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Teton Regional Land Trust Announces New Executive Director

Joselin Photo 1 The staff and Board of Teton Regional Land Trust (TRLT) are proud to announce Joselin Matkins as their new Executive Director. TRLT received over 68 applications for the position and took on a three-part interview process that lasted almost five months. In the end, the Teton Regional Land Trust Board of Directors unanimously selected Matkins to be the new leader of the organization.  

Matkins brings 14 years of land trust experience to TRLT. She served for five years as the Executive Director of Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust in Pocatello, Idaho and has served as the president of the Idaho Coalition of Land Trusts (ICOLT) since 2009. For the last two years, Joselin worked for TRLT as the Land Protection Director where she established strong relationships with landowners, supporters, and partners, completed several conservation projects, and led the organization’s reaccreditation application which was awarded in February 2015. 

Matkins will fill the role previously held by Chet Work, who left TRLT for an opportunity to serve as the Executive Director of The Land Trust of Santa Barbara County. Throughout the hiring process, Tamara Sperber served as the Interim Executive Director and Matkins will take over as Executive Director effective March 16, 2015. This transition comes at an exciting time for TRLT as they are celebrating their silver anniversary and recently surpassed 32,000 acres of protected, farms, ranches, and critical wildlife habitat in east Idaho. TRLT is very excited about their accomplishments and looks forward to even greater success in the years to come. 

“It is such an honor to be selected to lead such a prestigious organization. This is truly an opportunity of a lifetime.  I am excited to step into the role as Teton Regional Land Trust celebrates 25 years of conservation success in east Idaho. I look forward to building on that success with one of the best land trusts in the country. Together with our great board, staff and community we can continue to be a leader in the protection of the intrinsic values that draw so many to our special corner of Idaho”, Joselin Matkins, Executive Director Teton Regional Land Trust.

 Matkins received her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Colorado. She started her land trust journey as an intern with the Wood River Land Trust before returning to graduate school at Oregon State University. There she received her Master of Science degree from the College of Forestry, Department of Forestry and Ecosystems and Society. 

“As a fourth generation Idahoan who knows us, and knows our special landscape, Joselin is the perfect person to lead our efforts to conserve our place for present and future generations,” Tim Hopkins, TRLT Board of Directors President. 

Matkins’ family homesteaded in Roberts, Idaho before settling near Mud Lake.   Matkins was born in Pocatello and grew up in the Wood River Valley.   Her personal interests easily align with TRLT’s mission of protecting critical land in east Idaho. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast and enjoys hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and floating local rivers.

The Teton Regional Land Trust will be introducing Matkins as the new Executive Director to the community, land trust members, and landowners throughout the region this spring and summer. For your chance to meet Matkins in her new capacity, please visit the TRLT website or follow us on Facebook for the announcement of upcoming events. 

The Teton Regional Land Trust works to preserve important agricultural lands and fish and wildlife habitat in Eastern Idaho for the benefit of present and future generations. For more information about Teton Regional Land Trust, please call 208-354-8939 or stop by the office at 1520 South 500 West, Driggs, Idaho 83422.

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180 Acres of Critical Habitat conserved

Goble property

The Teton Regional Land Trust recently partnered with the LOR Foundation and other private donors to permanently protect 180 acres of land on Sage Creek Ranch north of Tetonia, ID. The property is adjacent to Teton Regional Land Trust’s Petzoldt Preserve at the headwaters of Spring Creek near Hatch’s Corner, the north end of Teton County. 

This beautiful piece of land is part of the Spring Creek Marsh, a large wetland area that hosts a wide variety of plant and animal species. Conserving this property adds an additional 50 acres of protected wetlands to those already protected by the Petzoldt Preserve, and 140 acres of upland pasture and native sagebrush shrub land are protected from future residential development. Conserving this property provides scenic open space and critical wildlife habitat for members of the general public, forever. 

Spring Creek flows south through the property and then west gathering waters from Middle and North Leigh Creeks before entering the Teton River about eight miles downstream. The wetlands that feed Spring Creek cover an area of about 300 acres and provide important nesting and foraging habitat for Sandhill cranes. Conserving the Spring Creek wetland has added a significant measure of protection for these beautiful, iconic birds. The property also provides foraging and winter habitat for Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse, a bird listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need by the Idaho Fish and Game in 2005.

The Spring Creek Property and its associated wetlands and uplands provide excellent foraging habitat for a number of raptors as well. Birds seen on the property include the Great-horned Owl, Short-eared Owl, American Kestrel, Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Rough Legged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk and Swainson’s Hawk. Mammals that inhabit the property include the badger, red fox, white-tail deer, mule deer, and coyote. Spring Creek also provides habitat for both Eastern brook trout and for Yellowstone cutthroat trout. Forever protecting this critical wetland habitat will ensure that these mammals, birds, and fish continue to thrive in this spectacular piece of land in Eastern Idaho. 

“Preservation of this quality biological marsh is fundamental to maintaining the nature of the West Slope Valley of the Tetons. The Goble and Caspari families are proud to partner with the Teton Land Trust in attempting to preserve, forever, what attracts all of us to this special place.” – E. Marlowe Goble, property owner.

 “It was my pleasure to work with landowners to protect critical wetland habitat, while maintaining sustainable ranching practices and scenic open space. The protection of this property builds on the nearly 11,000 acres or wildlife habitat and working farms and ranches protected in Teton Valley by the Land Trust,” – Joselin Matkins, Land Protection Director.

The Teton Regional Land Trust (TRLT) works to preserve important agricultural lands and fish and wildlife habitat in eastern Idaho for the benefit of present and future generations. TRLT worked with private donors and the LOR Foundation out of Jackson, Wyoming to make this transaction a reality. The LOR Foundation seeks to enhance liveability of the inter-mountain west by promoting efficient and sustainable land uses, context sensitive transportation choices, and cultural and recreational amenities, as a means to strengthen community, inform land use decisions, and preserve open spaces.

 To date, the Teton Regional Land Trust has conserved over 31,000 acres in the Upper Snake River Valley. For more information about land conservation or the Teton Regional Land Trust please visit www.tetonlandtrust.org or call 208-354-8939.

Teton Regional Land Trust, Protecting The Land For All Who Love Idaho