About Teton County
Teton County is located in the northwest corner of Wyoming, bounded by Yellowstone National Park on the north, the State of Idaho on the west, Park and Fremont Counties on the east, and Lincoln and Sublette Counties on the south. The Teton Conservation District encompasses all of Teton County, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone Park.
The most widely known feature of Teton County is the magnificent Tetons. Named “les Trois Tetons” (the three breasts) by early French trappers, this towering cluster of peaks has provided millions of people with the most breath-taking view of alpine grandeur of any other mountain range in North America.
The Teton Mountains form the western edge of the world-famous Jackson Hole, a broad valley floor rimmed by the Washakie Range to the north and east and the Gros Ventre, Hoback, and Wyoming ranges to the south and east.
It is generally believed that no white man set foot in Teton County prior to 1800. In 1807, however, John Colter passed through on his way to the area now known as Jackson’s Hole after his good friend and trapping companion, David Jackson. The valley we know today as Jackson Hole was once the summer hunting ground of the Blackfoot, Bannock, Crow, Snake and Arapahoe Indians, and a hideaway for men escaping from the law.
Today, Jackson Hole is a “hideaway” for millions of tourists who come to the area to share in the natural beauty of the landscape and to escape from the hectic pace of city life with its polluted environment. Recreation and tourism is now the number one, year-round industry in Teton County.
Elevation (Feet above sea level)
|Grand Teton Peak||13,766|
Average: 16 inches
Range: 12 to 30 inches
70 to 80 days; subject to frost at any time
Highest Recorded Temperature: 94 degrees (in Town of Jackson)
Average Mean Temperature: 38 degrees ( in Town of Jackson)
Lowest Recorded Temperature: minus 58 degrees
Population 2000 Census
Town of Jackson: 8,647
Teton County: 18,251
Cool and dry
Real Property Ownership
Real property ownership within the District is divided among many different private ownership’s, organizations and/or controlling agencies. This table indicated percentages of total acreage for the classifications of ownership.
|Controlling Agency||Acres||% of Federal Lands|
|US DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR|
|Yellowstone National Park||2,020,039||53.1%|
|Grand Teton National Park||309,221||8.1%|
|National Elk Refuge||24,700||0.6%|
|Bureau of Reclamation||25,600||0.6%|
|Rockefeller Memorial Parkway||23,700||0.6%|
|BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT||2,758||0.1|
|US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE|
|Forest Service Administered Lands||1,398,559||36.7%|
|STATE OF WYOMING|
|State Administered Lands||6,069||100.0%|
|TOTAL SHARE OF DISTRICT LANDS|
The natural systems so prominent in and important to our District do not conform to boundaries separating public from private land. Private lands provide crucial habitat for endangered or threatened species and are an integral part of a healthy and biologically diverse ecosystem. For this reason, TCD will continue to actively promote open lines of communication between Federal and State agencies, non-profit organizations, and private landowners/managers for the benefit of the variety of resources located within our District.
The Teton Conservation District is extremely fortunate to have a great abundance of natural resources within the confines of its borders. Along with this quantity and quality of resources comes the responsibility to maintain the health and integrity of those resources for the future. Listed here are some of those resources.
Our District’s “agriculturally based community” has been as important to our tax base and economic well being as our scenic and recreational resources. Much of what can be described as community character is directly reflective of Teton County’s history. The importance of the County’s ranching and agricultural heritage is apparent in the District. Ranches and farms are still a major part of Teton County’s landscape and are appreciated by residents and tourists alike.
Wildlife resources in the Teton Conservation District have been extensively studied by State and Federal agencies, as well as by local organizations and independent research biologists. This research supports the finding that wildlife resources are not only a basis for local economic viability but of national importance also. Elk, moose, deer, buffalo, bighorn sheep, black bear, grizzly bear, bald eagles, and other species are represented in our District. Evidence in these studies suggests that some damage to important habitat has already occurred. One example is the loss of wetlands and riparian lands along the Snake River due to residential development and construction of the flood control levee system.
Wetlands: We are fortunate to live in an area that has a significant amount of Wetlands. They are important for upland wildlife that come to feed, drink, or to hunt as well as to the nurseries for commercially or recreationally valuable fish. Wetlands form a part of a natural flood control system, allowing for retention and act as a filter protecting downstream water quality by trapping and assimilating contaminants and nutrients.
Winter Range: This is defined as that portion of an animals normal range which is crucial to survival because it is where big game locate food and/or cover during winter. Due to the topography of the District, a great number of ungulates use areas in the valley for their winter range. Most notably the 12,000 to 14,000 head of elk that spend each winter on the National Elk Refuge near Jackson and state feed grounds.
Water: Large bodies of water located within the Snake River watershed include Jackson Lake, Yellowstone Lake, Jenny Lake, Slide lake, Shoshone Lake, Lewis Lake, Leigh Lake and numerous other small lakes. These provide excellent fishing opportunities and fish habitat. Aquatic birds such as the trumpeter swan also benefit greatly from these waters. The Snake River’s value to the ecosystem is immeasurable. Perennial and intermittent streams provide critical habitat and spawning areas for fish and other aquatic species. Perennial streams provide prime cutthroat trout spawning areas, while intermittent streams play a critical role in maintaining water quality in perennial streams.
Riparian Community: These great value of this habitat type has recently been recognized as the transition between water and land based habitats. They support a wide variety of wildlife species which are attracted by the vegetation and plant diversity found at the water’s edge. River bottom forests are a good example of a riparian community. This zone includes winter habitat for moose, trumpeter swan and mule deer. Raptor species and bald eagles use this area year round for forage. The River bottom forest contributes to water quality by filtering water and stabilizing streambank during floods.
Upland Forests & Shrub-Scrub Grassland: Upland Forest habitat provides food and shelter for large mammals including elk, deer, moose and bighorn sheep. Most of this forest occurs on public lands, but it its also found in isolated pockets within private upland shrub and grassland environments. The upland Shrub-Scrub Grassland feeds elk, bison, big horn sheep for a portion, if not all of the year. Coyotes and raptors also find most of their prey here. Due to our climate, disturbed lands are difficult to restore and subject to erosion.