(Newsroom America) — The National Park Service purchased a 640-acre tract of land within Grand Teton National Park from the State of Wyoming.
The purchase was made possible by the successful completion of an eight-month fundraising campaign by Grand Teton National Park Foundation and the National Park Foundation that raised $23 million in private funds. These funds were matched by $23 million from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.
The newly protected land, called Antelope Flats, preserves critical wildlife habitat, migration routes, and viewsheds, prevents private development within the park boundary, and helps to complete the original vision of the park. The proceeds of the $46 million sale will benefit Wyoming public school children.
“This is a historic achievement—a true win-win—for Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park and the state’s Permanent School Trust Fund,” said Leslie Mattson, president of Grand Teton National Park Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises private funds to support Grand Teton National Park.
“The private fundraising effort was unprecedented. We are in awe of the incredible generosity of thousands of people who stepped forward to help protect Grand Teton National Park and support public education in Wyoming.”
“This is a great victory for the park and all those who love it,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation.
“The acquisition of Antelope Flats accomplishes a longstanding goal of the National Park Service by ensuring that this land will forever provide habitat for antelope, elk, moose, wolves, and grizzly bears as well as preserving the outstanding vistas of the Tetons for future visitors to enjoy.”