Governor Approves Legislation for State-federal Land Swap in Grand Teton National Park
April 15, 2014 — On March 7, Governor Matt Mead signed legislation approved by the Legislature that opened the door for the federal government to obtain 1,280 acres of state inholdings in Grand Teton National Park. The terms of the legislation are that the Department of Interior will negotiate a land exchange, likely for valuable natural resource rich federal land elsewhere in the state, with Wyoming before two separate 640-acre parcels of state School Trust land can become part of the park. The land exchange must be finalized by January 2016. Federal budget constraints made it unlikely that the Interior would be able to make payments on its 2010 deal to pay $107 million for about 1,400 acres inside Grand Teton National Park. The BLM will determine what federal lands Wyoming will receive and will negotiate a swap with the State Loan and Investment Board.
Related to this legislation, Governor Mead used his line item veto to strike 10 items from the 2015-2016 budget bill. One of the items he struck from the budget was the requirement that land purchases over $2 million made by the State Land and Investment Board would require legislative approval. Vetoing this measure preserved independence of the State Land and Investment Board and flexibility on issues such as the negotiated land exchange.
For complete details of the land exchange, click here
To read all of the Governor’s line item vetoes on this year’s budget, click here