Much of the aesthetic beauty which defines our community character can be directly attributed to Teton County’s ranching and agricultural heritage. Agricultural lands and the open space they offer provide a valuable natural resource to our District and are appreciated by both locals and tourists alike.Wildlife resources
“Charismatic” species like cutthroat trout, elk, moose, deer, bison, bighorn sheep, black bear, grizzly bear, bald eagle, and greater sage grouse are just a few of the wildlife species which play critical roles in our ecosystem and draw millions of tourists to our District each year
- Wetlands: We are fortunate to live in an area that has a significant amount of wetlands. Wetlands provide critical habitat for both nesting and migratory bird species. They are also utilized by upland wildlife that come to feed, drink, or to hunt; and, they serve as important rearing habitat for fish. Wetland habitat also forms a part of a natural flood control system by providing retention capacity, and act as a filter protecting downstream water quality by trapping and assimilating contaminants and nutrients.
- Winter Range: This is defined as the portion of a species normal range which is crucial to survival during the winter months. Due to the topography and habitat qualities of northwest Wyoming, a large number of ungulates utilize winter range habitat throughout the district. Most notably, 12,000 to 14,000 elk spend winters on the National Elk Refuge and Wyoming Game and Fish Department elk feedgrounds.
- Water: Within our District’s boundaries lies the headwaters to major rivers including the Snake River, Yellowstone River and small portions of the Wind River, Green River, Madison River, Shoshone River, Clarks Fork, and the Henry’s Fork. Large lakes located within the District include Jackson Lake, Yellowstone Lake, Jenny Lake, Slide Lake, Shoshone Lake, Lewis Lake, Leigh Lake, Grassy Lake, and numerous other small lakes. These waterbodies provide excellent aquatic habitat for fish like the Snake River Fine Spotted Cutthroat Trout and Mountain Whitefish, mammals such as mink, otter, beaver and muskrat, and for birds such as the Trumpeter Swan, Bald Eagle, Common Loon and Osprey.
The riparian community is the transitional zone between aquatic and terrestrial
habitats. These communities support a wide variety of wildlife species
which are attracted by the vegetation and plant diversity found at the water’s
edge. This zone provides excellent habitat for large mammals like moose, black
bear, and beaver. Willows along the
streambank provide cover for native fish and shade the creek helping maintain
cool water temperatures. The riparian plant community also contributes to water
quality by filtering water and stabilizing streambank during floods.
Upland Forests, Shrub-Scrub Grassland and the Alpine Zone
habitats provide food and shelter for large mammals including lynx, bobcat, elk,
deer, moose and bighorn sheep. Most of this forest occurs on public
lands, but it’s also found in isolated pockets within private upland shrub and
grassland environments. The upland Shrub-Scrub Grassland feeds elk,
bison, big horn sheep for a portion, if not all of the year. Coyotes and
raptors also find much of their prey here. The alpine zone provides
habitat for pica, marmot and wolverine, as well as a range of avian species during
the summer months.