Trails End Ranch

160 acre inholding within the Bridger-Teton National Forest, located on Fall Creek southwest of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
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Location: Wyoming
Acquired: 2010
Sale: 2018

Value Creation

Wetland Restoration, River/Creek Restoration, Hazardous Material / Chemical / Other Cleanup, Legal/Title Cleanup

Conservation impact

Battling Habitat Fragmentation and the Extinction Crisis, Climate Change Adaptation

A formerly pristine wilderness, the ranch was subjected to several failed development efforts before we restored the overbuilt and severely degraded property to pristine wetland, creek, meadow and forest habitat, and sold it to a conservation buyer.

Before & After

Slide the arrows from left to right to see the transformation.

Structural Remediation

Pond Restoration

Experience The Ranch

The Challenge

The ranch was homesteaded prior to the establishment of the National Forest system. It passed through several hands with only a simple hunting cabin being built. About forty years ago, driven by the growing popularity of Jackson Hole, developers parceled up the ranch into about twenty lots. Development stopped and started over the years, as boom and bust cycles kick-started and halted construction of a shockingly large number of structures. With the failure of the third developer, half-finished homes, lodges, and barns littered the landscape, severely degrading the formerly pristine habitat in the middle of the National Forest not far from Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

The Solution

We acquired the ranch in 2010 during the Great Recession. The latest owner-developer was selling the ranch in its entirety under pressure from their bank. In the dead of winter, we snow-machined into the ranch and quickly negotiated a deal that worked for the developer and the bank. We worked with the US Forest Service and Jackson Hole Land Trust to secure legal all-season access to the ranch, down-zone the most egregious lots and to remove the many derelict and hazardous structures on the ranch. We also restored the creek and wetlands on the ranch.

The Future

Once we restored the property to its pristine former self, a conservation buyer approached us through the Jackson Hole Land Trust and acquired the ranch. As critical riparian habitat, located so close to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, and within the Bridger-Teton National Forest, this was a tremendously important conservation victory.

Trails End Ranch Areas of Value Creation

Wetland Restoration

Enlarged the degraded and non-functional wetland and reconnected it with its flood plain. 

River/Creek Restoration

Undid the human manipulation that had negatively impacted the creek.

Hazardous Material / Chemical / Other Cleanup

Removed derelict and hazardous lodge, barn, half-completed homes, sheds and cabins.

Legal/Title Cleanup

Worked with the US Forest Service and Jackson Hole Land Trust to remove the most egregious building envelopes from the threat of development and to secure all-season access to the ranch.