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National Forest lands near Alpine expanded

Star Valley Winter 2012

The U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with The Conservation Fund and the Halpin family, has protected 315 acres of property within the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

Located approximately two miles west of Palisades Reservoir, the land, known as the McCoy Creek property, is completely surrounded by national forest land. According to the Forest Service, the property had been “previously approved for the development of 11 homes and was the centerpiece of a controversial land exchange proposal.”

“This particular private inholding has been a high priority for the Caribou-Targhee National Forest to acquire,” stated Tracy Hollingshead, District Ranger, Palisades Ranger District. “This acquisition will provide additional recreational opportunities for the public and reduce the potential for future conflicts,”

According to the Forest Service, Land and Water Conservation Fund monies were approved by Congress   “and allowed the Forest Service, with assistance from The Conservation Fund, to acquire the land from Savit Associates represented by the Halpin family in Jackson,  who was seeking a permanent conservation solution for their family land.”

“Preservation is the best option for this property,” said Luke Lynch, Wyoming State Director for The Conservation Fund. “It helps to keep communities safer from the risk of wildfires and, with its significant recreational and wildlife values, it’s a critical addition to the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. We’re grateful to all of our partners for their cooperation and to the Idaho congressional delegation for their foresight and their support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which gives us the opportunity to protect important natural areas like these before they are lost forever.”

According to the Forest Service, the McCoy Creek property is also “essential for maintaining access to the area’s popular recreational opportunities, such as hunting, fishing and snowmobiling.”

“Our family is leaving a legacy for future generations,” said Mike Halpin, the landowner. “The Conservation Fund has given us the opportunity to fulfill that legacy, and we are proud to see the property become part of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest for the public to enjoy.”

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