“Preserve and protect our area’s ecosystem, in order to ensure a healthy environment, community and economy for current and future generations.”
– The vision of the Jackson/Teton County Comprehensive Land Use Plan
Steps We Can Take
Here are eight steps local government can take to help ensure a healthy environment, community, and economy for current and future generations.
The Comp Plan’s vision is incredibly clear and powerful, yet in the six years since the Comp Plan was adopted, the town and county have taken few, if any, systematic steps to act on it. Let’s change that.
Create an Ecosystem Commission
Combined, the town and county currently have 25 boards and commissions. None is dedicated to preserving and protecting the area’s ecosystem.
Hire a Staff Ecologist
Combined, the town and county currently have 11 land use planners, but no staff ecologists.
Build conservation funding into the town’s budget
Budgets are an expression of an organization’s values. Since the Comp Plan was adopted, the town has not built into its budget regular funding for efforts to preserve and protect the area’s ecosystem.
Walk into Jackson and you know you’re in someplace different. Special. Unique. A place with a wide range of people connected by their love of this place. Our diversity is being threatened. Let’s address that.
Create a property tax task force
The rapid increase in property values is threatening to push out long-time residents and our working class. Let’s create a task force to develop a solution to the problem, then take that solution to Cheyenne for needed legislative fixes.
Create affordable space for artists and start-up businesses
We require developers to build workforce housing because we need a diverse population to keep our community thriving. We also need the arts and local businesses. To support these founts of creativity, let’s explore developing affordable retail and creative space as part of future mixed-use developments.
Designate an Arts District
Other communities support creativity by designating arts districts. Let’s learn from their best practices.
The greatest threat to Jackson Hole’s economy is homogenization; i.e., the powerful economic forces pushing us to become more like other communities. Let’s do all we can to stay distinctive.
Support Local Business
Distinctive local businesses keep our economy and community vital. Let’s explore other communities’ best practices for keeping chain stores out, supporting local businesses in core downtown areas, and other steps to ensure our economy reflects our character.
Create a Lodging Tax Task Force
Jackson Hole should have total control over how lodging tax proceeds are spent. Because we do not, the lodging tax is dividing us as a community, and that is profoundly wrong (especially in these divisive times). Let’s create a lodging tax task force charged with developing and implementing a strategy for getting legislation enacted that will give us total local control over lodging tax proceeds.