December 12, 2016
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead applauded the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Park Service (NPS), and the Grand Teton National Park Foundation for finalizing the purchase of the 640-acre Antelope Flats parcel of state school trust land within Grand Teton National Park. The NPS purchased the parcel for $46 million - $23 million from the federal government and $23 million from private donations through the Grand Teton National Park Foundation. That money will go to the Common School Trust Fund to support Wyoming schools.
"This is the best outcome for this land. The parcel was generating no revenue for Wyoming schools which raised the possibility of it being sold at public auction. That option was unacceptable to me. This tract will now be available for the public in perpetuity,” said Governor Mead. “I thank Secretary Sally Jewell, the Grand Teton National Park Foundation and every private donor that contributed to make this day a reality. I also want to thank the Legislature, Treasurer Gordon and Auditor Cloud for their support, and Bridget Hill and her staff."
The income generated on the Common School Trust Fund account varies, however it is anticipated that funds from this sale will generate more than $1 million annually for public education. The funds are also available for the Board of Land Commissioners to acquire land assets held by the federal government.
“It is extremely pleasing that all the continued years of hard work and effort regarding this parcel have been rewarded today,” said Bridget Hill, Director of the Office of State Lands and Investments. “This sale represents a huge win for Wyoming’s schools and education funding. As an added benefit, not only were we able to fulfill the Board’s fiduciary obligation to generate revenue from the state school trust lands both now and into the future, but at the same time we were able to help preserve the long-term beauty of one of our State’s real treasures, the Grand Teton National Park.”