A valuable piece of state land inside Grand Teton National Park is likely heading to auction.

WyoFile reports that the state of Wyoming just completed a pivotal step in auctioning off the last chunk of land it owns that borders the eastern boundary of Grand Teton National Park. On Monday, the Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments announced they’ve started land disposal, which coincided with an analysis of the 640-acre plot of land.

Jason Crowder, who’s the Deputy Director of the Wyoming Office of State Lands told WyoFile about this latest step:

“This is one of the very first steps in the process, and there certainly is a long way to go. It definitely has consideration by the [State Board of Land Commissioners] still in front of it.”

The next major step of the process will occur on December 6th. This is when The State Board of Land Commissioners will review the land. If the sale is approved at the meeting, they will order the Office of State Lands to prepare the land for auction.

According to WyoFile, the Kelly Parcel is located along the eastern edge of Grand Teton Park, though it also shares boundaries with the Bridger-Teton National Forest and National Elk Refuge.” The land has an estimated value of $62.4 million. A direct sale to the Interior Department is still possible, but it needs to occur through Wyoming’s legislature, and its path there is uncertain.

Crowder described the process to the WyoFile:

“Any sale of state lands, by [Wyoming’s] constitution, has to be sold at public auction unless we do an exchange or unless the Legislature gives the board authorization to do a direct sale.”

If the plans are approved, the auction won’t happen until 2024. In addition, advertisements for the public auction will start four weeks beforehand. Ultimately, it seems likely that it will end up in the hands of the Interior Department, but the cost is the big question.

Image Credits: Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments

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