Conservation groups promote stewardship with new “Mountain Neighbors Handbook”

A new guide in Jackson Hole promotes environmental stewardship in the Tetons. It is marketed primarily to people moving to the area for the first time.

The Mountain Neighbor Handbook is a collaboration of government agencies, advocacy groups, and other nonprofits in the region, and it attempts to chart a course for sustainable living in one of the world’s most sensitive ecosystems. from the country. It has rules on how to keep away from wildlife, as well as sections on how to manage waste and water, reduce your carbon footprint, and recreate responsibly.

Carlin Girard leads the Teton Conservation District and helped create the manual. He wanted it to address two things: residents’ concern that newcomers are changing the valley, and questions from existing residents about how they can be environmentally conscious.

“Instead of just complaining, we’re trying to put a point in the space where we hope to move towards and encourage that collective action,” Girard said.

Jackson Hole’s ecosystem is threatened by water contamination, wildlife conflicts and invasive species – as well as forest fires. And residents of Teton County consume more energy per capita than residents of Portland, Bozeman or Boulder, according to the report.

Girard said many of the manual’s suggestions are easy ways for people to connect with their surroundings. Many of them stem from customs and practices that have existed in the region for decades, if not centuries.

“I think people who have lived here have a better understanding of what an acceptable level of using different types of resources is, or how we maybe even interact with our neighbors,” Girard said.

Girard receives calls from all over Wyoming who share the concerns he hears in the Tetons. He thinks the state and region could benefit from the resources and ideas in the handbook as more people move to Mountain West for the first time.

He hopes to send copies to anyone who has bought a home in Jackson Hole in the past few years, as well as other members of the local real estate community. those who visit mountainneighbor.org may also request a copy.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana , KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations throughout the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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