Several parcels of state land within Grand Teton National Park are being re-appraised, with results expected this month that could help the ongoing negotiations for the state to sell the land to the federal government. A total of 1,300 acres is at stake, with valuations ranging upwards of $120 million.
Sharon Mader is senior program manager with the National Parks Conservation Association Grand Teton Field Office. She agrees the dollar amount sounds high, but wants people to keep in mind the location.
The negotiations have been in progress for several years, according to Mader, but she says that's no guarantee things couldn't change quickly.
Governor Freudenthal has said if a deal isn't reached with the feds, the land could go to the highest bidder, and there are developers looking at it as a potential ski resort.
The land currently serves as a way to generate money for education, but is only bringing in about $3,000 a year, which is why the Governor wants the feds to buy it, or do a land and mineral-rights combo swap.