Jackson Hole as a Model for the West

By Todd Wilkinson
“If you’re afraid to hold your friends accountable, then you shouldn’t be in politics.”

—Words of advice imparted by former Seattle Mayor Michael McGinn to a young friend, Craig Benjamin, executive director of the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance.

Some people love to grumble about nature conservationists. Those damned greenies, they say, routinely accused of allegedly conspiring to “lock up” public lands, of allegedly putting wildlife and scenery before the needs of human beings, and of allegedly being anti-growth, anti-development, anti-capitalism, anti-fun.

No local conservation group in the American West has positioned itself deeper in the trenches of community conservation, as it relates to wildlife, wildlands and quality of life, than the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance.

I know because I’ve traveled extensively to different communities writing about the environment and there is no equivalent in the country.

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