Joselin Matkins

February 4, 2021

Dear Land Trust Family,

We hope you are doing well. It has been an emotional month at the Land Trust with the sudden, devastating loss of our incredible Executive Director, Joselin Matkins. As we are navigating our grief, it has been comforting and heartwarming to receive such an outpouring of compassion and support from far and wide, a true testament to the impact Joselin made on so many of us.

Joselin is deeply missed, and we are regularly reminded of her endless energy and passion for conservation and her profound appreciation for this area. As hard as it is to move forward, we feel the best way to honor her is to continue protecting the place she loved so much. To keep her bright light shining, we have set up the Joselin Matkins Enduring Spirit Fund to support projects that Joselin was most passionate about—private lands conservation, connecting youth and our community with nature, and protecting iconic Greater Yellowstone wildlife such as Sandhill Cranes.

Joselin was enamored with Sandhill Cranes and knew their migratory success depended on our region’s unique alignment of resources. She spearheaded the annual Greater Yellowstone Crane Festival four years ago to increase awareness about threats this species is facing while increasing support to protect their staging and nesting habitat in eastern Idaho.  She worked hard to make our conservation efforts inclusive and accessible, bridging divides and bringing people together to connect around their love for the natural world. Joselin recognized that it was our responsibility to create opportunities for youth to foster an understanding and appreciation for nature in order to spark our future conservation heroes. She grew increasingly concerned about losing the ecologically diverse landscape in eastern Idaho to rising pressures and worked tirelessly to protect it, one acre at a time. This is demonstrated by Joselin’s remark recently in December, “Nature is facing so many pressures and I appreciate that the work of the Land Trust leads directly to sustaining habitat, rivers and streams, and farms and ranches – not just for today, but for the generations that will come after us.”

We are talking with our Teton Creek Collaborative partners about a way to honor Joselin along the Teton Creek Corridor, a project in which she was instrumental in helping bring to fruition. These efforts are in the planning stages, and additional details will be shared as they become available. For more information, or to give to the Joselin Matkins Enduring Spirit Fund, please contact Jeske Gräve at (208)354-8939 or jeske@tetonlandtrust.org

While we reflect on Joselin’s incredible life’s work, we know we cannot let up, and our staff and board have risen to the challenge of continuing our important work.  Executive Director duties are being shared by our very capable leadership team of Christine Ford, Jeske Gräve, and Tamara Sperber until the Executive Director position is filled. Conservation projects that are in the works are moving along steadily, and we are in the beginning stages of planning special events and outreach opportunities that will be safe to host this year. We are also working to shore up details for an event in September that will honor and celebrate Joselin’s dedicated conservation work.

Our Board of Directors has formed an Executive Director search committee, led by Arantza Zabala, Teton Regional Land Trust Board of Directors Vice President. Arantza brings 24 years of Human Resources experience to our national search to find a leader committed to continuing our mission. We will be reaching out to our partners and the Land Trust Alliance to spread our search throughout the region and land trust community.

Our Board of Directors is committed to providing our exceptional staff with the time and support they need during this challenging time. We recognize that many supporters and members of our community may also be mourning her loss. As the shock of this recent event is slowly settling, I would like to encourage you to reach out to someone you know that is struggling, or haven’t talked to in a while, to let them know you are thinking of them and care about them. We may often feel alone, especially during these strange, isolating times, when we are in reality not alone at all. An email or a call goes a long way, and I hope we can all be there for one another and show that extra bit of support that is so desperately needed right now.

If you have question s or concerns that you would like to share, please do not hesitate to reach out to me (208) 390 2561 or to Arantza Zabala, our Vice President, (208) 589 1248.

We are very grateful for all of your support.

Sincerely,

John Nedrow

President, Teton Regional Land Trust Board of Directors