In Memoriam – Joselin Matkins

March 16, 1978 to January 8, 2021

Our beloved Joselin Matkins, our Executive Director, will be remembered for her dedication, passion, and exceptional work in conservation, primarily in the Upper Snake River region in eastern Idaho. She was a loving daughter, partner, mentor, and friend to many. The legacy she leaves behind is a lifetime accomplishment and an amazing gift that all of us and future generations will benefit from.

Our hearts go out to her family, friends, and colleagues as we all try to make sense of this unimaginable loss. The Land Trust is committed to advancing the work Joselin was so passionate about and honoring her memory.

To honor Joselin, a memorial fund has been established, you can learn about the Joselin Matkins Enduring Spirit Fund here.

  • Teton Basin

    Because of the rare plant and wide-ranging animal species that depend upon it, the Teton River Basin has been ranked the number one private lands conservation priority area within the entire Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for its combination of irreplaceable ecological value and vulnerability.

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  • Teton Basin

    Steeped in agricultural tradition, farming and ranching remains significant in Teton Basin, benefitting both people and wildlife.

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  • South Fork

    The South Fork Snake River corridor from Swan Valley to Menan Buttes is one of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s most outstanding fish and wildlife resources, including the cottonwood gallery forest along this reach of the river, named the number one wildlife resource in Idaho.

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  • Sand Creek and Middle Henry’s Fork

    Because of the combination of rare plant and animal populations in the area, the Henry’s Fork River is ranked as the number two conservation priority within the entire Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for its irreplaceable ecological value.

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  • Island Park and Shotgun Valley

    The Island Park Caldera, the Henry’s Lake Flat, Shotgun Valley, and the south slope of the Centennial Range make up a large and diverse landscape, where there are is great value for migratory and wintering elk and sage grouse, raptor migration corridors, and expansive habitats of value to many species.

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Youth Education - Expanded Opportunities

The Land Trust began to explore youth educational opportunities through the Woods Creek Fen Outdoor Classroom in 2009 and we continue to find ways to connect our region’s youth to the natural world. Over the years we have involved Teton Valley elementary school kids with our Trumpeter Swan releases and have made teacher trunks that educators can use. We strongly believe that education is an important component of our work and that by educating kids on conservation and stewardship we can sustain connections between people and land that will carry on for generations.

We are refurbishing our entire Teacher Trunk series with new materials and lessons, Spanish translation, and by adding an online component. These interactive trunks can be used by teachers, in or out or the classroom, or by families at home. Thanks to grants from the Community Foundation of Teton Valley Youth Philanthropy program, Idaho National Laboratory through Battelle Energy Alliance, Intermountain Aquatics, and other generous donors for supporting this project.

We are excited to announce that our newest teacher trunk "Winter Ecology" is ready for use! This trunk contains lessons on snow science and animal adaptations especially geared toward 3rd graders but can be modified to suit any learner. If you can't make it to our office in Teton Valley to pick one up, you can watch a virtual presentation on our website (link below).

Watch for our other new trunks "Spring: Healthy Ecosystems and Renewal" coming out later this spring, "Summer in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem" this summer, and a take-home edition of "Cranes in the Classroom" this fall! We hope that these trunks will help foster a love and appreciation for our region's unique environment and its amazing wildlife. For more information or to reserve a Teacher Trunk, please email hilary@tetonlandtrust.org
... See MoreSee Less

Youth Education - Expanded Opportunities

The Land Trust began to explore youth educational opportunities through the Woods Creek Fen Outdoor Classroom in 2009 and we continue to find ways to connect our region’s youth to the natural world. Over the years we have involved Teton Valley elementary school kids with our Trumpeter Swan releases and have made teacher trunks that educators can use. We strongly believe that education is an important component of our work and that by educating kids on conservation and stewardship we can sustain connections between people and land that will carry on for generations. 

We are refurbishing our entire Teacher Trunk series with new materials and lessons, Spanish translation, and by adding an online component. These interactive trunks can be used by teachers, in or out or the classroom, or by families at home. Thanks to grants from the Community Foundation of Teton Valley Youth Philanthropy program, Idaho National Laboratory through Battelle Energy Alliance, Intermountain Aquatics, and other generous donors for supporting this project. 

We are excited to announce that our newest teacher trunk Winter Ecology is ready for use! This trunk contains lessons on snow science and animal adaptations especially geared toward 3rd graders but can be modified to suit any learner. If you cant make it to our office in Teton Valley to pick one up, you can watch a virtual presentation on our website (link below). 

Watch for our other new trunks Spring: Healthy Ecosystems and Renewal coming out later this spring, Summer in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem this summer, and a take-home edition of Cranes in the Classroom this fall! We hope that these trunks will help foster a love and appreciation for our regions unique environment and its amazing wildlife. For more information or to reserve a Teacher Trunk, please email hilary@tetonlandtrust.org

Species Spotlight - River Otters

North American river otters are members of the weasel family. Rarely found far from water, otters are well adapted for semi-aquatic living. These 10-30 lb. mammals have short legs, webbed feet, a lithe body, and a flattened head for streamlined underwater movement that helps them catch fish. Otters do eat trout, but the bulk of an otter’s diet consists of chubs, suckers, and other fish that humans tend to ignore. Long whiskers help them search for food and avoid obstacles underwater, and otters are able to hold their breath for up to 8 minutes before they need to resurface. River otter fur is 10 times denser than bobcat or red fox fur, which allows them to thrive in cold, icy river water.

Known for playful behavior, the river otter’s social interactions actually help it survive winter. They remain active, even in fresh, deep snow. They move along rapidly on crust or ice by alternating a series of hops with belly sliding, which can help conserve energy, and otters can achieve speeds of up to 15 miles per hour on land. Otters have been observed playing with sticks in the water and even dropping pebbles to retrieve them from the bottom of the river. Their playful snow and mud sliding, tail chasing, and water activities help strengthen social bonds and let young otters practice hunting techniques. Young otters stay with their mother through their first winter. Sharing a den with her helps them keep warm, collaborative hunting helps keep food supplies plentiful, and mutual grooming helps them keep those remarkable coats in good condition. They favor streams and rivers where water does not freeze though they will maintain holes in the ice on ponds where water does freeze. River otters may even dig passages through beaver dams so they can easily move under the ice between connected water bodies.

These furry critters are hunted by foxes, wolves, raptors and were once found throughout most of North America. The fine, high quality of their fur made them a staple of the Western fur trade, and habitat loss from damming rivers and riparian development led to the decimation of this species over much of the United States. Conservation and protection have helped otters return to a part of their former range. Today, river otters can be found throughout most of Idaho.

Photo by Tim Mayo
... See MoreSee Less

Species Spotlight - River Otters

North American river otters are members of the weasel family. Rarely found far from water, otters are well adapted for semi-aquatic living. These 10-30 lb. mammals have short legs, webbed feet, a lithe body, and a flattened head for streamlined underwater movement that helps them catch fish. Otters do eat trout, but the bulk of an otter’s diet consists of chubs, suckers, and other fish that humans tend to ignore. Long whiskers help them search for food and avoid obstacles underwater, and otters are able to hold their breath for up to 8 minutes before they need to resurface. River otter fur is 10 times denser than bobcat or red fox fur, which allows them to thrive in cold, icy river water.

Known for playful behavior, the river otter’s social interactions actually help it survive winter. They remain active, even in fresh, deep snow. They move along rapidly on crust or ice by alternating a series of hops with belly sliding, which can help conserve energy, and otters can achieve speeds of up to 15 miles per hour on land. Otters have been observed playing with sticks in the water and even dropping pebbles to retrieve them from the bottom of the river. Their playful snow and mud sliding, tail chasing, and water activities help strengthen social bonds and let young otters practice hunting techniques. Young otters stay with their mother through their first winter. Sharing a den with her helps them keep warm, collaborative hunting helps keep food supplies plentiful, and mutual grooming helps them keep those remarkable coats in good condition. They favor streams and rivers where water does not freeze though they will maintain holes in the ice on ponds where water does freeze. River otters may even dig passages through beaver dams so they can easily move under the ice between connected water bodies.

These furry critters are hunted by foxes, wolves, raptors and were once found throughout most of North America. The fine, high quality of their fur made them a staple of the Western fur trade, and habitat loss from damming rivers and riparian development led to the decimation of this species over much of the United States. Conservation and protection have helped otters return to a part of their former range. Today, river otters can be found throughout most of Idaho.

Photo by Tim Mayo
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The health and welfare of our staff, family, and community is our top priority and the majority of staff are working remotely. Although our office building is closed, we are available by telephone and email. We will continue to update our website as we make decisions about future events so please continue to check back.

Inspiring you to Protect Great Places

Conserving working farms and ranches, fish and wildlife habitat, and scenic open spaces in Eastern Idaho for this and future generations.