Grand Teton Association Earns National Forest Service Award

Release Date: Mar 23, 2011  

 Jackson, Wyo. – The Grand Teton Association (GTA), which is the Interpretive Association for the Bridger-Teton National Forest garnered the prestigious United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Excellence in Partnership Award for 2011.  The award recognizes the outstanding partnership between the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the Interpretive Association.  The award highlights a decades-long history of outstanding support to the Forest as well as some specific accomplishments during 2010 with the Grand Teton Association’s work on the US Capitol Christmas Tree project for Wyoming.

 Nora Rasure, Deputy Director of Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Services presented the national partnership award at The Association of Partners for Public Lands (APPL) conference in Dallas, TX on February 22, 2011.

 In addition to the Excellence in Partnership Award, the Grand Teton Association also received two nods from a jury of their peers at the APPL conference in the categories of Media and Partnership Award for Theme and for Partnership on a Program/ Project, both for the US Capitol Christmas Tree efforts.

 The Grand Teton Association served as the fiscal agent for Wyoming’s 2010 US Capitol Christmas Tree. Through their efforts, GTA managed all of the donations for The People’s Tree, and helped to select, produce and sell the commemorative merchandise that aided in financing delivering the Tree to Washington D.C. “The success of the US Capitol Christmas Tree project is due to the outstanding work and dedication of partners from across the state,” said Forest Supervisor Jacque Buchanan. “The partnership with the Grand Teton Association is particularly unique and they certainly went above and beyond and are extremely deserving of such a magnificent award,” she said.

 For more than 40 years, federal land management agencies such as the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service have entered into agreements with non-profit interpretive or cooperating associations.  Interpretive Associations, as they are referred to in the Forest Service, are mission-driven, private, non-profit organizations established under state law and adhering to applicable laws governing federal tax-exempt 501(3)(c) organizations. The primary purpose of an Interpretive Association is to contribute to high quality visitor experiences and support the Forest Service’s interpretive and educational efforts. The Grand Teton Association is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the interpretive, scientific, and educational activities of the Bridger Teton National Forest, as well as Grand Teton National Park, the National Elk Refuge, and Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

 Partnerships are an essential part of how the Bridger-Teton National Forest delivers programs and services and develops relationships with communities of place and communities of interest.  “The Forest is increasingly dependent upon working in partnerships,” said Buchanan.  “The Forest’s partnership relationships are becoming more complex and the monetary and resource values of partnerships are growing,” she said.