CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A deal between Wyoming and the Interior Department will help prevent a square mile of Grand Teton National Park from being developed by putting the property in federal hands.
The $46 million sale completed Monday ends years of drama in which Wyoming officials sought to be rid of the land — for a price — while federal officials and environmentalists fretted the land could end up in private hands and potentially developed.
Wyoming has owned the pristine land surrounded by park lands since statehood. The state land never became part of Grand Teton, which was established at its current boundaries in 1950.
Wyoming gets very little money from leasing the land for grazing compared to the potential windfall from auctioning off the property, something state officials threatened to do in 2010.