Walton Ranch fence road

West Gros Ventre Butte resident Andy Salter walks a corner of what he calls a “road” that was constructed along the border of the Walton Ranch’s property, which abuts his own. He argues that the ranch did not properly give notice to the Jackson Hold Land Trust of its intent to build the road, which could be a violation of the conservation easement. The Land Trust says no violation occurred.

Neighbors of the Walton Ranch are at odds with the ranch and the Jackson Hole Land Trust over whether a newly built “road” or “bench” is a violation of the ranch’s 1,840-acre conservation easement.

On one side is Andy Salter, a West Gros Ventre Butte resident and attorney with the Teton Law Group. He argues that the dirt byway built this summer to help the ranch construct a new fence along its eastern boundary was not allowed. The fence and road abut Salter’s property to the west. He can see them, and most of the ranch, from his office window.

On the other side is the Land Trust and the Walton Ranch. Liz Long, the trust’s director of conservation, said the nonprofit goes through an established process when concerns are raised about a potential violation. In this case the trust’s board saw no violation.

“It was an action necessary to support the infrastructure necessary for ongoing agriculture on the Walton ranch,” Long said in an interview.

Salter disagreed.

“In my mind it sounds like they are ignoring their obligations under the easement,” Salter told the News&Guide. “They’re allowing a new road that’s simply not authorized.”

Read more about the Walton Ranch, its conservation easement and the dispute in this week's News&Guide, available for $1 on news stands county wide through Tuesday. You can also read online at JHNewsAndGuide.com.

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or barnold@jhnewsandguide.com.

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