Wyoming governor Dave Freudenthal (D) has sent shock-waves throughout the country recently as National Park enthusiasts have learned of a plan involving the possible sale of nearly two square miles of pristine land within the Grand Teton National Park.
The land, which is currently used for cattle grazing, brings in a paltry $3000 per year for the state. Under Wyoming’s constitution, officials are mandated to manage state lands to generate maximum profits. Estimates project the value of the affected land on the open market to number somewhere around $125 million. Private bidders for the land could open the area to home developments, or even a ski resort.
The news comes after nearly a decade where Wyoming has unsuccessfully negotiated the trade of land, minerals or mineral royalties with the Department of the Interior. While the move might just be a ploy to grab the Deparment’s attention, so far it appears to be working.
To be in line with Wyoming’s constitution, any sale or swap of state land would be required to go through a public hearing if the affected county’s commissioners requested such a hearing.