These changes have opened up an exciting opportunity to realign the staff roles and responsibilities making our programs more effective and efficient. As a result, we have promoted Tamara Sperber, our Stewardship Director, to Conservation Director, thereby eliminating the separate roles of Land Protection Director and Stewardship Director. Tamara will oversee all aspects of our conservation work from conservation acquisitions to easement monitoring, to partnerships and restoration. Joselin’s transition to Executive Director and Mari’s move to Colorado have opened up two great job opportunities for a Stewardship Coordinator and a Land Protection Specialist. These positios will focus on conservation easement stewardship and conservation acquisitions. We received over 90 appications for these new positions and are currently working through the hiring process. We hope to fill both appointments before summer.
Just as changes in the conservation staff opened up the opportunity to evaluate the efficiency of our conservation program, we also have the opportunity to realign the development program. We are excited to expand the major gifts manager position into a Development Director. This new position will work closely with the Executive Director and Communications Manager to expand our fundraising and outreach programs. We are currently accepting appications for the Development Director position which will remain open until filled.
While we are very disappointed to see Mari and Babette move on from the land trust, but we are very excited about the opportunity to revitalize our team and look forward to the year ahead.
The Teton Regional Land Trust recently partnered with the LOR Foundation and other private donors to permanently protect 180 acres of land on Sage Creek Ranch north of Tetonia, ID. The property is adjacent to Teton Regional Land Trust’s Petzoldt Preserve at the headwaters of Spring Creek near Hatch’s Corner, the north end of Teton County.
This beautiful piece of land is part of the Spring Creek Marsh, a large wetland area that hosts a wide variety of plant and animal species. Conserving this property adds an additional 50 acres of protected wetlands to those already protected by the Petzoldt Preserve, and 140 acres of upland pasture and native sagebrush shrub land are protected from future residential development. Conserving this property provides scenic open space and critical wildlife habitat for members of the general public, forever.
Spring Creek flows south through the property and then west gathering waters from Middle and North Leigh Creeks before entering the Teton River about eight miles downstream. The wetlands that feed Spring Creek cover an area of about 300 acres and provide important nesting and foraging habitat for Sandhill cranes. Conserving the Spring Creek wetland has added a significant measure of protection for these beautiful, iconic birds. The property also provides foraging and winter habitat for Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse, a bird listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need by the Idaho Fish and Game in 2005.
The Spring Creek Property and its associated wetlands and uplands provide excellent foraging habitat for a number of raptors as well. Birds seen on the property include the Great-horned Owl, Short-eared Owl, American Kestrel, Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Rough Legged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk and Swainson’s Hawk. Mammals that inhabit the property include the badger, red fox, white-tail deer, mule deer, and coyote. Spring Creek also provides habitat for both Eastern brook trout and for Yellowstone cutthroat trout. Forever protecting this critical wetland habitat will ensure that these mammals, birds, and fish continue to thrive in this spectacular piece of land in Eastern Idaho.
“Preservation of this quality biological marsh is fundamental to maintaining the nature of the West Slope Valley of the Tetons. The Goble and Caspari families are proud to partner with the Teton Land Trust in attempting to preserve, forever, what attracts all of us to this special place.” – E. Marlowe Goble, property owner.
“It was my pleasure to work with landowners to protect critical wetland habitat, while maintaining sustainable ranching practices and scenic open space. The protection of this property builds on the nearly 11,000 acres or wildlife habitat and working farms and ranches protected in Teton Valley by the Land Trust,” – Joselin Matkins, Land Protection Director.
The Teton Regional Land Trust (TRLT) works to preserve important agricultural lands and fish and wildlife habitat in eastern Idaho for the benefit of present and future generations. TRLT worked with private donors and the LOR Foundation out of Jackson, Wyoming to make this transaction a reality. The LOR Foundation seeks to enhance liveability of the inter-mountain west by promoting efficient and sustainable land uses, context sensitive transportation choices, and cultural and recreational amenities, as a means to strengthen community, inform land use decisions, and preserve open spaces.
To date, the Teton Regional Land Trust has conserved over 31,000 acres in the Upper Snake River Valley. For more information about land conservation or the Teton Regional Land Trust please visit www.tetonlandtrust.org or call 208-354-8939.