Keeping the multi-million dollar ‘Kelly Parcel’ wild

Conservationists in Teton County are coming out in droves to fight a proposal to auction off the land next to Grand Teton National Park.
Beverly Boynton zooms in on two birds soaring above the Kelly Parcel, which provides critical habitat to a slew of species. She is among many residents in Teton County — and across the state — who want to see the land permanently protected. (Hanna Merzbach/KHOL)

If you live in northwestern Wyoming, you’ve probably heard about the “Kelly Parcel.” The hundreds of acres of state land, with soaring views of the Tetons in a wildlife migration corridor, could go to public auction — sold off to the highest bidder, and possibly a developer who could turn it into a luxury home destination. 

But locals and conservationists have been fighting back against the proposed sale. Check out the audio and visual story below to learn about the battle to try and keep this part of Wyoming wild. 


The Kelly Parcel boasts soaring views of the Teton range. The state-owned land is surrounded by Grand Teton National Park, the Gros Ventre Range and the National Elk Refuge. “You can see the Tetons from Mount Moran and all the way down to Glory Bowl,” says Beverly Boynton, who has lived in the neighboring town of Kelly for 25 years. She wants the land to stay wild and become part of the national park. She and other locals have protested the sale at rally and meeting about the land in Teton County.

An executive board made up of top state officials will ultimately have the last word on the auction at a Dec. 7 meeting, and it may not have the votes to move forward with the plan. Three out of the five members, like Secretary of State Chuck Gray, say they have concerns.

Residents can send their thoughts on the future of the Kelly lot to Jason Crowder ( with the Office of State Lands and Investments through Dec 1.



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About Hanna Merzbach

Hanna is KHOL's senior reporter and managing editor. A lot of her work focuses on housing and local politics, but also women's health — and whatever else she finds interesting. You can hear her reporting around the country and region on NPR, Wyoming Public Radio and community radio stations around the west. She hails from Bend, Oregon, where she reported for outlets such as the Atlantic, High Country News and Oregon Public Broadcasting. In her free time, you can find Hanna scaling rock walls or adventuring in the mountains.

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