The Teton Regional Land Trust is thrilled to announce an exciting new partnership working to improve public access and promote resource protection along the Teton River. Together with Teton County, Idaho, the Trust for Public Land, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and local non-profits including Friends of the Teton River, LegacyWorks Group, Valley Advocates for Responsible Development and the Community Foundation of Teton Valley, the Land Trust is partnering on the Bates Teton River Project to purchase, improve, and forever protect the Bates Bridge public access.
Flowing through Teton County, the Teton River is a prized fishery where people travel from all corners for their chance to catch a native Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout or to simply relax while paddling the waters. Purchasing the land was a great investment in our community, the local economy and our wildlife.
This project provides the opportunity for our community to come to protect one of the most popular public access sites on the Teton River, to improve the safety and parking of the river access, and to permanently protect the riverbanks and surrounding wetlands, wildlife habitat, and agricultural land from residential development and other incompatible uses.
The Trust for Public Land is facilitating the purchase with the intent of transferring ownership to Teton County. The County will own the parcel with a portion of the property designated for recreational use by the public, and the remainder forever protected for its ecological, agricultural, and open space values through a conservation easement. The land trust will work with Teton County to ensure the conservation values are upheld. These portions will stay wild and protected forever.
The new public access site will be located on the north side of Bates Road will include an enlarged boat ramp, ample parking, restrooms, informational kiosks and areas for families to picnic and play. Once the improvements are complete, the existing access and parking areas will be decommissioned and restored.
As we take a moment to celebrate the 80 acre purchase, there is still a lot of work to be done. We look forward to keeping you updated in the year ahead on how you can help.