habitat Management Area will be managed for both wildlife habitat and public access by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The Game and Fish plans to construct a parking area large enough to accommodate trucks with horse trailers.

“This acquisition was a classic example of partnership, starting with a handful of local citizens reaching out to the landowner and other entities that could make it all happen,” said Brad Hovinga, Jackson Wildlife Supervisor for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. “We’re always happy to be a part of projects that provide habitat and public access to Wyoming’s wildlife resource.”

Funding for the project was provided by the van Meerendonk family, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Wyoming Wildlife Foundation, RMEF’s Torstenson Family Endowment and Project Advisory Committee, Jackson Hole Land Trust, and other private donors.