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DEMOGRAPHICS

ECONOMY

HOUSING

EDUCATION

JACKSON HOLE

2016 EDITION

To PRESERVE and PROTECT: What’s at stake for Jackson Hole and all of its residents

TETON DUALITY


INSPIRE INVEST INSPIRE: serving as a leader, catalyst and resource to ensure sustainability

INVEST: devoting time, talent and treasure to positively impact the community

The Community Foundation of Jackson Hole inspires the entire community to support local

We are a family of funds, responsibly managed and maintained. By providing superior

nonprofits and to celebrate philanthropy through an incredible annual matching grant opportunity –

donor services, flexible charitable giving options and prudent investment alternatives,

Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities. The next generation learns the importance of strategic giving through

the Community Foundation helps you support all the causes you care about at home and

the Youth Philanthropy program. Nonprofits find talented new volunteers through our

around the world. We help you structure your giving to provide immediate

Volunteer Jackson Hole website.

funding or to ensure stability for nonprofits in perpetuity.

Philanthropy reinforces our fundamental humanity and our shared values, connecting us to what is truly important.

IMPROVING LIVES THROUGH PHILANTHROPIC LEADERSHIP


ENRICH ENRICH: improving lives through philanthropic leadership

• Over the last 26 years, the Community Foundation has granted over • In 2015, 72 local nonprofits received

$714,005

$238 million .

from the Foundation’s competitive grant funds.

• The Community Foundation holds approximately 240 funds and

$52 million in assets.

$121 million to benefit local nonprofits. Since 2001, the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole has consistently granted more dollars per capita than any other community foundation in the United States. In 2015, local students received $ 188,500 in scholarships to pursue their dreams. 250 nonprofit representatives attended 23 Foundation workshops on topics

• Over its lifetime, Old Bill’s Fun Run has raised over •

• •

from board development to grant writing.

245 East Simpson Street • PO Box 574, Jackson, WY 83001 • 307-739-1026 • www.cfjacksonhole.org • www.volunteerjacksonhole.org • www.oldbills.org


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T C C G R E A L E S T A T E , A D I V I S I O N O F T H E C L E A R C R E E K G R O U P, L L C 1 2 0 W E S T P E A R L AV E N U E ․ J AC K S O N , W Y O M I N G 83 0 01 (307) 732-3400 ․ TCCGR E A L E STAT E .COM


CONTENTS JACKSON HOLE

2016 EDITION JHCompass.com PUBLISHER Kevin Olson ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Adam Meyer EDITOR John R. Moses CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Jonathan Schechter DEPUTY EDITORS Richard Anderson, Johanna Love ART DIRECTOR Kathryn Holloway

6

Introduction Where Jackson Hole is and where Jackson Hole is headed.

8 Teton Duality

Extremes define much of the Tetons region’s issues and character.

16 Demographics

Teton County’s population growth is among the top 5 percent in the nation.

38 42

Election There are more registered Democrats in Jackson this year than ever before.

PHOTOGRAPHERS Bradly J. Boner, Price Chambers, Ryan Dorgan COPY EDITORS Jennifer Dorsey, Mark Huffman RESEARCH ASSISTANT Will Stabler

Wyoming This coal-powered state continues to struggle with a changing energy market.

46 Region

The area is united by its problems but fragmented by political boundaries.

CREATIVE SERVICES MANAGER Lydia Redzich AD DESIGN & PRODUCTION Sarah Grengg, Jenna Mahaffie, Natalie Connell ADVERTISING SALES Karen Brennan, Matt Cardis, Tom Hall, Chad Repinski, Andra Adamson Foster ACCOUNT COORDINATOR Oliver O’Connor CIRCULATION MANAGER Kyra Griffin

20 Economy

The country’s richest county also has one of the largest income gaps.

30 Housing

The data suggest there’s little Teton County can do about its housing crisis.

34 4

Education Teton County schools continue to be expected to do more with less.

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

50 54

Peers To those whom much is given, much is expected in return.

Directory Who’s who and how to get hold of them.

CIRCULATION Hank Smith, Jeff Young, Georgi McCarthy OFFICE MANAGER Kathleen Godines ON THE COVER: Reed Kaestner casts for cutthroat trout last August on Flat Creek, the picturesque waterway that winds through the National Elk Refuge. BRADLY J. BONER ©2016 Jackson Hole Compass Additional copies available for $2.95 each. Bulk discount available. Jackson Hole News&Guide P.O. Box 7445, 1225 Maple Way Jackson, WY 83002; 307-733-2047 FAX: 307-733-2138, JHNewsAndGuide.com


2016

GREETING THE DAWN EDWARD ALDRICH

May • ElkFest & Old West Days July • Howdy Pardners 4th of July Parade Summer • Town Square Shoot Out Gang and Stagecoach Rides

'.%*2'/&)-*! ,!& October • Trick or Treat on the Square Fr-r02Jck'&'$!&,*F+, November • Town Square Lighting December • Santa on the Square

March/April • Town Square Easter Egg Hunt September • Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival September • Jackson Hole Marathon

Respecting the Power of Place:

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www.jacksonholechamber.com


INTRODUCTION

W

elcome to the sixth annual edition of Jackson Hole Compass. As its title suggests, Compass is meant to give readers a sense of both where the community is and where it might be going. With luck, it’s done at least a bit of that over the past five years. Like the community it studies and serves, Compass is always c h a n g i n g , Jonathan Schechter always trying to get better. And like the community, while one year’s edition of Compass may not look too terribly different from the previous year’s, when viewed over time the changes are clear. This year’s biggest change to Compass is the addition of abridged transcripts of the “State of My Jurisdiction” speeches made by local leaders at the January 2016 edition of “22 in 21: The State of Our Community,” an annual one-day conference presented by the Charture Institute, which I founded and lead. Like Compass, 22 in 21’s purpose is to help the community understand where it is and where it might be going. To complement Compass’ focus on data, at this year’s 22 in 21, 13 officials gave short talks about their jurisdictions. Five were from Teton County, Wyoming: County Commis-

sioner Natalia Macker, town of Jackson Mayor Sara Flitner, Teton County School Superintendent Gillian Chapman, St. John’s Medical Center Board President Mike Tennican and Teton Conservation Executive Director Tom Segerstrom. Four were from Teton County, Idaho: County Commissioner Bill Leake, Driggs Mayor Hyrum Johnson, former Victor Mayor Zach Smith and current Victor Mayor Jeff Potter. The final four speakers were the heads of Teton County’s federally protected lands: Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk, Grand Teton National Park Superintendent David Vela, Bridger-Teton National Forest Supervisor Tricia O’Connor and

The Charture Institute and what it does The content of the 2016 Compass was produced by the Charture Institute. Founded by Compass author Jonathan Schechter, Charture’s focus is “co-thriving,” the state in which human communities and the ecosystems in which they lie simultaneously flourish. In pursuit of co-thriving, Charture’s focuses its efforts in five related areas: Learn, Teach, Act, Fund and Inspire. Learn and Teach are exemplified by the Jackson Hole Compass and Charture’s annual 22 in 21: The State of Our Community conferences. Translating learning and teaching into meaningful action is done through efforts such as Charture’s innovative Healthy Busi-

6

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

ness, Healthy Planet initiative, which brings together business leaders using their companies to effect meaningful sustainability in their industries and communities. Fund is done through 1 Percent for the Tetons, in its 10th year as a leading funder of regional sustainability efforts. Inspire comes from the annual 1 Percent for the Tetons Video Blitz, a film-based celebration of cutting-edge sustainability efforts in the Tetons region. Charture is a 501(c)3 tax-deductible charity. To help support our efforts or learn more about Charture, go to Charture.org or contact Executive Director Jonathan Schechter at (307) 733-8687 or js@charture.org.

BRADLY J. BONER

Arrowleaf balsamroot basks in the setting sun in Grand Teton National Park. Wildflowers in Jackson Hole are in full bloom but will soon begin to fade from long, hot summer days and lack of moisture.

National Elk Refuge Manager Steve Kallin. Binding together every speaker was their passion for the Tetons region. Each speaker recognized not only that they live in a remarkable place, but are entrusted by their position to watch over an important component of the region. Watch over it not just for those lucky enough to live here now, and not just for future generations. Instead, the speakers realize their constituents implicitly include the tens of millions of people worldwide whose lives have been touched by Jackson Hole and the surrounding area. Even the most deft editing of their remarks could not do justice to the speakers’ thoughtfulness and commitment; videos of every speaker’s complete remarks can be seen at 22in21.com. As Compass attempts to document, the greater Tetons region is exceptional in many ways. A key component of that is all those who care so deeply about Jackson Hole and its future. You are the reason we produce Compass, and on behalf of everyone at Charture and our co-publisher the Jackson Hole News&Guide, thank you for your readership. — Jonathan Schechter


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TETON DUALITY “Preserve and protect the area’s ecosystem in order to ensure a healthy environment, community and economy for current and future generations.” — Vision of the Jackson/Teton County Comprehensive Land Use Plan

T

“And to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and to whom they commit much, of him will they ask the more.” — Luke 12:48 (American Standard version)

his essay tries to shed some light on Jackson Hole and the Tetons region by focusing on three themes: extremes, the Jackson Hole Barbell and the Teton Duality. For starters, Teton County is a place of extremes. There are the obvious ones. Few places in the world are as beautiful, and few places in the world offer the area’s range and quality of outdoor activities. Throw in accessibility and there may be no other place in the world that can match the greater Tetons region. Then there’s the ecosystem. The Jackson Hole valley lies in the center of the largest generally intact ecosystem in the Lower 48. As a result, the thing that truly distinguishes Jackson Hole from other beautiful, outdoors-oriented areas is the area’s wildlife. Visitors to Jackson Hole’s competitors don’t expect to

see an extraordinary variety of wildlife because other places don’t have it. Visitors to Jackson Hole, though, often feel let down if they don’t experience the panoply of the region’s charismatic megafauna. For those who live in the Tetons it’s easy to take this abundance for granted. In part this is a function of human nature. In part it’s a function of not having handy tools for comparing Teton County with other places, or even with how things were here in the past. That is unfortunate, because comparison is a powerful learning tool. To address that shortcoming this essay will attempt to identify Teton County’s peers by comparing Teton County with other places. The framework will be the three pillars of the 2012 Jackson/Teton County Comprehensive Plan’s vision: environment, community and the economy.

Table 1: Public Land as a Percent of All County Land, 2014 U.S. Department of the Interior RANK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32

8

COUNTY POPULATION 822 Esmeralda, NV 22,930 Teton, WY Lander, NV 6,009 Lincoln, NV 5,184 Hinsdale, CO 786 1,951,269 Clark, NV Mineral, CO 4,500 Custer, ID 4,140 White Pine, NV 10,034 Pitkin, CO 17,148 Lemhi, ID 7,726 Alpine, CA 1,116 Mono, CA 13,997 Kane, UT 7,254 San Juan, CO 720 Valley, ID 9,826 2,723 Wayne, UT 18,410 Inyo, CA 16,215 Idaho, ID 32,406 Juneau City and Borough, AK 17,279 Humboldt, NV Park, WY 28,989 Summit, CO 29,404 Chaffee, CO 18,363 Emery, UT 10,631 Skamania, WA 11,340 Gunnison, CO 15,725 52,921 Eagle, CO 20,773 Sevier, UT 21,482 Blaine, ID 12,606 Millard, UT 10,057 Sublette, WY

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

NATIONAL PARK LAND / ALL LAND 0.1% 45.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 11.4% 0.0% 0.0% 1.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 17.5% 0.0% 0.0% 17.2% 44.8% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 24.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% 0.4% 13.0% 0.0% 0.0%

TOTAL PUBLIC LAND / ALL LAND AS % OF TETON, WY 97.9% 101% 97.2% 94.4% 97% 94.2% 97% 94.1% 97% 93.6% 96% 93.3% 96% 92.9% 96% 91.3% 94% 90.7% 93% 93% 90.6% 91% 88.6% 87.9% 90% 90% 87.5% 89% 86.8% 88% 85.7% 84.1% 87% 84.1% 87% 83.1% 85% 82.1% 84% 80.6% 83% 80.5% 83% 79.5% 82% 79.0% 81% 78.7% 81% 78.7% 81% 78.6% 81% 78.5% 81% 77.9% 80% 77.7% 80% 77.1% 79% 77.0% 79%

Before diving in, there are three quick caveats. First, it’s silly to make comparisons unless they’re meaningful. For example, there’s nothing to be learned by comparing Teton County with, say, Brazil. Nor does it make sense to look at something like Teton County’s coal economy; while coal mining is tremendously important to other parts of Wyoming, Teton County has none. As a result, this essay focuses on metrics meaningful to Teton County. It also looks at other U.S. counties, the places most likely to be Teton County’s peers. Second, meaningful comparisons require apples-to-apples data; i.e., data uniformly collected and measured across state and county lines. Happily, a lot economic data meet these criteria. Unfortunately, not many environment- or communityrelated data do. Third, of America’s 3,113 counties roughly half have fewer residents than Teton County. That matters because, in making comparisons, it’s not always helpful to compare places of significantly different size. That holds particularly true for the quarter of all U.S. counties with fewer than 10,000 residents, because their small sizes can lead to misleading conclusions. For example, Loving County, Texas, often ranks high among all U.S. counties in per capita income because its population is only 86 people. As a result, if one or two Loving households experience big changes in income, the county’s per capita figures can swing wildly. To address that small numbers problem, many of this essay’s tables look at America’s top 20 counties in two ways. First, they identify the 20 highest-ranking counties of any size. Then they add in enough more-populous counties to create a parallel list of the top 20 counties with 10,000 or more residents. Caveats noted, on to the comparisons. See TETON DUALITY on 9


TETON DUALITY

Table 2: Adults Age 25 and Over with a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher, 2014

Continued from 8

Environment The region’s environment is the foundation of Jackson Hole’s character, economy and way of life. In turn, the foundation of the region’s environment is its public lands: 97 percent of Teton County is owned by the federal government. Building on this foundation, one crude measure of the health of a county’s environment is the amount of federally owned public land within its borders: The more public land, the healthier the environment. Drilling down a bit further, because different federal agencies have different rules about how their lands can be used, arguably the healthiest public lands are those controlled by the National Park Service. There are a number of problems with equating public lands with environmental health, the most obvious of which is its bias toward the western United States. The 11 states in the Mountain and Pacific time zones contain 32 percent of America’s total acreage but 56 percent of its federally owned land. The figures are much different for states in the Eastern and Central time zones (51 percent of the nation’s total acreage and 7 percent of its federally owned land) and Alaska and Hawaii combined (18 percent and 37 percent, respectively). That problem noted, the sad reality is that, as flawed as this metric is, there aren’t really any better ones. Certainly not better ones measured uniformly in every U.S. county. Indeed, there’s arguably not even a uniform definition of what a healthy environment might be. In this situation the choice is between using public lands as a proxy for environmental health and doing nothing at all. Choosing to do something, Teton County ranks second among all American counties in its percentage of public land. Leading Teton County by 0.7 percent is Esmeralda County, Nevada, whose 822 residents enjoy 2.2 million acres of BLM land and not much else (Table 1). A couple of things jump off Table 1. One is that few of the counties dominated by public land have much National Park Service land. The other is that most of the counties listed are sparsely populated:

U.S. Census Bureau RANK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

NUMBER OF ADULT PERCENT WITH RESIDENTS BACHELOR’S DEGREE 165,544 Arlington, VA 72% 12,667 Los Alamos, NM 64% 111,478 Alexandra, VA 62% 200,717 Howard, MD 60% 1,214,196 New York, NY 59% 759,095 Fairfax, VA 59% 195,716 Boulder, CO 58% 215,348 Loudoun, VA 58% 689,671 Montgomery, MD 57% 13,493 Pitkin, CO 56% 83,409 Orange, NC 56% 192,742 Douglas, CO 56% 186,175 Hamilton, IN 56% 188,590 Marin, CA 55% 9,768 Gunnison, CO 54% 5,664 San Miguel, CO 54% 125,642 Williamson, TN 54% 442,721 District of Columbia 53% 647,337 San Francisco, CA 53% 373,547 Johnson, KS 52% 67,953 Albemarle, VA 52% 226,069 Somerset, NJ 52% 16,381 Teton, WY 52% 217,885 Washtenaw, MI 52% Johnson, IA 80,259 52% COUNTY

Of the top 20 counties three have fewer than 1,000 residents, and 12 have fewer than 10,000. In that context Teton County stands out in two ways. First, for a county with so much public land, Teton County is quite populous. Second, the amount of land within Teton County controlled by the National Park Service is really big: the highest among the Table 1 counties and third highest among all U.S. coun-

ties. If public land equates to environmental health, and National Park Service land especially so, Teton County’s environmental health is extremely high. Add all this together, and from the environmental health perspective Teton County’s peers tend to be counties with far fewer people or very different uses of their public lands.

Community

As with environmental health, there are neither clear standards for evaluating a community’s health nor clear metrics for doing so. Absent that, perhaps the best proxy for overall community well-being is the percentage of a community’s adult residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher. That is because, in the information age, communities with higher education levels tend to do better in a variety of ways, both economic and social. Table 2 ranks America’s 3,113 counties by the percentage of their adult population with a bachelor’s degree or better. Teton County ranks 23th on this list, in the top 0.8 percent of all U.S. counties. Using that metric, who are Teton County’s peers? For the most part, they fall into three categories: • counties in or around the nation’s centers of commerce and government, • counties dominated by major See TETON DUALITY on 10

Table 3: Per Capita Income, 2014 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis RANK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

COUNTY Teton, WY New York, NY Wheeler, NE Williams, ND Pitkin, CO Fairfield, CT Marin, CA Shackelford, TX Summit, UT Burke, ND Midland, TX San Francisco, CA Nantucket, MA San Mateo, CA Stark, ND Westchester, NY Billings, ND Sully, SD Cuming, NE Goochland, VA Somerset, NJ Blaine, ID Arlington, VA Morris, NJ McKenzie, ND Union, SD

POPULATION 22,930 1,636,268 766 32,130 17,626 945,438 260,750 3,343 39,105 2,245 155,830 852,469 10,856 758,581 30,372 972,634 901 1,438 9,027 21,936 332,568 21,482 226,908 499,727 10,996 15,029

PER CAPITA INCOME $194,485 $148,002 $135,907 $121,538 $112,796 $98,668 $98,626 $97,227 $96,766 $96,495 $96,463 $90,600 $90,326 $89,659 $89,515 $87,777 $87,254 $87,019 $86,661 $85,363 $83,731 $83,573 $83,170 $82,810 $80,640 $78,030

AS % OF TETON, WY 76% 70% 62% 58% 51% 51% 50% 50% 50% 50% 47% 46% 46% 46% 45% 45% 45% 45% 44% 43% 43% 43% 43% 41% 40%

2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

9


TETON DUALITY

Table 4: Tourism Dependence, 2014

Continued from 9

universities or research centers, and • a handful of Rocky Mountain ski towns. More than anything else, the fact that Jackson Hole, Aspen, Crested Butte and Telluride share an education profile similar to some of Americas most powerful and influential cities is a testament to how far the umbilical cord has stretched between where one works and where one has to live. Since the rise of the Internet and cellphones it has become increasingly easy and increasingly acceptable to work from anywhere you want. That highly educated people are flocking to places like Jackson Hole is a vote of confidence in the health of those communities, for these folks have the greatest freedom to live anywhere they like. In a similar vein, they have the greatest freedom to move if they think a community is in trouble.

Economy

Because Americans obsess over money, we have innumerable ways to measure the economy. Perhaps the most basic is per capita income: On average, what do a county’s residents collectively earn? By that standard Teton County is so extreme that it has no peer. In 2014 Teton County’s per capita income was $194,485, the highest per capita income in the nation’s history and 31 percent greater than that of second-place New York County (i.e., the island of Manhattan). In fact, Teton County’s per capita income was so high that it was more than twice that of all but six of America’s other 3,110 counties (Table 3). Table 3 highlights two other facts of note. First, Teton County’s per capita income greatly exceeded that of other counties regardless of their population size. Second, there is clear overlap between the nation’s leaders in per capita income and education levels. This suggests Teton County’s peers include places like the New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas. This is extraordinary company. More remarkable still is that Teton County is not only leading the pack but is doing so by such a wide margin. Driving Teton County’s per capita income figure was investment income. In 2014 Teton County’s

10

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis RANK COUNTY 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

POPULATION

Tunica, MS 10,598 Denali Borough, AK 1,921 Gilpin, CO 5,851 Mono, CA 13,997 Garfield, UT 5,024 Mackinac, MI 11,042 Summit, CO 29,404 Teton, WY 22,930 Taney, MO 54,230 Maui & Kalawao, HI 163,019 Monroe, FL 73,600 Sevier, TN 95,110 17,682 Mariposa, CA 275,209 Atlantic, NJ 17,148 Pitkin, CO 7,254 Kane, UT 2,069,681 Clark, NV 5,233 Cook, MN 9,429 Grand, UT 720 San Juan, CO 51,675 Worcester, MD 7,840 San Miguel, CO 47,536 Douglas, NV 25,082 Lamoille, VT 19,626 Orange, IN 52,921 Eagle, CO 2,204 Jeff Davis, TX 14,546 Grand, CO 3,918 Lake of the Woods, MN 4,468 Guadalupe, NM 61,530 Walton, FL

TOURISM LODGING & FOOD WAGES / LODGING & FOOD WAGES / TOURISM ATTRACTION RESIDENTS’ WAGES DEPENDENCE ALL WAGE JOBS Mississippi riverboat casinos 144% 95.6% 66% Denali National Park 70% 34.6% 50% Casino gambling 66% 30.9% 47% Mammoth Mountain ski area 27% 11.3% 42% Bryce & Capitol Reef National Parks 26% 10.6% 40% Michigan’s Upper Peninsula 28% 10.2% 37% Breckenridge & other ski areas 27% 9.0% 33% Grand Teton, Yellowstone and JHMR 25% 8.7% 35% Branson, MO entertainment 29% 8.2% 28% Ocean tourism 26% 7.6% 29% Florida Keys 24% 7.6% 32% Great Smoky Mountains National Park 22% 7.1% 33% Yosemite National Park 18% 7.1% 40% Casino gambling 23% 7.0% 31% Aspen ski area 26% 6.8% 26% Glen Canyon National Monument 21% 6.7% 32% Las Vegas casinos 23% 6.6% 29% Summer lake-based tourism 21% 6.5% 30% Arches & Canyonlands National Parks 21% 6.4% 31% Year-round tourism 16% 6.0% 37% Eastern Shore tourism 19% 5.8% 31% Telluride ski area 21% 5.3% 25% South Lake Tahoe casinos 17% 5.0% 30% Stowe ski area 18% 4.8% 27% Summer lake-based tourism 17% 4.3% 25% Vail ski area 17% 4.2% 24% Summer lake-based tourism 15% 4.2% 28% Rocky Mountain National Park 16% 4.1% 26% Summer lake-based tourism 13% 4.0% 31% Summer lake-based tourism 13% 3.9% 30% Ocean tourism 14% 3.8% 27%

per capita investment income was $143,683, nearly three-quarters of the county’s overall income. No other county in America derived even 60 percent of its income from investments; on a per capita basis no other county earned even half as much of its income from investments as did Teton County. In fact, if in 2014 investments had been Teton County residents’ only source of income, the county would have been the nation’s second-wealthiest — and a close second at that. Talk about extreme. What’s particularly interesting about this statistic is that unlike, say, New York City, Jackson Hole is not seen as a hotbed of finance. Instead, its reputation is as a tourist town. So what about Teton County’s tourism economy? Is any part of that extreme? Yes, indeed. To understand how Teton County’s tourism economy is extreme, consider tourism’s business model. To serve customers it needs a lot of employees, but to keep prices reasonable it doesn’t pay well. In fact, among all of America’s basic industries, lodging and food service pay the lowest wages. Viewed through this lens, in 2014 35 percent of Teton County’s jobs were in lodging or restaurants, ac-

counting for 25 percent of residents’ wage income. Table 4 combines these wage and employment figures to create a tourism dependence figure, which shows yet another Teton County extreme: In 2014, out of all of America’s counties, Teton County ranked eighth in its tourism dependence; i.e., in its proportion of residents’ earnings generated by lodging and food service multiplied by its proportion of jobs in those same industries. By any standard that is an exceptionally high concentration of economic activity in one sector. From that perspective Teton County is clearly a tourism town. Yet Teton County differs from many other tourism-intensive communities because of its income structure. In Teton County in 2014, while lodging and restaurants accounted for 25 percent of residents’ total wages they accounted for only 6 percent of the county’s total income. In comparison, for the other 19 counties on Table 4’s Top 20 list, lodging and food service wages accounted for an average of 23 percent of residents’ total income. Hence, our top peers are, on average, four times more dependent on tourism than is Teton County. Also of note is that, of the 30 other See TETON DUALITY on 11


TETON DUALITY

Table 5: County Sustainability Scores

Continued from 10

counties listed in Table 5, seven are national park gateways, six are home to noted ski areas and six are known for gambling and glitzy shows. Here again, Teton County is an exception, for no other tourism community combines two different types of tourism. Then throw in that Teton County is more dependent on tourism than a number of prominent gambling destinations, and identifying a clear set of peers becomes extremely confusing.

Sustainability

So who are our peers? Lightly populated counties with huge amounts of public land? Affluent urban areas? Other ski areas? Gateway towns? Depending on the metric you can make an argument for any or all of these. In times of confusion, vision statements can serve as touchstones. To answer the “Who are Teton County’s peers?” question, then, let’s return to the three pillars of the Comprehensive Plan’s vision statement: environment, community and economy. Table 5 calculates an overall

RANK COUNTY 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Teton, WY Pitkin, CO New York, NY Los Alamos, NM Arlington, VA Marin, CA Blaine, ID Summit, UT Alexandria, VA San Miguel, CO

PERCENT FEDERALLYOWNED LAND 97.2% 90.7% 5.9% 52.0% 0.2% 14.9% 77.7% 44.1% 0.0% 59.5%

NATIONAL RANK 2 10 751 153 1,474 498 35 206 1,956 113

PERCENT OF ADULTS WITH BACHELORS 51.9% 56.4% 59.3% 64.0% 72.0% 54.8% 44.8% 50.1% 61.5% 54.4%

Sustainability Score by multiplying together every county’s overall national rankings in federally owned land, adults with bachelor’s degrees and per capita income. Using that approach, Teton County ranks first among the nation’s 3,113 counties. It does so because of its extremes, for the methodology rewards low rankings. Other metrics could be used, of course, and even using Table 5’s metrics a different score could be tabulated. For example, if the ratings were added together rather than multiplied, Pitkin County would beat Teton County by a point. But given that no approach is perfect, Table 5’s approach seems reasonable, especially given Teton County’s large percentage of national park

NATIONAL RANK 23 10 5 2 1 14 70 31 3 15

PER CAPITA INCOME $194,485 $112,796 $148,002 $62,619 $83,170 $98,626 $83,573 $96,766 $77,142 $60,426

NATIONAL RANK 1 5 2 105 24 7 23 9 35 128

OVERALL SCORE 46 500 7,510 32,130 35,376 48,804 56,350 57,474 205,380 216,960

land and its incredible margin in per capita income. The methodology also confirms a larger point: Teton County’s peers are places where things occur at the extremes. Generally speaking, they fall into two categories: high-end resort communities and the power centers of New York, Washington, D.C., and Silicon Valley. On its face it seems ludicrous to compare Jackson Hole to the nation’s major metropolitan areas, but in measures such as education and income, Teton County compares very favorably indeed. As a result, in many ways Teton County’s peers are not places of its size, but far larger metropolitan areas. Add in the Tetons region’s See TETON DUALITY on 12

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TETON DUALITY

Graph 1: Resident Tax Returns and Income, 2013

Continued from 11

extraordinary environmental quality and it’s clear that Teton County holds the potential to punch way above its size. Before exploring that potential, though, we need to look at another set of extremes, one that shines a more troubling light on Teton County. This is where this essay’s second theme comes in: the Jackson Hole Barbell.

The Jackson Hole Barbell

Much of the 2016 presidential race will focus on economic issues, especially income inequality. In this area Teton County can lay claim to another No. 1 ranking: In 2013, among all of America’s counties, Teton County had the greatest wealth inequality. Since 2010 the Internal Revenue Service has released detailed income tax data for every county in the nation. Data are broken into several income categories, the highest of which is for returns showing $200,000 or more in adjusted gross income. In 2013, 9 percent of the tax returns filed by Teton County residents reported income of $200,000 or more. Collectively these 1,330 taxpayers earned $3.37 billion, 89 percent of the county’s collective income. In contrast the other 91 percent of Teton County taxpayers — 13,090 in all — reported income of under $200,000. Their total income

2%

9% 35%

12

Teton, WY McMullen, TX New York, NY Pitkin, CO Fairfield, CT Glasscock, TX Marin, CA La Salle, TX Westchester, NY Collier, FL Summit, UT Shackelford, TX San Mateo, CA Karnes, TX DeWitt, TX Goochland, VA Santa Clara, CA San Francisco, CA McKenzie, ND Union, SD San Juan, WA Somerset, NJ Fulton, GA Palm Beach, FL Monroe, FL

POPULATION 26,470 860 1,360,750 16,220 876,210 1,310 245,130 5,440 925,290 325,880 43,950 3,030 732,930 11,840 17,150 20,480 1,841,610 732,570 8,960 14,960 14,730 330,060 868,410 1,245,040 73,600

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

2% 6%

RETURNS ----14,420

7%

INCOME ----$3.8 BILLION

12% 89% 26% <$25,000

$25,000-50,000

$50,000-75,000

was $615 million, 11 percent of the county’s total (Graph 1). This 89/11 split was the nation’s largest. Teton County also held that distinction in 2012, 2011 and 2010, when residents reporting at least $200,000 in income earned 90 percent of the county’s total income, 80 percent and 86 percent, respectively. In the quest to identify peers Table 6 compares Teton County’s 2013 wealth concentration with that of other highly concentrated counties. Texas is home to a number of lightly populated counties with a handful of rich residents, so those counties don’t work well as peers for Teton County. Comparing Teton with larger counties it is striking how much greater Teton County’s concentration of wealth is: 11 percent higher than New York

Internal Revenue Service

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

3%

11%

Table 6: Percentage of County’s Income Earned by Households Making More Than $200,000 RANK COUNTY

4%

PERCENT OF ALL RETURNS 9% 16% 13% 9% 12% 15% 16% 4% 12% 8% 12% 5% 12% 8% 7% 12% 13% 10% 11% 8% 6% 13% 8% 6% 5%

PERCENT OF TOTAL INCOME 89% 84% 80% 73% 71% 71% 69% 68% 67% 67% 65% 64% 64% 63% 61% 59% 59% 58% 58% 58% 57% 57% 57% 56% 56%

$75,000-100,000

$100,000-200,000

>=$200,000

City’s, 22 percent greater than Pitkin County’s and a whopping 59 percent greater than Monroe County’s. Hence the Jackson Hole Barbell: No county in America comes close to Teton County’s disparity in income. That is indeed extreme.

The Teton Duality

Given all these extremes, what do we know? That depending on the metric you choose, Teton County’s peers are either some of America’s least-populated, most tourism-dependent counties or some of Americas wealthiest, most highly educated and most powerful metropolitan areas. Which is it? Borrowing the concept of wave-particle duality from quantum physics, the answer is: “Both.” Quantum physics tells us the only way to understand light and similar phenomena is to accept their duality: They are simultaneously both a wave and a particle. Similarly, the only way to understand Teton County is to recognize that it is simultaneously America’s wealthiest county per capita and among the counties most dependent on the nation’s lowest-paying industry: tourism. To wit, in 2013 those Teton County taxpayers reporting $200,000 or more of income made an average per return of $2.53 million. At the same time the 35 percent of wage jobs in lodging and tourism jobs paid an average of $26,732, roughly 1 percent of that earned by the county’s well-to-do. This is the Teton Duality: Like no other place in America, Teton County is simultaneously incredibly wealthy and incredibly not wealthy. Tables 7a and 7b highlight the See TETON DUALITY on 13


TETON DUALITY Continued from 12

Teton Duality. Table 7a starts with the data in Table 3 above, showing the counties in America with the highest per capita incomes. It then adds Table 4’s Tourism Dependence score for Table 3’s counties. Only Teton County is in the top 10 in each category, and only Pitkin, Colorado, and Summit, Utah, (the locations of Aspen and Park City) come somewhat close to being in both Top 10s. Table 7b reverses 7a by looking at the counties with the highest Tourism Dependence scores and adding in each county’s per capita income. Here again, only Teton County ranks in the top 10 in both, and no other county comes close to matching Teton County’s per capita income. The Teton Duality has profound implications for the county and its future, for the two ends of the Jackson Hole Barbell have very different realities. To point out the most obvious difference, consider housing.

Housing Until the mid-1980s, Jackson Hole’s primary income source was tourism, and housing prices were pretty well aligned with wages. Since then a variety of factors including advances in technology, changes in the economy and improved transportation of all sorts have made Jackson Hole far more attractive to residents and visitors alike. The result has been two very different phenomena, each with very different implications. On the one hand, tourism has skyrocketed. Between 1986 and 2016, skier days at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort tripled, and since the local national parks changed their counting methodology in 1993, the number of visitors to Grand Teton and Yellowstone has increased by over 1.25 million. The other half of the Teton Duality has been informed by the increasing numbers of people who, free to live anywhere, have chosen to move to Jackson Hole. As they’ve arrived they’ve altered the housing market by outcompeting residents dependent on local wages. As markets will do, local housing has followed that money, producing large numbers of highly profitable high-end homes. Combine these phenomena and what do you get? At one end of the barbell each new tourism job adds

Figure 1: The Jackson Hole Barbell, 2013 INCOME LESS THAN $200,000

INCOME MORE THAN $200,000

INCOME EARNED 89% ----RETURNS FILED 9%

INCOME EARNED 11% ----RETURNS FILED 91%

another straw to the back of the camel that is Teton County’s workforce housing. At the other end the same is true for each new high-end home. Combined, they have pushed that camel’s back to its breaking point. Teton County is not alone in having a housing problem, of course. Across the globe, any desirable place to live — San Francisco, New York, London — is dealing with rapidly rising housing prices and a shortage of low-end housing. At the same time, because these cities are so nice they also have healthy tourism economies. What sets Teton County apart is the extremes of its wealth and the extremes of its dependence on tourism. Other places may have their own dualities, but there is no duality like the Teton Duality. The Teton Duality makes the incredibly difficult problem of workforce housing — again, a problem no other community has solved — fantastically more complicated. This is because if Teton County views itself as an enclave of wealth, it will build fewer, more expensive homes. If, on the other hand, it views itself as a tourism town it will build massive amounts of workforce housing. It can’t do both, but that’s exactly what the community is trying to do. In physics, when two waves with opposite frequencies collide, they neutralize each other. When a similar phenomenon occurs in the Teton Duality, nothing gets done.

Doing something

Given the Teton Duality, how might we deal with housing? The place to start is by building on success. For all of Jackson Hole’s political difficulties over the last decade, the fact the community adopted its comprehensive land use plan is a huge achievement. And because the plan presents a clear statement of what the community values and how it should behave, in its way

it can be viewed as Teton County’s secular equivalent to a sacred text. In that spirit this essay’s epigraph cites Christianity’s holiest text. Judaism’s equivalent is the Torah, about which the Jewish scholar Rabbi Hillel once observed, “That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow. This is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary.” Something similar can be said about the Comp Plan. From a Hillelian perspective, the vision statement begins, “Preserve and protect the area’s ecosystem … .” That is the whole plan. “… [T]o ensure a healthy environment, community and economy for current and future generations” is the reason the plan exists. The rest is commentary. What’s striking is that the vision statement does not refer to Teton County’s ecosystem, but instead to the area’s ecosystem. In so doing it acknowledges that flora, fauna and natural processes don’t recognize political boundaries. Nor, for that matter, does the region’s economy: If Teton Pass or the Snake River canyon close, people on both sides suffer. In that context it seems fair to ask: Why do we think we can solve Teton County’s housing problems solely within Teton County’s borders? As noted above, across the globe every desirable place to live is dealing with a housing shortage, and none has successfully addressed it. Combine that reality with the Teton Duality, and it seems a fool’s mission to think that, over time, Teton County will continue to be able to house significant numbers of its workers in the Jackson Hole valley. The Teton Duality is too powerful, the lack of models elsewhere too revealing, the economics too daunting. What to do? In the same way that comprehending the Teton Duality requires thinking about the world in See TETON DUALITY on 14

2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

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TETON DUALITY

Table 7 A and B: Tourism Dependence and Per Capita Income, 2014

Continued from 13

a different way, so too do we need to think about the housing problem in a different way. In 2014 Teton County had 1.28 jobs for every permanent resident, ranking it 25th among America’s counties in per capita jobs. Seventysix counties had at least one job for every resident, among them several of our peers: in the big city category, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.; and in the high-end tourism category, Aspen, Nantucket and Telluride. What’s interesting about these six places is that each is an island of a sort. New York and Nantucket are actual islands; the others are landlocked islands. Because of those geographic constraints, none of these counties is able to house its entire workforce. Instead each has created a system of interdependencies with its neighbors, with the hub counties providing the jobs their neighbors want and the neighbors providing the housing the hubs need. That’s Teton County’s story, too. What sets Teton County apart is that, compared with its housingchallenged peers, Jackson Hole’s neighbors are relatively undeveloped. Everyone agrees sprawl is bad, but simple reality is that the needs of Teton County and its neighboring counties dovetail beautifully. That is particularly true economically. Within Teton County, Wyoming, the Teton Duality leads to a nearly intractable stalemate as different economic interests negate one another. Within the region, though, both Star Valley and Teton County, Idaho, are looking for the kind of economic development that an active housing program can provide. If that were to happen the opportunity for regional synergy would be extraordinary. From that perspective Teton County, Wyoming’s efforts to solve its workforce housing issues strictly within the county’s limits can be seen as modern-day alchemy, an effort to create the gold of abundant workforce housing out of the base metals of limited land and the Teton Duality. Rather than continuing with that impossible effort, might Teton County, Wyoming, be better off taking a bit of the time, energy and treasure it is devoting to developing workforce housing and directing it toward

14

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

Bureau of Economic Analysisv COUNTY

PER CAPITA NATIONAL INCOME RANK $194,485 1 $148,002 2 $135,907 3 $121,538 4 $112,796 5 $98,688 6 $98,626 7 $97,227 8 $96,766 9 $96,495 10 $95,463 11

Teton, WY New York, NY Wheeler, NE WIlliams, ND Pitkin, CO Fairfield, CT Marin, CA Shackelford, TX Summit, UT Burke, ND Midland, TX Average of Top 10 $110,251 non-Teton counties

TOURISM NATIONAL DEPENDENCE RANK 9% 8 1% 238 0% 2,387 3% 983 7% 15 0% 1,590 0% 658 0% 2,409 2% 62 0% 2,318 0% 1,675 1%

regional solutions? Future affordable housing programs will likely require subsidies even greater than the $300,000 per unit needed for the last major affordable housing project, and that kind of money can buy not just a lot of housing in our neighboring communities, but also a lot of transportation to and from them. This isn’t to say Jackson Hole should stop looking to develop affordable housing within the valley. It is to say, though, that the sooner the community begins to align its view of housing with the regional reality of its economy and environment, the sooner housing pressures will ease and the sooner the stresses caused by housing issues will begin to subside.

Reaching our potential Not only is the environment the foundation of Jackson Hole’s character, economy and way of life, it is also the root cause of the Teton Duality. Teton County is both tourismheavy and incredibly wealthy for the same basic reason: People want to experience the region’s flora, fauna and landscape. This reality is recognized in the six key words of the Comp Plan’s vision statement: “preserve and protect the area’s ecosystem.” Since they describe what the community has clearly stated it wants to accomplish, those six words should be the touchstone used to judge any proposed action that might affect the ecosystem’s health. Of course that doesn’t happen. Not even local government uses the vision statement as a touchstone, and it’s their job to turn the Comp Plan’s vision into reality. The reasons for this disconnect are manifold and, at their heart, come back to the Teton Duality. Re-

TOURISM NATIONAL DEPENDENCE RANK Tunica, MS 96% 1 Denali Borough, AK 35% 2 Gilpin, CO 31% 3 Mono, CA 11% 4 Garfield, UT 11% 5 Mackinac, MI 10% 6 Summit, CO 9% 7 Teton, WY 9% 8 Taney, MO 8% 9 Maui & Kalawao, HI 8% 10 Monroe, FL 8% 11 Average of Top 10 23% non-Teton counties COUNTY

PER CAPITA NATIONAL INCOME RANK $31,570 2,516 $64,631 89 $44,308 732 $43,398 805 $32,829 2,308 $36,483 1,689 $50,685 347 $194,485 1 $30,475 2,654 $39,439 1,255 $69,593 61 $44,341

gardless of the reasons, though, the disconnect is real, and what’s especially worrisome is that, across the planet, no models exist to show us how to achieve our vision. Instead, everywhere we look there’s nothing but examples of the opposite: how to take a healthy ecosystem and degrade it. Why is this the case? The reason is pretty simple. For the last 250 years, humans have done a remarkable job harnessing the tools of the Industrial Revolution to lift their standards of living. In so doing, though, humanity has emphasized social and economic benefits while ignoring environmental costs. Arguably we have reached a point where we can no longer do that, but unfortunately we have no idea of how to do otherwise: Since the Industrial Revolution began in the 1760s, there’s not one example of a community, region or state developing an advanced economy while simultaneously keeping its surrounding ecosystem intact and healthy. Yet supporting a healthy economy while simultaneously keeping the surrounding ecosystem intact and healthy is exactly what the Comp Plan’s vision calls for. We know what we want, but there are no models out there for us to follow. In this light, two ideas come to mind: one practical, the other philosophical. On the practical side, if the community is truly interested in preserving and protecting the ecosystem’s health, local government must take a leadership role. Unfortunately, as things currently stand there is a disconnect between the government’s vision and the resources it puts into pursuing that vision. Ask a local government official See TETON DUALITY on 15


TETON DUALITY Continued from 14

what the town or county is doing to actively preserve and protect the area’s ecosystem and only a handful of answers come back. Run the sewer plant. Develop and administer zoning regulations to protect natural resources. Accept conservation easements related to those regulations. Create the Natural Resources Technical Advisory Board. Throw in a handful of environmentally oriented efforts within various departments, and that’s just about the entire list. And except for running the legally required sewer plant, not much of it costs any money. All of this is good and important. However, if a budget is an organization’s expression of its priorities, there is an extraordinary disconnect between what local government says its vision is and where it puts its resources. And since the community’s vision requires overcoming a 250year deadweight, it seems likely it will need to do much more than the current incremental measures. In this context, during this election year anyone interested in seeing the community achieve its vision

can take an obvious step: Quiz candidates for office. In particular, ask two simple questions. First: “Do you support the Comp Plan’s vision?” Second: “What resources do you propose putting toward achieving that vision?” Or, for incumbents, “During your time in office what resources have you voted for that help preserve and protect the area’s ecosystem?” You can already guess the answers, but that’s not the important thing. What’s important is using the questions to elevate the issue so that the Comp Plan’s vision receives the attention and resources it deserves. The philosophical idea is this. The second part of this essay’s epigraph cites the Bible’s admonition, “To whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required ... .” Teton County is the richest county in the richest country in the history of the world. It sits in the heart of the healthiest ecosystem in the Lower 48 and one of the healthiest ecosystems in the world. And while Jackson Hole’s community health is hard to measure, there is every reason to think there is much to celebrate there, too.

In short, to Teton County much has been given. The question then becomes: What, if anything, is required of us? At one end of the spectrum is the response of the indolent heir: Nothing. At the other end we have clearly defined what we expect of ourselves: “to preserve and protect the areas ecosystem.” Why do we want to do this? To “ensure a healthy environment, community and economy for current and future generations.” If we can achieve that goal we will have done something not only for ourselves but for the world. Bucking 250 years of history, Teton County has the potential to demonstrate it is possible to have both a healthy, advanced economy and a healthy, thriving environment. If we are to leave to future generations a world that will continue to thrive, both a healthy economy and healthy environment will be necessary. Right now, though, there’s no example of a place having both. Yet if the world is going to get there, some place will have to go first, to find a path for everyone else to follow. As extreme as it may sound, no place on Earth is better positioned to do so than Teton County, Wyoming.

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DEMOGRAPHICS

F

rom a demographics perspective, what do we know about Teton County, Wyoming? In 2015 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that there were 23,125 fulltime residents in Teton County. The operative word, though, is “estimate.” Two years earlier, when the Census Bureau estimated there were 22,347 residents, 26,470 people claimed residency on federal tax returns, roughly a 20 percent difference. That was the highest such gap in the nation. Every 10 years the Census Bureau does a physical count of every person in the nation. For the past decade or so it has supplemented the decennial counts with annual estimates, making its best guess based on statistical sampling techniques. As is true with any statistical sampling effort, though, two types of problems compromise the accuracy of these estimates: one caused by size, the other

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Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

PRICE CHAMBERS

Thousands gather on the slopes of Grand Targhee Resort for a music festival in 2010. Teton County’s population is booming. Since 2010 the population has grown 9 percent, putting the county in the top 5 percent nationally.

by time. Statistically valid samples require large numbers of data points, something difficult to obtain in places with low populations. To address that issue the Census Bureau samples lowpopulation areas over time, combining five years’ worth of samples to produce a given year’s estimate. Thus the numbers reported about Teton County for 2008 did not include the recession; thus the numbers for 2012 did. That makes it hard to detect recently emerging patterns. The other problem is that, even See DEMOGRAPHICS on 18

Population Growth Components, 2010-15 Between 2010 and 2015 roughly half of Teton County’s population growth was due to a “natural increase” (the number of births minus the number of deaths) and inmigration. Of those who have moved to Teton County from elsewhere, roughly one-quarter come from abroad and three-quarters from elsewhere in the United States. U.S. Census Bureau CHANGE FROM 2010 TO 2015 NATURAL INCREASE Births

1,344

Deaths

399

Total natural increase

945

MIGRATION International

217

Domestic

653

Total net migration

870

POPULATION CHANGE Total population change

1,815


Population, 1930-2010 The first census to measure Teton County’s population found 2,003 residents in 1930. The 2010 census found the county’s population more than 10 times greater, at 21,294. Nearly half of that growth has occurred since 1990. U.S. Census Bureau 25,000

100%

20,000

80%

15,000

60%

10,000

40%

5,000

20%

1930

1940

1950

1960

1970

Population (left)

1980

1990

2000

2010

Growth since previous census (right)

Population, 2010-15 Since 2010 Teton County’s population has grown nearly 9 percent, the second-fastest of any county in Wyoming (Natrona County was first) and in the top 5 percent nationally. U.S. Census Bureau 25,000

20,000

15,000

10,000

5,000

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Health Insurance Coverage, 2012 and 2014 Under Obamacare, Teton County’s proportion of uninsured residents dropped from 22 percent in 2012 to 18 percent in 2014. The most dramatic drop was among Teton County’s Hispanic population, which saw its uninsured rate drop from 60 percent in 2012 to 43 percent two years later. Not surprisingly, the program has had the least effect on those groups for which the previous health insurance systems had been most effective: the elderly and the well-to-do. U.S. Census Bureau 2012 Total population

PERCENT POPULATION INSURED UNINSURED UNINSURED 22% 21,261 4,760 16,501

AGE

2014 Total population

PERCENT POPULATION INSURED UNINSURED UNINSURED 18% 21,897 3,883 18,014

AGE

Under 18

4,280

3,828

452

11%

Under 18

4,148

3,797

351

8%

18-64

14,928

10,736

4,192

28%

18-64

15,368

11,921

3,447

22%

65 and older

2,053

1,937

116

6%

2,381

2,296

85

4%

ETHNICITY

65 and older ETHNICITY

17,559

14,697

2,862

16%

White

17,823

15,423

2,400

13%

3,101

1,235

1,866

60%

Hispanic

3,325

1,886

1,439

43%

Less than $25,000

1,705

1,202

503

29%

Less than $25,000

1,610

1,202

408

25%

$25,000-$49,999

4,206

2,511

1,695

40%

$25,000-$49,999

3,509

2,492

1,017

29%

$50,000-$74,999

4,654

3,380

1,274

27%

$50,000-$74,999

4,390

3,303

1,087

25%

$75,000-$99,999

3,903

3,354

549

14%

$75,000-$99,999

3,304

2,939

365

11%

$100,000 and more

6,793

6,080

713

10%

$100,000 and more

8,396

7,643

753

9%

White Hispanic HOUSEHOLD INCOME

HOUSEHOLD INCOME

2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

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Ethnicity, 2010-14 Since 2010 Hispanics have accounted for 55 percent of Teton County’s population growth, whites have accounted for 31 percent, with the balance people of other races. Countywide, 81 percent of residents are white, 15 percent Hispanic and 4 percent other races. In the town of Jackson the figures are 68 percent white, 27 percent Hispanic and 6 percent other races. In the unincorporated part of the county, the figures are 93 percent, 6 percent and 2 percent, respectively. U.S. Census Bureau 2010

2014

2010-2014 GROWTH

White

17,494

17,850

356

2.0%

Hispanic

2,704

3,337

633

23.4%

Other Total population

2010-2014 GROWTH

603

768

165

27.4%

20,802

21,956

1,154

5.5%

Ethnicity of Population, 1990-2014 In 1990, 97 percent of Teton County’s residents were white. Twenty-four years later that proportion had dropped to 81 percent. Hispanics account for 15 percent of the local population, and all other races account for around 4 percent. Since 2000, 58 percent of new Teton County residents have been Hispanic, 32 percent white and 10 percent all other races. U.S. Census Bureau 25,000

20,000

15,000

10,000

5,000

1990

2000 White

2010 Latino

2015

Other

Ethnicity of Population by Area, 2014 In 2014 the town of Jackson was home to an estimated 45 percent of Teton County’s residents and 79 percent of its nonwhite residents. Seventy-nine percent of Teton County’s Hispanic residents and 77 percent of Teton County’s other nonwhite residents live within the town’s borders. As a result, the population of the town is 68 percent white, and the rest of the county is 93 percent white. U.S. Census Bureau 10,000

8,000

6,000

4,000

2,000

Alta

Hoback

Jackson

Moose-Wilson White

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Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

Rafter J Latino

South Park Other

Teton Village

Wilson

Rest of County

DEMOGRAPHICS Continued from 16

with years of sampling, there’s no getting around the problems created by small numbers. Thus the Census Bureau’s margin of error for its U.S. and Wyoming population estimates is only 0.1 percent, while for Teton County it’s 1.0 percent. And the smaller you get, the bigger the margin of error: The margin of error for the town of Jackson’s population estimate is 3.9 percent. For Wilson it’s 9.0 percent, and for Alta it’s 16.2 percent. The point is that, as with all numbers in the Compass, the less important thing to focus on it the annual figures. The more important thing is the trends. In that spirit two truly meaningful trends define Teton County’s present-day demographics: We’re booming and we’re browning. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. During the past 50 years, the rapidly growing nation’s population increased by 70 percent, and the world’s booming population more than doubled. During that same time, Teton County’s population increased seven-fold. Also going back 50 years, the 1960 census did not count Hispanics. That year all but four of Teton County’s 3,062 residents were white. When the Census Bureau first started counting Hispanics in 1970, it found 36 in Teton County: 0.7 percent of the county’s residents. Forty years later the 2010 Census found that 15 percent of all Teton County residents were Hispanic. To put that figure in context, in 1960 there were 3,062 people living in Teton County. Fifty years later the county was home to 3,191 Hispanics. If Teton County is to meet its Comprehensive Plan’s goal to “preserve and protect the area’s ecosystem in order to ensure a healthy environment, community and economy for current and future generations,” it cannot continue to grow at a pace three times faster than a too-rapidly growing world. Similarly, if the community does not want to completely bifurcate into a place of haves and have-nots, it will have to learn how to integrate its nonrich and nonwhite residents. The data are clear about what has happened during the last several decades; they will continue to reflect whatever path the community chooses to take.


Median Age, 2000 v. 2014 In 2014 Teton County’s overall median age was 37.6 years, slightly higher than that of both the nation (37.4) and the state (36.8). The town of Jackson’s was markedly lower, at 32.2 years. The town’s younger ages hold true for whites (35.6 years, versus 40.6 for the county), Hispanics (27.1 versus 28.6), females (31.8 versus 37.6) and males (32.5 versus 37.6). U.S. Census Bureau 50

Jackson

Teton County

Wyoming

United States

40 30 20 10 White

Total

Hispanic Females Males

White

Total

Hispanic Females Males

White 2000

Total

Hispanic Females Males

White

Total

Hispanic Females Males

2014

Age Pyramid, 2014 In 2014 Teton County was home to roughly 1,000 more males than females. Roughly two-thirds of the “gender gap” lies in the three categories spanning the ages 25-34, i.e., the most active dating years. Hence Jackson Hole’s noted “ratio” of men outnumbering women. In other age brackets the numbers are much more equal. Similarly, in the United States as a whole the gender gap between men and women is only 8 percent. U.S. Census Bureau

4%

4%

8%

8%

>85

80-84

75-79

70-74

65-69

60-64

55-59

50-54

45-49

40-44

30-34

25-29

20-24

15-19

10-14

5-9

0%

<5

>85

80-84

75-79

70-74

65-69

60-64

55-59

50-54

45-49

40-44

35-39

30-34

25-29

20-24

15-19

4%

10-14

4% 5-9

8%

<5

8%

0%

United States

12%

35-39

Teton County

12%

12%

12% Females

Males

Females

Males

Black & White, INK

REGIONAL DISTRIBUTORS OF Community Development & Education Program

University of Wyoming Teton County Extension Geographic Area Covered: Teton, Lincoln & Sublette Counties. Based in Teton County.

AND

PROGRAMS OFFERED:

AVAILABLE 7 DAYS A WEEK AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS JACKSON HOLE VALLEY BOOKSTORE - ALBERTSONS - JACKSON HOLE GROCER PEARL STREET MARKET & DELI - SMITH’S - CREEKSIDE MARKET & DELI - THE LIQUOR STORE - PICNIC CAFE* - PEARL STREET BAGELS* - THE BUNNERY - HUNGRY JACKS - WILSON GAS - ASPENS MARKET - MANGY MOOSE CELLARS - BODEGA TETON VALLEY, IDAHO PENDL’S BAKERY* - BROULIMS SUPERMARKET - EVERGREEN 66

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Board Governance Training Conflict Management ABC’s of Effective Meetings Dealing with Difficult People Leadership Jackson Hole Lincoln County Leadership Institute Listening from the Heart-what’s fair in family estate planning? Managing Money in Tough Times All about Money Money Matters Protecting yourself on line Kids and Money Transferring Non-Titled Property Facilitation Training and Classes Mediation Training and Services Mary M. Martin Community Development Educator 255 W. Deloney Ave., P.O. Box 1708 Jackson, WY 83001 mmartin@tetonwyo.org | 307-733-3087

2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

19


ECONOMY

T

eton County’s economy can be thought of as consisting of four buckets. Bucket No. 1 is taxable sales. This bucket gets the most attention because sales taxes supply over half of local government revenue. As a result it’s measured very carefully and reported on every month. During the fiscal year ending in April 2016, Teton County’s merchants sold $1.26 billion worth of taxable goods. Yet despite the importance of taxable sales to local and state government, we don’t know much about how they occur. In particular, while it’s obvious that tourists spend a lot of money in Jackson Hole, it’s not clear how much. Simple back-of-theenvelope calculations suggest tourists account for 40 to 45 percent of local taxable sales, but other analysts, particularly those connected to the tourism industry, suggest tourism is responsible for a much higher percentage. It’s an open question. Next in order of attention received is real estate sales. In 2015 nearly $1 billion in residential real estate was sold; add in commercial sales and this figure exceeded $1 billion. While bucket two’s dollar volume was similar to bucket one’s, the two differ in two important ways: Real estate sales are not taxed, and the government doesn’t disclose any information about the sales. To assist the assessor with his work the county records sales prices. Because real estate sales are not taxed, though, sale prices are not disclosed. The third bucket is nontaxed

20

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

commerce. This category spans an enormous variety of activities, including some retail (e.g., groceries), all professional services and services provided by nonprofit organizations. Because these activities are not taxed they aren’t measured by the government. And unlike with real estate sales, no business has arisen to fill that void. As a result all we can do is guess at bucket three’s size. Putting a finger to the wind, $1 billion sounds about right. So now we have three buckets, each holding around $1 billion. The fourth bucket is about as big as the other three combined: In 2014, Teton County residents’ combined investment income was $3.3 billion, 74 percent of residents’ total income. That $3.3 billion is such a large figure that, on its own, investment income alone would have placed Teton County second in the nation’s per capita income rankings. This extraordinary wealth has little direct effect on the local economy, because it’s not taxed or otherwise tapped into in any sort of systematic fashion. What it does do, however, is help stimulate the economy through the purchases it makes and jobs it supports, directly and indirectly. It’s also the source of tremendous support for the local nonprofit community, most visibly through the annual Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities. That noted, there’s also a downside, at least from the perspective of community character. Because those making a lot of money can afford to pay more for homes and other assets,

BRADLY J. BONER

Jackson Hole’s considerable wealth provides tremendous support for local nonprofits, most visibly through the annual Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities.

it’s becoming increasingly difficult for those with less money to live in Teton County. The divide is huge between those with more and those with less. In 2014, 9 percent of Teton County households made $200,000, yet they accounted for 89 percent of the community’s collective income. Do some quick math and the income in households making $200,000 or more was, on average, 82 times that of the households making under $200,000. On a day-to-day basis such a gulf doesn’t mean much for Teton County’s sense of community. Long term, though, disparities like that hold the potential to erode qualities that, ironically, draw so many people in the first place. Equally ironic is that, despite being incredibly strong, Jackson Hole’s sense of community can also be quite fragile. Community character needs regular care and feeding, but it may not be getting it. Teton County has a fabulously strong economy. That is a wonderful thing but is not without challenges. Right now the nature of that economy is sending Teton County down the road to becoming a community of haves and have-nots. Whether that’s a destination the community wants to go is a separate question.


Per Capita Personal Income, 1969-2014 Teton County’s 2014 per capita personal income of $194,485 was the nation’s highest, roughly 3.5 times higher than Wyoming’s ($54,584) and 4.2 times greater than the national average of $46,049. Between 2013 and 2014, Teton County’s 6.1 percent growth rate in per capita income was also higher than that of either Wyoming (5.4 percent) or the nation (3.6 percent). Bureau of Economic Analysis $200,000 $150,000 $100,000 $50,000

1969

1974

1979

1984

Teton County

1989

Wyoming

1994

United States

1999

2004

2009

2014

During the brutal winters of 1909-11 thousands very elk the feeding program is meant to benefit. of elk died in Jackson Hole, one of the nation’s last It’s analogous to flying during flu season. Crammed strongholds for elk. The die-off motivated Congress to in with your fellow passengers, you are at risk for concreate the National Elk Refuge in 1912. tracting whatever diseases they have. It’s the same The refuge was founded as a winter game elk rewith elk: Elevated disease prevalence on the National serve, and in 1927 Congress expanded that purpose to Elk Refuge is not a theory; it’s occurring. include “the grazing of and as a refuge for American Most troubling is what’s on the horizon. Chronic elk and other big game.” Today our focus wasting disease is always fatal, and it’s also includes migratory birds, endanmarching ever closer to the National gered species and some kinds of wildlifeElk Refuge. We probably cannot stop its dependent recreation. As with all of the arrival, but we can address how concennation’s 560-plus national wildlife refugtrated it will be. es, the National Elk Refuge’s mission can Once an elk has CWD it sheds prions be summarized as “wildlife first.” — infectious proteins that seem able to Today we feed elk not because of stay infectious for decades in the soil congressional mandate but because of and plants. If that’s the case the last tradition. During the 1909-11 die-off, lothing we want is to change the National cal ranchers started feeding the elk, and Elk Refuge from a place where elk come that practice was adopted by the National to survive our harsh Wyoming winters Elk Refuge. Since 1912 we’ve fed elk in all to one where they receive the death senbut nine winters. Even though the refuge tence that is CWD. was not established to feed elk, it’s easy Steve Kallin to understand why many people believe Biggest opportunity Our biggest opportunity and challenge are inexothat’s its purpose. rably linked: Develop a 21st-century elk manageState of your jurisdiction ment strategy before a major disease hits. Through The refuge’s activities are guided by the Bison and this strategy we hope to prevent or at least mitigate Elk Management Plan, a 15-year joint plan between the impact of CWD and other potentially devastating the refuge and Grand Teton National Park. Completed diseases. in 2007, the plan has an overarching goal of reducing One thing the community can do reliance on supplemental feeding. Specific population As the refuge explores new ways to manage our elk, goals include 5,000 elk on supplemental feed and a towe urge the community to become better informed tal bison herd of 500 animals. Since 2007 the bison herd about all the ramifications of supplemental feeding. has fallen from 1,200 to around 700. But the number Supplemental feeding is controversial, but for the of elk has grown to around 8,400 — we’re going in the refuge and its elk to continue to thrive we need to be wrong direction for that goal. able to have a civil and meaningful discussion about Biggest challenge the future. The refuge’s biggest challenge is to develop and People enjoy wildlife in many different ways, and as implement a 21st-century elk management strategy Olaus Murie once said, “wildlife management is a huthat reduces the potential for devastating disease outman problem.” When we reach the point where we can breaks and ensures the long-term health of elk winterdiscuss options honestly, realize the other fellow’s ining on the refuge. terest and needs and try to reach a mutual agreement Feeding elk maintains populations higher than the on a good will basis, then we will have taken the first habitat can support. Historically that may have made essential step in wildlife management. sense, but today concentrating animals opens the door to devastating disease outbreaks that can threaten the — Steve Kallin, manager of the National Elk Refuge

2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

21


Personal Income by Type, 1974-2014

Total Personal Income by Type, 1969-2014

In 2014 Teton County’s per capita investment income totaled $143,683. Nationwide the figure was $8,541. In Wyoming it was $16,087. Remove Teton County from the mix and Wyoming’s per capita investment income figure goes down by a third. In 2014 Americans earned 63 percent of their income from wages and self-employment income, Wyoming residents earned 57 percent, and Teton County residents 25 percent. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Teton County’s wealth is due its investment income. In 2014 residents’ collective investment income of $3.3 billion accounted for 72 percent of residents’ total income. Wages accounted for 12 percent of residents’ income, self-employment earnings for 6 percent and pensions for the remaining 2 percent. Bureau of Economic Analysis $3,500,000

$3,000,000

$200,000

$2,500,000

$150,000

$2,000,000

$1,500,000

$100,000

$1,000,000 $50,000

$500,000 1974 1994 2014 1974 1994 2014 1974 1994 2014 United States Wyoming Teton County Wages and self-employment Investments

Retirement Pensions

1969

1974

1979 Investments

1984

1989 Wages

1994 Self-employment income

1999

2004

2009

Pensions

J ac ks on Ho le Cla ssi ca l Aca de m y Classical Education. Revolutionary School. The Academy develops the intellectual and moral foundations upon which responsible, independent and productive lives are built. Faculty serve as models, guides and mentors by setting high expectations and encouraging good habits so that students reach their full human and God-given potential.

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3255 West High School Rd. Jackson, WY • 307-201-5041 • jhclassical.org JH Classical Academy is a 501c3 not-for-profit institution. 22

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

2014


Mean Jobs per Capita, 1969-2014

Jobs by Employment Type, 1974-2014

Tourism is a labor-intensive industry, meaning that Teton County’s thriving tourism economy requires a lot of employees. Throw in the county’s wealth and the additional jobs that produces, and in 2014 Teton County had 1.28 full- and part-time jobs for every permanent resident, regardless of that resident’s age. That was roughly twice the ratio for Wyoming, and more than twice that of the nation. Bureau of Economic Analysis

The federal government classifies most farmers and ranchers as self-employed, so thanks to its agricultural economy Wyoming’s proportion of self-employed people has historically been higher than that of the nation as a whole. Teton County has a higher ratio still, with self-employed people accounting for fully one-third of the county’s jobs. Rather than being driven by agriculture, though, Teton County’s self-employment is due to a combination of professional services such as real estate agents, construction and a thriving entrepreneurial economy. Bureau of Economic Analysis

1.5

1.2

100% 0.9 80%

60%

0.6

40% 0.3 20%

1969

1974

1979

1984

1989

Teton County

1994 Wyoming

1999 United States

2004

2009

2014

1974 1994 2014 1974 1994 2014 1974 1994 2014 United States Wyoming Teton County Wage and salary jobs

Self-employed jobs

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EXCEPTIONAL PERSONALIZED SERVICE

2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

23


Teton County Total Taxable Sales by Type, June 2005 - April 2016 Retail is the largest category of taxable sales in Teton County. In the fiscal year ending in April 2016, $359 million worth of sales were recorded by local retailers, 29 percent of the county’s total. Clustered at 19 percent were the next three sectors: Lodging ($244 million), All Other ($236 million) and Restaurants and Bars ($234 million). Construction ($106 million or 8 percent of the total) and Automobiles ($79 million or 6 percent) rounded out the taxable sales picture. Wyoming Department of Revenue $400,000,000 $350,000,000 $300,000,000 $250,000,000 $200,000,000 $150,000,000 $100,000,000 $50,000,000 June 2005

June 2006

June 2007

June 2008 Retail

State of your jurisdiction

June 2009 Other

June 2010 Lodging

June 2011

Restaurants

June 2012

Construction

June 2013

June 2014

June 2015

Autos

facilities are not required to provide a full range of services to all comers, often leaving money-losing cases St. John’s Medical Center is both a nonprofit comto St. John’s or another major medical center. munity hospital and an independent governmental Moreover, the costs of these redundant facilities ulunit: Teton County Hospital District, with an elected, timately increase community hospital prices and your unpaid board of trustees. Our assets include: insurance prices. So do the profits flowing to the own- 48 hospital beds, including a new OB wing, and 60 ers of these facilities. nursing beds. - An emergency department staffed Biggest opportunity 24/7 by board-certified emergency physiOur greatest opportunity is for comcians. munity members to increase their use of - Six brand-new surgical suites and a St. John’s services. For emergency sernew oncology center. vices and several elective procedures, - State-of-the-art technology in the St. John’s quality matches the nation’s form of MRIs, CTs and telemedicine best. This means that for the elective equipment. procedures we do provide, patients can - A medical staff of roughly 60 full-time get the best of both worlds by staying at equivalents that performed roughly 2,800 home and getting high-quality care. surgical procedures last year, a combinaBecause St. John’s costs are largely tion of outpatient and inpatient. fixed, increased patient use will generSt. John’s Medical Center’s mission is ally help cover our costs, which will in patient-centered clinical excellence and turn enhance our financial viability. community wellness. That translates Michael Tennican into four objectives: One thing the community can do - The paramount objective is a quality of care that I make three requests of our community. meets or exceeds that of top American hospitals. First, please consider St. John’s as your hospital of - The broadest possible scope of clinical services choice. The benefits to you: getting outstanding cliniconsistent with excellence and financial feasibility. cal care and avoiding the inconvenience, the stress, the - Expanded community wellness programs. loss of time and the cost of remote care. For St. John’s, - The enhancement and preservation of financial the benefit is financial support. strength. Second, please continue to support the St. John’s Hospital Foundation, St. John’s Auxiliary, our other Biggest challenge supporters and our other proposals as we bring them St. John’s is doing well on all four objectives, but to you. only the first three are largely within the hospital’s Last, please help us persuade our legislators to vote control. In contrast, our future financial viability is for measures that will help not just St. John’s but a lot only partially within our control. of patients in the state. Of particular importance are Financial strength is absolutely crucial in maintainMedicaid expansion and requirement for certificates ing the quality and scope of our services. Of particular of need. The former will cover a lot of the uncompenconcern to community hospitals is competition from sated care St. John’s provides; the latter will reduce or physicians and other investors in facilities that have eliminate facilities already available at our community services with attractive profit margins. hospitals. This is not competition on a level playing field, for physicians can steer selected patients to facilities in — Michael Tennican, chairman of the which they have a financial interest. From a commuSt. John’s Medical Center board nity perspective, making matters worse is that these

24

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition


State of your jurisdiction

ing water, energy, recreation and solitude. A clear example of increased demand is Teton Pass. The Bridger-Teton National Forest is 3.4 million acres Over a two-week period at Christmas 6,700 people went up that’s really this community’s backyard. It ranges from Mount Glory. That illustrates a key challenge facing the the border of Yellowstone National Park down to KemBridger-Teton: the combination of large- and small-scale merer, a vast landscape with a complex mission. issues, all of which are important to different groups and The Bridger-Teton’s staff is around 140, and our budall of which have to be addressed in an inget is about $18 million to $20 million, small creasingly polarized environment. numbers for a such a large landscape. Also worth noting is that the Bridger-Teton ocBiggest opportunity cupies a distinctive niche in the U.S. Forest Our biggest opportunity is the increasService. Few other forests in the United ing visitation we’re going to have in 2016. States are as large, are as relatively intact That provides a huge opportunity to and have such a significant amount of wilreally start shifting the dynamic about derness and backcountry. talking about sustainability, land ethic In a nutshell the Forest Service’s misand land stewardship, and getting that sion is to sustain the health, productivaudience to really start to understand ity and diversity of the nation’s forest and our dilemmas as a society and how we grasslands for the needs of the future and start balancing those. present generations. We’re doing this in an increasingly polarized social construct, One thing the community can do with global needs and lots of increasing Tricia O’Connor We need to be able to host and have demands on natural resources. Further, deep conversations and learn in a respectful way. it’s a world becoming more and more disconnected from You can’t solve some of these deep issues with just a the environment and nature. Put all this together and it conversation or a sound bite. You need to be able to have makes our mission a lot more complicated. some dialogue and forge creative solutions. Help us get the dialogue going so that we can all think together and Biggest challenge be creative. This year 64 percent of the Forest Service’s budget is going to fire. That has a huge effect on everything else we — Tricia O’Connor, supervisor of the try to do and is especially important in light of the increasBridger-Teton National Forest ing demand for all the things that forests provide, includ-

2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

25


Jackson Hole Airport Enplanements, January 2000-April 2016 After a flat 2015 the number of enplanements at Jackson Hole airport spiked sharply during the winter of 2015-16, increasing 14 percent over the previous winter. As a result, during the fiscal year that ended in April 2016 the airport recorded 328,402 enplanements, a record for this century. Jackson Hole Airport

Teton County Lodging Tax Collections, May 2011-April 2016 During the fiscal year ending in April 2016, Teton County’s lodging properties collected $5.8 million in lodging taxes, a healthy 9 percent higher than the previous year. The lodging tax was first collected in April 2011, and took about 18 months to really kick into gear. Since then, lodging tax collections have grown at a compounded annual average rate of over 8 percent. Wyoming Department of Revenue $1,200,000

$6,000,000

$1,000,000

$5,000,000

$800,000

$4,000,000

$600,000

$3,000,000

$400,000

$2,000,000

$200,000

$1,000,000

350,000

300,000

250,000

200,000

150,000

100,000

50,000

Jan. 2008 Jan. 2012 Jan. 2000 Jan. 2004 Jan. 2002 Jan. 2006 Jan. 2010 Jan. 2014

May 2011

Nov. 2011

May 2012

Nov. 2012

May 2013

Nov. 2013 May 2014 Nov. 2014 May 2015

Monthly Collections (right)

Nov. 2015

12-Month Running Total (left)

K4–GRADE 8

Christ-Centered • Academic Excellence • Classical Tradition

leading the child from

Wonder to Wisdom

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Contact us about enrollment and for a tour of the school.

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Teton County | 255 W Deloney Ave | P.O. Box 1708 Jackson, WY 83001| jmccoy@tetonwyo.org | 307.733.3087 Timber Ridge Academy admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

26

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition


The greatest opportunity and strength that the Teton Conservation District has is its capacity to do conservation. Conservation is not a fact; it’s not something that’s going to be done with. It’s a task that’s going to be done over and over and over again as we go about our lives. The Conservation District is not a land management agency, a regulatory agency, a wildlife management organization or an advocacy group. We are a cooperating agency that brings resources and information to our partners to help them do thorough and complete analyses of what their actions mean. So we are your locally elected representatives to perform that role.

until it’s too late. We’re already functioning at a high level, and that creates a backward dilemma: We have only one direction to go, and that’s degrading an already high-functioning ecosystem. It’s something we need to cherish, and it’s at risk.

Biggest opportunity

Community RESOURCE CENTER

Assist Educate Advocate

Our opportunity is sustainability. Humans everywhere struggle with one concept: inexhaustibility. We never imagined we could shoot all the passenger pigeons or run bison populationsThe Community Resource Center (CRC) serves as nearly to extinction. Jackson’s first responder to vulnerable community Locally we have such plenty here — members facing financial, medical, and housing an embarrassment emergencies. of riches — that it’s hard to believe they are inexhaustible. We empower our clients through financial assistance State of your But they are. jurisdiction The opportunity and education, and personal and community advocacy. The Conservation lies in acting toHEALTH & HOUSING District’s jurisdicgether to keep probARE CONNECTED tion is all of Teton lems from occurring County... County, including or to address them In Teton ve eholds ha oblems” us ho of Alta. It also includes when they do. For crcjh.org using pr12% statewide evere ho “s ge of era % av Tom Segerstrom d to an Grand Teton and example, nutrients compare Yellowstone. That noted, much of are coming into Fish Creek. We can our effort is focused on the county’s see the effects, but we don’t know lead to an ded houses Overcrow private lands. Taxpayers support what the ramifications are and you for considering piratory Thank s e r in e s a e r c in ns the Conservation District through don’t know all of what’s causing it. infecchtildio a donation to Community ren in property taxes. We receive around People are really coming together Center through $1.2 million a year and raise another on the West Bank to look at Resource all of ciated with bility is asso using insta $30,000 in grants. those ways to cooperate to just fix Old Bill’s thisHoyear ss levels e r t s ed Roughly 25 percent of that mon- their own problem, and it’s great. heightedndepression an ey goes directly into conservation It’s a terrific stakeholders effort. efforts, and the rest goes to pay for ore than at spend m e Families th operations and our ongoing pro- One thing the community can do com in , of tn'hteaffir d medicine What we really want is to maingrams. Of particular note are the or 50% e g ca on housin s or health insuranc foundational information data sets tain the greatness we have right doctor visit we are building so that we can help now, to share it with the world toestment in the community monitor and assess day and keep it great for future t also an inv shelter, bu is not just ing us ing ho e Affordable generations. The first step in that the region’s environmental health. h & well-b lt a e h d o go process is to ask ourselves, “Why Biggest challenge do we stay here?” We enjoy a very high-functionWe pay a price to live here. You EL PUENTE ing ecosystem. That’s our inheri- can get a great job, you can own HELPS TETON COUNTY RESIDENTS tance: a virtually intact ecosystem a home, you can mountain bike GET THE HEALTH CARE THEY NEED with connectivity and biodiversity throughout the West. You can have beyond what anybody else can ex- culture in many cities. Yet here 557 E. Broadway, Jackson WY 307.739.4544 | elpuentejh.org perience in the United States, in we are. If you honestly answer the such a small area. “why do we stay here?” question, The problem is that these you’ll know that you have to do resources are so abundant and so some conservation because the unfunctional that as we go about our derlying reasons are not inexhaustbusiness the effects of our activities ible, and they’re not guaranteed. are going to be masked. We won’t be able to tell we’re running — Tom Segerstrom, extinction deficits or stewardship executive director, deficits or degradation deficits Teton Conservation District

E L PU E N T E

We Provide Hope

ONE 20

ORGANIZATION

ONE COMMUNITY

Special Thanks

J

www.crcjh.org

307.739.4500

2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

27


Skier Days, by Area, 1966-2016 After a dip in the 2014-15 season Jackson Hole Mountain Resort experienced a 2.6 percent increase in skier days in 2015-16. The total of 560,400 was the second-highest skier day count in Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s history. Grand Targhee saw a smaller increase, just 1.7 percent, but its 178,605 skier days were the highest in the Alta resort’s history. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Grand Targhee, Snow King Mountain Resort 600,000 500,000 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 1966

1971

1976

State of your jurisdiction

1981

1986

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

1991

Grand Targhee

1996

Snow King Mountain Resort

2001

2006

2011

it. Yellowstone had a 16.6 percent increase in visitation last year; gas prices are even lower this year. Montana The preservation of the Yellowstone Ecosystem is not and Wyoming are promoting the park, as is every local guaranteed. tourism community. Incredible vigilance is required, and even then it’s still Some days this past summer it took more than two not guaranteed. hours to drive the 14 miles from West Yellowstone to The May 2016 issue of National Geographic asks a Madison Junction. And Yellowstone’s traffic jams and seemingly simple question about not just Yellowstone but wildlife jams aren’t unique to Yellowstone — they happen the Yellowstone ecosystem: “What will it take to make the in Grand Teton National Park as well. kinds of decisions needed to protect these The problem we all have to face is this: places?” A variant of focuses on the grizzly The constituency of Yellowstone is not bear: “Can we make the decisions needed to the five counties surrounding the parks; ensure grizzlies survive in this ecosystem?” it’s the world. To assure the quality of the How do such questions inform the devisitors’ experience and preserve the recisions we make every day? When we source, are we willing to accept we may propose a development in a national park, have to limit visits? we go through the National EnvironmenThis won’t be an easy conversation, but tal Protection Act and an environmental those living in the region need to be part impact statement process. We talk about of it. And it will be a different conversacumulative impacts. Do the communities tion in Jackson Hole than in Cody or Gararound Yellowstone do the same? Whether diner or West Yellowstone or Cheyenne or the issue is development or promotion or Helena. That’s no small challenge. what have you, are communities willing to ask those types of questions and take such Biggest opportunity steps to help preserve this place? Dan Wenk The biggest opportunity facing YelSuch questions play out most clearly in lowstone is ecosystem management. We are so far betransboundary wildlife issues. Killing bison on Yellowyond being able to manage within our jurisdictional stone’s Montana border makes many people sick to their boundaries that we need to focus on ecosystems. Hapstomach, but we are required to do it under a court-orpily, we’ve begun to do that. dered agreement. Similarly, killing non-native lake trout The challenge with this approach is that it’s hard to in Yellowstone Lake is creating tremendous controversy, grasp. Consider grizzly bears. The U.S. Fish and Wildbecause for many people sport fishing is as important as life Service is taking an ecosystem management appreserving the ecosystem. Are we willing to make the deproach to delisting the bears. As grizzly 399 in Grand cisions necessary to preserve the place? Teton shows, people see grizzly bears on an individual Or consider paddling. I understand what’s in it for the level. That’s not a requirement of delisting. Delisting is paddlers. I don’t understand what’s in it for Yellowstone. about population management. Given that reality, how Anybody who tells me it’s not going to hurt the resource, do we have that conversation productively, especially I’ll tell them they’re wrong, because every use in Yellowgiven that the grizzlies’ constituency is worldwide? stone has had some detrimental effect on the resource. Finally, these are not just regional questions. Climate change is going to have a tremendous impact on every naOne thing the community can do tional park, affecting the National Park Service’s mandate The one thing the community can do is simple: Ento conserve the resource for future generations. As a socigagement. Involvement. Caring about these issues. ety, what are we willing to do about that? It’s letting us know, letting others know what’s important to you, how it affects your community. Biggest challenge Understand the actions of your communities, your The biggest challenge facing the entire Yellowstone states and your areas. They affect these places we’re all ecosystem is that 2016 will be a year of unprecedented very concerned for and are trying very hard to protect. visibility. The National Geographic issue about Yellowstone will — Dan Wenk, superintendent be in 40 languages. Sixty million people are going to see of Yellowstone National Park

28

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

2016


National Park Visits, January 2000-April 2016 Visits to Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks shot up sharply during the summer of 2015. Recreational visits to Grand Teton increased 11 percent, and to Yellowstone 15 percent. During the fiscal year ending in April 2016 Yellowstone recorded 4,115,411 recreational visits, and Grand Teton had an estimated 3,149,873. National Park Service 5,000,000 4,000,000 3,000,000 2,000,000 1,000,000 Jan. 2000

Jan. 2002

Jan. 2004

Jan. 2006

Jan. 2008

Yellowstone National Park

State of your jurisdiction

The mandate of the National Park Service is simple and complex: “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” For over 100 years national park managers have been trying to achieve these interests. In our early days this meant attracting visitors. Today it means dealing with record-breaking numbers from around the world.

Biggest challenge

Jan. 2010

Jan. 2012

Jan. 2014

Jan. 2016

Grand Teton National Park

Between international marketing campaigns, the Park Service centennial, the agency’s Find Your Park campaign and the National Geographic issue we anticipate record numbers of visitors this year. As a result it is not unreasonable to think that Grand Teton’s visitation could reach 5 million in 2016.

Biggest opportunity

Grand Teton’s biggest opportunity is the same as our biggest challenge: changing visitor demographics and dynamics. More visitors means more opportunities to reach new and diverse audiences. Telling the park’s many stories helps to encourage a new generation of park supporters, visitors and advocates. And through park experiences it also encourages more people to be engaged in conservation in their own communities and around the country.

The biggest challenge to Grand Teton National Park is changing visitor dynamics. Grand Teton had 4.6 million total visitors in 2015, an 8.2 percent increase from 2014, a 12.9 percent increase from 2013 and an 18.6 percent increase from 2012, when we welcomed 3.9 million visitors. One thing the community can do In the summer, front-country visitor How can the community help us adareas are at or near capacity. But because dress our biggest challenge? Volunteer. of changing visitor dynamics, last year the Locals are extremely passionate three months with the biggest visitor inand knowledgeable about Grand Teton. creases were September, October and May. David Vela Please join our wildlife brigades. Help Adding to the challenge: We have fewer support our many youth and Latino initiatives. Work on staffers to address this shift. During the fall we transition our workforce housing interests. to a much smaller winter workforce. And due to both a Together let’s consider how we can engage and maxilack of funds and the need to close nonwinterized housing mize our mutual capacities, and leverage that as well. units, we don’t have the ability to significantly extend our When marketing Jackson Hole, keep in mind that the summer seasonal workforce. shoulder seasons are problematic for us. Let’s work toAdjusted for inflation, Grand Teton’s operating budget gether to assess potential transportation and transit ophas declined 9 percent since 2009. Happily, recent approtions as well as ensure that residents and visitors alike priations and increased fee revenues will provide needed enjoy their time in our community. support and a helping hand. Still, we had 18 percent fewFinally, please ponder three questions: er staffers in 2015 than in 2010. And even though Grand First, how can we continue to welcome the world to Teton National Park is the largest provider of housing our very special park and ecosystem? in Teton County, housing our permanent and seasonal Second, as we do that, how can we preserve, protect workforce is a persistent challenge. and maintain the resources with which we are entrustIncreased visitation affects park resources, staff, facilied? The parks are our national birthright, and all of us ties and the visitor experience itself. In 2015 Grand Teton have the duty and responsibility to protect them. National Park rangers, paramedics and emergency mediFinally, how can we effectively engage current and cal technicians responded to 10 percent more calls for asfuture generations as well as diverse communities and sistance than in 2014, yet had fewer staff to do so. audiences? Another subtheme to the challenge: increased internaThese are big and important questions, and I am extional visitation. Anecdotally we are seeing many more tremely confident we can and will achieve these collecvisitors from Asia and India, which brings additional chaltive interests. lenges due to language and cultural differences. Because of external marketing campaigns, we will continue to see — David Vela, superintendent these demographic international communities targeted, of Grand Teton National Park with other international audiences to follow.

2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

29


I

HOUSING

n the late 1800s an editor at the Hartford Courant named Charles Dudley Warner coined the phrase “Everybody talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” (Warner was a neighbor of Mark Twain’s, to whom the quote is often mistakenly attributed.) Locally, a similar thing might be said about housing. Which is not exactly accurate. Teton County continues to see new housing growth. According to the Jackson/Teton County planning department, 128 new residential units were built in 2015. Of them, though, only 33 were either attached singlefamily units (nine) or apartment units (24), i.e., the types needed to address the community’s workforce housing problem. And with the median price of single-family homes and condominiums going up 17 percent between 2014 and 2015, the data support the sense that efforts being made to address the community’s housing woes are not sufficient to make a meaningful dent in the problem. Driving that point home is another piece of data. As Teton County’s school superintendent Gillian Chapman points out elsewhere in this publication, during the 2015-16 school year 28 students in Teton County’s public school system — roughly 1 percent of the district’s entire enrollment — were homeless. This in the richest county in the richest country in the history of the world. For those for whom Jackson Hole’s housing system works, though, the system is working very well. The sales price for all residential property sold in 2015 was $939.7 million, the highest since the recession and a 37 percent increase over 2014. In 2009 only $290 million in residential property was sold. That was the lowest figure since 1996. Six years later that figure has more than tripled. That noted, we’ve not yet returned to prerecession heights: In 2005, 2006 and 2007 total residential sales cracked the $1 billion mark each year, reaching their all-time high of $1.23 billion in 2007. Similarly, while construction hasn’t returned to its prerecession levels, in 2015 construction-related taxable sales were 70 percent above their post-2008 lows, employment was 30 percent higher and wages were up 40 percent. Using conventional financing, to afford 2015’s median single-family home a Teton County family would have needed a $225,000 down payment and a $125,000 annual income. For the median condominium the figures would be about half that. While

30

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

Housing Unit Occupancy, 1940-2010 The supply-and-demand issue underlying Teton County’s housing problem has at least three facets. The most obvious is that there are more people who want to live here than there are homes. The second is that, because of the supply-demand imbalance, the price of many of the community’s homes is beyond the reach of those interested in living here. The third facet is how the homes that are here are used. Since the beginning of this century the proportion of second homes has risen. As a result, between 30 and 40 percent of all Teton County homes sit unused much of the year. That is low by resort community standards but high by national ones. U.S. Census Bureau 15,000 12,000 9,000 6,000 3,000 1940

1950

1960

1970

1980

Occupied

Vacant

such figures work for some people, for many — especially those working in Jackson Hole’s tourism-related industries — they are out of reach. Then throw in the fact that local wages did not keep up with the 17 percent jump in median home prices and the prob-

1990

2000

2010

lem becomes incredibly vexing. The data suggest Jackson Hole remains on a trajectory toward becoming a community of haves and have-nots. We may not be able to do anything about that, but at least that gives us something to talk about.


Housing Unit Occupancy by Area, 2014 In 2014, in five portions of Teton County the majority of the housing stock was occupied yearround: Rafter J (95 percent), the town of Jackson (75 percent), the South Park/Hoback area (74 percent), Alta (73 percent) and Wilson (69 percent). Forty-six percent of the homes on Moose-Wilson Road were primary occupancy, and just 11 percent of those in Teton Village. U.S. Census Bureau 5,000

4,000

3,000

2,000

1,000

Jackson

Hoback and South Park

Moose-Wilson Road

Wilson

Teton Village

Occupied

Rafter J

Alta

Rest of county

Vacant

Year Home Built and Value, 2014 Over one-quarter of Teton County’s stock was built during the 1990s. Things have slowed down since, but nearly half of Teton County’s entire housing stock has been built since 1990. Fully one-quarter of the county’s owner-occupied housing stock has a value of over $1 million, and another 40 percent is valued between $500,000 and $1 million. U.S. Census Bureau 1%

5%

14%

4%

18%

7%

25%

9%

16% YEAR BUILT ----13,034 HOMES

VALUE ----4,644 HOMES 11%

RYAN DORGAN

27%

Prospective residents tour homes in phase 2 of the Grove during a Teton County Housing Authority open house. Phase 2 of the project includes 24 affordable and employment-based homes, all to be offered through a Housing Authority lottery.

40%

23% 1940 1960-69 1980-89 2000-09

1950-59 1970-79 1990-99 >=2010

<$200,000 $300,000-499,999 >=$1,000,000

$200,000-299,999 $500,000-999,999

Home Ownership Status, 2014 In 2014, when excluding second homes, Teton County’s home ownership profile was similar to that of the nation and state. Because the community’s apartments and other rentaloriented properties are concentrated in the town of Jackson, the town has a much lower home ownership rate than the rest of the county. U.S. Census Bureau 100%

80%

60%

40%

20%

United States

Wyoming Own with a mortgage

Teton County

Town of Jackson

Own without a mortgage

Unincorporated county

Rent

2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

31


Occupants Per Room, 2014

Total Residential Property Sales, 1992-2015

The living situations for Teton County’s white and Hispanic residents is very different. In both the town of Jackson and the unincorporated county, 99 percent of Jackson Hole’s white residents live in residences with fewer than one person per room. In contrast there is more than one person per room in 38 percent of the homes occupied by Hispanic residents, all of which are in the town of Jackson. U.S. Census Bureau

In 2015 the total number of residential properties sold in Teton County — a combination of single-family homes, condominiums and residential lots — rose 10 percent. The total of 611 properties sold was the second-highest figure since the recession, trailing only 2013’s total of 654. Jackson Hole Report

1%

0%

1,200

$2,000,000

1,000

$1,666,666

800

$1,333,333

600

$1,000,000

400

$666,666

200

$333,333

36% WHITES ----6,959 HOMES

63%

1992

1994

1996

1998

2000

2002

Number of sales (left)

2004

2006

Mean price (right)

2008

2010

2012

2014

Total sales volume (right x 1,000)

Single Family Home Sales, 1992-2015 47% LATINOS ----738 HOMES

The 245 single-family homes sold in 2015 was only a skosh above 2014’s figure of 240. What differed was the price of those homes: 2015’s mean price of $2.05 million was 23 percent above 2014’s figure, and 2015’s median price of $1.13 million was 17 percent above 2014. Jackson Hole Report 400

$2,500,000

350

$2,187,500

300

$1,875,000

250

$1,562,500

200

$1,250,000

150

$937,500

Median Single-Family Home Value, 2014

100

$625,000

This chart shows the top 20 counties for median single home value. For the past decade-plus Teton County’s housing prices have consistently ranked among America’s top 20, and usually in the top 10. U.S. Census Bureau

50

$312,500

38% 15% Town of Jackson <= 1 occupant / room Rest of County <= 1 occupant / room Town of Jackson > 1 occupant / room Rest of County > 1 occupant / room

32

PLACE

COUNTY

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Nantucket, MA New York, NY Marin, CA San Francisco, CA San Mateo, CA Teton, WY Falls Church, VA Santa Clara, CA Dukes, MA Arlington, VA Pitkin, CO Honolulu, HI Santa Cruz, CA Kings, NY Orange, CA San Miguel, CO Maui, HI Alameda, CA Westchester, NY Summit, UT

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

VALUE $912,600 $838,400 $785,100 $765,700 $736,800 $675,000 $665,400 $664,100 $641,100 $594,800 $570,700 $564,400 $559,500 $557,500 $532,300 $511,800 $510,300 $509,300 $509,200 $496,800

1992

1994

1996

1998

2000

2002

Number of sales (left)

2004

2006

Mean price (right)

2008

2010

2012

2014

Total sales volume (right x 1,000)

Condo Sales, 1992-2015 Two hundred and thirty-two condominiums and townhomes were sold in Teton County in 2105, 17 percent more than were sold in 2014 and the largest number sold since the recession. Prices shot up: 2015’s mean price of $973,648 was a whopping 53 percent higher than 2014’s, and the median price of $537,000 was 17 percent higher. Jackson Hole Report 500

$1,200,000

400

$960,000

300

$720,000

200

$480,000

100

$240,000

1992

1994

1996

1998

2000

Number of sales (left)

2002

2004

Mean price (right)

2006

2008

2010

2012

Total sales volume (right x 1,000)

2014


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EDUCATION

A

rguably the hardest job in local politics is being a school board member. Parents entrust their children to the schools for not just 13 years but 13 years of tremendous growth and change. And while most parents will not say or even realize it, at some deep level they expect from the school system nothing less than perfection. Making that tough job tougher still are the rapid changes Teton County’s schools have experienced in the past decade. Start with demographics. During the fall of 2006 the Teton County School District hit its enrollment nadir for this century: 2,222 students enrolled in its nine schools. Since then the district has been rocked by two huge demographic shifts. One is enrollment growth. Between 2006 and 2015 the district’s enrollment jumped 25 percent, from 2,222 students to 2,770, the equivalent of adding an entire new Jackson Hole Middle School’s worth of enrollment. The other is ethnic mix. In 2006, 78 percent of all students in the district were white, 19 percent were Hispanic and 3 percent some other race. Today the percentages are 65 percent white, 31 percent Hispanic and 4 percent other. Neither change has been uniform

34

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

across grade levels or geographies. The district’s high school enrollment today is about what it was in 2006, but elementary school enrollment is up 45 percent. Parse it further and enrollment at the district’s outlying elementary schools is essentially unchanged from nine years ago. In the town elementary schools, though, the enrollment has risen from 2006’s 721 students to today’s 1,151, an increase of 60 percent. Peel back the onion another layer, and of the 430 new students in town elementary schools 203 are white and 218 Hispanic. As a result, today the ethnic mix of the town’s elementary schools is 57 percent white, 41 percent Hispanic and 3 percent other. As these shifts work their way up to higher grades the middle and high schools are changing as well. Since 2006 not only has the percentage of white middle and high school students dropped but so, too, has their total number. As a result, in Teton County schools the number of white students in grades six through 12 has gone from 983 in 2006 to 831 today, while the number of Hispanic and other nonwhite students has gone from 201 to 448. Creating synergy with the resulting cultural challenges are economic shifts. In 2014 the median household

RYAN DORGAN

Aidan Thomann, in red, and partner Jose Salinas, in blue, test their design in front of classmates during a National Engineers Week activity at Colter Elementary School. At the town’s two elementary schools the ethnic mix is 57 percent white, 41 percent Hispanic and 3 percent other.

income for Teton County’s white families was $95,576; for the county’s Hispanic families it was $41,303. That year 14 percent of Teton County’s white families were living on an income of less than $45,000; 66 percent of Teton County’s Hispanic families were. Making the stew richer still are the pressures schools across the country are feeling as a result of debates over issues such as the Common Core standards, as well as the Wyoming-specific economic abyss being created by coal’s collapse. Be it race, income, culture or coal, nine years ago none of these issues were on the map. Today they are all playing out within Teton County’s school system, with watchful parents concerned and often vocal about even the slightest anomaly. Especially in the face of some extraordinary challenges, let’s hope those parents are open to appreciating successes as well.


Teton County School District Enrollment by Ethnicity, 2003-15 In the fall of 2003, 86 percent of the students enrolled in Teton County’s public schools were white. In the fall of 2015, 65 percent were. During those 12 years the district’s overall enrollment grew by 474 students, or 21 percent. The number of white students declined by 191, a drop of 10 percent. In contrast, the district saw an increase of 594 Hispanic students and 71 nonwhite students. Both figures represented a tripling from 12 years earlier. . Wyoming Department of Education 3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

White

2010

Hispanic

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Other

Teton County School District Enrollment by Ethnicity and School Level Teton County’s schools can be lumped into four general categories: outlying elementaries (Alta, Kelly, Moran and Wilson), town elementaries (Colter and Jackson), the middle school and the two high schools (Jackson Hole and Summit). Over the past decade the racial profile of the outlying elementaries has stayed the same, with whites accounting for 90-plus percent of the students. In the town elementaries the percentage of whites is currently in the high 50 percent range. At both the middle and high school levels, whites are roughly two-thirds of the students. Wyoming Department of Education, Journeys School, Jackson Hole Community School JACKSON HOLE MIDDLE SCHOOL

OUTLYING ELEMENTARIES 2003

2006

2009

2012

2015

2003

2006

2009

2012

2015

309

300

317

311

312

White

478

384

357

359

377

Hispanic

6

8

15

8

11

Hispanic

49

94

133

159

185

Other

13

9

16

12

17

Other

6

16

25

14

24

Total

328

317

348

331

340

Total

533

494

515

532

586

2003

2006

2009

2012

2015

2003

2006

2009

2012

2015

White

531

448

451

568

651

White

667

599

491

442

454

Hispanic

162

249

336

397

467

Hispanic

59

80

122

161

207

Other

11

24

28

26

33

Other

5

11

26

30

32

Total

704

721

815

991

1,151

Total

731

690

639

633

693

White

JACKSON HOLE HIGH SCHOOLS

JACKSON ELEMENTARIES

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Teton County School District Graduation Rates, 2007-15 In the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years Teton County’s public high schools graduated 96 percent of their students, record levels for the past decade. Teton County’s high school graduation rate has consistently been higher than that of the state, but in the past couple of years that gap has widened considerably. Wyoming Department of Education 100%

Jackson Hole 307.739.3900

80%

60%

40%

20%

Member FDIC 2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

Wyoming

Teton County

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

35


Teton County School District Fourth- and Eighth-Grade PAWS Scores, 2011-15 The state of Wyoming’s tool for assessing its students’ academic performance is a standardized testing system called PAWS: Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students. The test was made more rigorous in 2014, causing scores to drop markedly in Teton County and statewide. As a rule of thumb, on any given test 10 to 20 percent more of Teton County’s students score “proficient” or higher than the statewide average. Wyoming Department of Education 4TH GRADE - TETON COUNTY

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Math

87%

87%

87%

50%

49%

Math

77%

85%

87%

64%

59%

Reading

85%

83%

84%

69%

66%

Reading

87%

87%

87%

63%

59%

Science

65%

84%

68%

63%

55%

Science

64%

72%

68%

60%

53%

4TH GRADE - WYOMING

8TH GRADE - TETON COUNTY

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Math

81%

82%

81%

47%

51%

Math

71%

73%

67%

50%

47%

Reading

84%

83%

78%

64%

60%

Reading

77%

78%

76%

58%

52%

Science

55%

63%

58%

53%

51%

Science

51%

51%

44%

47%

42%

State of your jurisdiction

The school district’s vision is to be a premier district where every student is prepared to succeed in an ever-changing world. Our mission is to ensure that all students have the foundation for success and are challenged to reach their full potential. In all we do our fundamental question is “What’s best for kids?” Complementing that are four additional core values: 1. Balance, fairness and equity. 2. High and challenging standards. 3. Resilience, grit and perseverance. 4. Trust and respect. The district is also very much focused on college, career and military preparation. That is a shift for us, because before we didn’t focus much on what happened after kids left our schools. But kids are mercurial, and when they change their minds we want them to be prepared for whatever their future could bring, because it could bring anything.

8TH GRADE - WYOMING

Our third major challenge — one even more shocking than food insecurity — is homelessness. At least 28 children in our schools — roughly 1 percent of our entire enrollment — are currently homeless. That number does not include those living in a house shared with multiple families, where kids take turns or sleep in shifts because there are not enough beds. Our kids can’t learn if they don’t have an appropriate place to sleep, study and be prepared for the next day of learning. This community has a lot of resources, and we need to partner together to make sure all our children have that basic need met.

Biggest opportunity

Our greatest opportunity is to complete the new elementary school south of town. That will accommodate the students who today are sitting in overcrowded classrooms or modular buildings. Gillian Chapman Beyond that we will continue focusing on our vision to prepare all children to be successBiggest challenge ful in an ever-changing world, proactively planning for The district faces three major challenges. the district’s future and taking reasonable and responThe first is overcrowding. The district’s enrollment sible steps to be prepared for whatever comes our way. is growing, yet more than 400 children — roughly oneseventh of our total enrollment — are in temporary, One thing the community can do modular buildings or overcrowded classrooms. In parIn these tight fiscal times it’s essential that we colticular, the town and Wilson elementary schools are laborate with one another, that we continue to advoover capacity by 126 percent. cate for funding for education, for funding for our famiThe second major challenge is food insecurity. lies, for housing, to meet the basic needs all of us have. Teton County School District provides free or reducedWe also need to continue to thank our elected officost breakfast and lunch to 660 students, 24 percent of cials. It’s a tough job even in a great fiscal year, and it’s the district’s entire enrollment. going to be tougher still as the state faces hard times. To qualify for free lunch and breakfast a family has To succeed, our district needs your continued supearn no more than 130 percent of the federal poverty port and collaboration. It’s just incredible that people limit: $31,525 for a family of four. For reduced breakcare so much about this community, and we urge to fast and lunch a family has to be at 185 percent of the you continue helping us address our challenges and federal poverty line: roughly $45,000 for a family of opportunities. Thank you for continuing to partner four. This is a huge issue, because proper nutrition with us and our families to help us create the optimal is vital to a student’s ability to learn and succeed in conditions for providing our children the best educaschool. It’s also a humbling issue, because our famition possible. lies and children don’t want us to know they’re struggling. We need to honor that and provide graceful — Gillian Chapman, superintendent of ways to support and value their contributions to our Teton County School District No. 1 community and schools.

36

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition


Teton County School District Revenue by Source, 2001-15 Until the 2012-13 school year Teton County’s schools received essentially all of their funding from local property taxes. Since then the state has provided some funding — around 10 percent of the district’s $44.6 million revenues in the 2014-15 school year. With the state’s finances in trouble it seems likely the district will once again need to rely almost entirely on local funding. Wyoming Department of Education $35,000,000 $30,000,000 $25,000,000 $20,000,000 $15,000,000 $10,000,000 $5,000,000 0 $-5,000,000

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

Local property taxes

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

State of Wyoming

Teton County School District Expenditures by Category, 2001-15 During the 2014-15 school year the Teton County School District spent $44.1 million. Eighty-five percent of that — $37.5 million — went to salaries and benefits. Between the 2004 and 2014 school years the district’s overall expenditures went up 80 percent, 94 percent of which went to salaries and benefits. Wyoming Department of Education $50,000,000 $40,000,000 $30,000,000 $20,000,000 $10,000,000 2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Salaries and benefits

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2007-08

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2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

37


ELECTION

BRADLY J. BONER

With a Jackson Hole sign, Colleen Downard, of Victor, Idaho, stands out in a crowd of Bernie Sanders supporters during a rally for the Democratic presidential candidate. Perhaps in part due to Sanders’ appeal, Teton County’s Democrats had their largest-ever share of the electorate this year: 36 percent.

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Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

2

016 is an election year. What might we expect in Teton County? Perhaps the most significant local trend is the slow decline of Teton County’s Republican Party. In 1980 nearly two-thirds of Teton County’s voters were registered as Republicans. Thirty years later that figure dipped below 50 percent for the first time and has stayed there since. In contrast, thanks in part to the appeal of Bernie Sanders, this year Teton County’s Democrats command their largest-ever share of the electorate: 36 percent. Local registration doesn’t correlate well with local voting patterns, though, particularly for local offices. That noted, the changes in registration do suggest a significant shift is occurring in local politics: Over the past 12 years the percentage of registered Republicans has fallen from 57 to 44, while the percentage of registered Democrats has risen from 20 to 36. Roughly 20 percent of Teton County’s 10,600 voters do not identify with either mainstream party. Most are unaffiliated, but as of April 2016 Teton County was also home to 58 registered Libertarians (“The Wyoming Libertarian Party stands for

more individual liberty and for less government.”) and seven members of the Constitution Party (“The only legitimate role of government is to secure our God-given right of life, liberty, and ownership and control of property. Individuals have the right and duty to protect these God-given rights.”). While their numbers may be small, these “fringe” parties often wield a disproportionate influence on local affairs. For example, since mid2015 the Constitution Party’s Teton County representative has been a News&Guide columnist, providing that seven-member-strong party a broad audience for its philosophies. As a rule of thumb, though, Teton County is becoming less conservative than it has been historically. Case in point: Except for 2000, when “local boy” Dick Cheney was on the ballot, Democratic candidates for president have won every election since 1992, a streak that seems likely to continue in 2016. Before that the Republican presidential candidate won every race for at least 40 years. Similarly, in the last four gubernatorial races Teton County’s voters have twice voted for the Democrat See ELECTIONS on 40


Teton County Voter Registration by Party - 2012 v. 2016

Teton County Voter Registration by Party - Feb. 2016 v. April 2016

Over the last four years the total number of registered voters has increased 2.6 percent, roughly one-third the rate of population growth. The number of registered Democrats has increased, the number of Republicans has declined, and the number of unaffiliated voters has stayed flat. Wyoming Secretary of State

Between February 1 and April 1, 2016, the number of Democrats registered in Teton County increased by 438. That was over twice the number of new Democrats recorded in the previous 12 months combined, a result, presumably, of Teton County voters feeling the Bern. Roughly one-third of these new Democrats switched from being either Republicans or unaffiliated. Wyoming Secretary of State

0%

1%

1% 20%

49%

19%

44%

APRIL 2012 ----10,168

36% Republican

20%

APRIL 2016 ----10,168

31% Democrat

1% 46%

FEBRUARY 2016 ----10,168

Other

44% APRIL 2016 ----10,606

33% Unaffiliated

19%

36% Republican

Democrat

Unaffiliated

Other

State of your jurisdiction

we need to innovate. And to do that we need your help. Here’s an example: I recently met with a group of Jackson Hole natives, young professionals who have returned here. They’re engineers, teachers, business owners — they’re amazing. Where they need help is with a housing down payment. They can handle the monthly payment, but not the down payment. What’s the answer? Shared appreciation mortgages? Pools for down payment assistance? The Grove is an amazing asset for our community, and thanks to the leadership of the Teton County Board of Commissioners and the Teton County Housing Authority, 44 families now live there. Yet the subsidies there were $330,000 per unit. If we could do something similar for other housing properties — if, say, we could do down payment assistance of $150,000 or so per unit — and in exchange get a deed restriction requiring local employment, that would be Sara Flitner more workforce housing. That’s something I’m interested in looking at. Biggest challenge You know what else struck me about these young In my mind our biggest challenge is to stop being people? They didn’t care about housing as an investaddicted to our positions. ment; they cared about housing security. They don’t If we want to maintain our sense of community, we care about getting a windfall when they move out; they need to stop working at being impressive and instead just want to be here. That’s the kind of person I want in seek to be impressed by other people and their ideas, my community. I bet you do, too. especially those who have different ones. This is obvious stuff, but it’s really hard to do, as you all know. One thing the community can do It’s something we’re working very hard on as your Key to problem solving is civility and good manpublic servants. Criticizing and being defensive, grabners. Appreciate what we have; we have so much. bing the easy quote, being divisive — that’s low-hanging We spend a lot of time talking about champagne fruit. What’s hard is coming to the table and listening, problems, but we have people sleeping in shifts. Our with true openness, to someone you don’t like and don’t health care and social services are going to be hit hard. agree with. That’s how we maintain community first. These are problems we have to tackle. We’ve proved we care about our people, so let’s Biggest opportunity show up together, let’s continue to prioritize, and let’s The single biggest opportunity is long-term funding keep in mind with some appreciation that we are abfor community priorities such as housing and transsolutely empowered to solve the challenges we face. portation. The safety of our community also requires us to remediate the Budge Drive slide. — Sara Flitner, Mayor of Jackson Beyond that, to solve our most complex problems Please remember that Jackson is part of the state and the country. Right now Wyoming’s overall sales tax collections are down 17 percent for this fiscal year. Mineral tax revenues are down 35 percent. That’s going to trickle down to us, and our neighbors elsewhere in the state will suffer even more than we will. So while we scramble for funding, I want to keep this in mind, and I want you to as well: We are lucky. Shortly after I moved to Jackson I attended my first fundraiser for a friend undergoing cancer treatment. It blew my mind. We raised $100,000 in four hours, and I remember thinking, “Wow, those poor suckers in (my hometown of) Shell Creek, all we give them are casseroles.” Because in many communities in our state, the resources that we get access to in Teton County just aren’t there. So we’re lucky.

2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

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Wyoming’s Counties 2016: Voter Registration by Party With 44 percent of its voters registered as Republicans, Teton County has the lowest percentage of Republicans of any county in Wyoming. It also has the highest proportion of unaffiliated voters. Sixty-nine percent of all Wyoming’s voters are registered as Republicans, and in 11 of Wyoming’s 23 counties at least 80 percent of all voters are Republicans. Wyoming Secretary of State Teton Albany Sweetwater Carbon Laramie Natrona Fremont State of Wyoming Sheridan Platte Uinta Goshen Lincoln Washakie Park Hot Springs Converse Weston Big Horn Campbell Sublette Crook Johnson Niobrara

20%

40% Republican

60% Democrat

80%

Unaffiliated

100%

Other

Teton County Registration v. Voting - 2012 and 2014 Republicans have always outnumbered Democrats in Teton County, usually handily. However, party affiliation does not necessarily reflect how Teton County’s voters vote. It seems likely that in 2012 some Teton County Republicans voted for Barack Obama; in 2014, neither Democrat Pete Gosar nor Republican Matt Mead did as well in his gubernatorial contest as registration figures suggested he might. Wyoming Secretary of State 8,000 7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 2012

2014 Votes for Obama or Gosar (D)

Registered Democrats

Registered Republicans

Votes for Romney or Mead (R)

Teton County and Wyoming: Votes for President (2012) and Governor (2014) As suggested by registration figures, Teton County is far less conservative than the state as a whole. Perhaps most indicative is that, in the 2014 election for governor, the “other” candidates were even more conservative than the Republican incumbent, Matt Mead. Combined, those “other” candidates received only 3 percent of Teton County’s votes. In every other Wyoming county the “other” candidates combined received at least 6 percent. Wyoming Secretary of State

TETON COUNTY 3%

WYOMING 5%

4%

42% TETON COUNTY 2012 ----11,464 54%

TETON COUNTY 2014 ----7,938

69%

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

59%

WYOMING 2012 ----249,061

45%

WYOMING 2014 ----167,877 27%

Republican

40

13%

50% 28%

Democrat

Other

ELECTIONS Continued from 38

(Dave Freudenthal) and twice for a locally raised, relatively moderate Republican (Matt Mead). This latter point gets at a truism about local politics: Voters pay more attention to the individual than to his or her party. And while occasionally a candidate will win by emphasizing party affiliation or ideology, generally the most successful candidates are those who combine a winning personality with widespread recognition in the community. In fact, a rough rule of thumb for handicapping any local race is to bet on the candidate who has lived in Teton County the longest. Longtime business and political fixture Captain Bob Morris has two observations about local politics that seem particularly apropos to 2016. One is that voting for president in Wyoming is the most liberating experience possible. This is because you know your vote won’t make any difference in who wins Wyoming’s electoral votes. As a result you are free to vote for whomever you feel is the best candidate. This year, with nearly 7 in 10 Wyoming voters registered Republican — the highest proportion in at least 50 years — there is no doubt the Republican presidential candidate will win Wyoming. Vote your conscience, Jackson Hole! The other observation extends this thinking. Given the GOP’s vice grip on Wyoming, in almost any election involving statewide offices the only election that really matters is the Republican primary. A perfect example is this year’s race to fill the seat of retiring Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis. Whoever wins the Republican nomination will undoubtedly win the November election. As a result, for all intents and purposes that race will be decided by the Aug. 16 primary. The c ongressional race shines a clear light on how different Teton County’s voters are from those of Wyoming as a whole. At least six candidates are vying for the Republican nomination, two of them local: Liz Cheney and Leland Christensen. All of the Republican candidates realize that only an exceptionally conservative candidate will win in August, so all of them are staking claims to hard-right policies and positions. This isn’t a problem for Ms. Cheney, because she has spent decades earning her hard-right bona fides. For Leland See ELECTIONS on 41


ELECTIONS Continued from 40

Christensen, though, it’s a sticky wicket, for there’s a big difference between being a successful Wyoming Republican and a successful Teton County Republican. Christensen has served Teton County as both a county commissioner and state senator. Unfortunately for him, though, the kinds of positions his constituents favor (e.g., expanding Medicaid) are at odds with those favored by most of Wyoming’s Republicans. As a result, to successfully position himself for a statewide run, since heading to Cheyenne Sen. Christensen has often had to align himself with the state’s Republicans rather than his constituents. Should he lose in August, he will likely have a lot of local fence-mending to do if he wants to run again for his Senate seat in 2018.

Teton County Voter Registration by Party - 1998 to 2016 Following each general election each Wyoming county purges its voter rolls of those who did not vote. Generally voter turnout is much higher during presidential election years, so voter rolls are higher in the years following those elections. In 2010 the number of registered Republicans in Teton County dipped below 50 percent for the first time and has remained there since. Wyoming Secretary of State 8,000 7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000

1998

2000

Last summer I was appointed to the Teton County Board of Commissioners to fill the seat vacated by Melissa Turley. In my brief time as commissioner I have had the opportunity to visit with commissioners in other counties, and it is clear we have uncertainty in our state right now. I truly believe, though, that Teton County has the opportunity to be a leader for our state and country.

State of your jurisdiction

I’m going to focus on two items, not because they are the full scope of what the county is working on but because we are at a watershed as a community. Not surprisingly, two issues are at the core: housing and transportation. The integrated transportation plan and housing action plan are the culmination of years of strategic, long-term collaboration by this community, and we’re in the early stages of rolling them out.

2002

2004 Republican

2006 Democrat

2008 Unaffiliated

2010

2012

2014

2016

Other

polling locations into voting centers. As a result, to vote you can go to any voting location, not just the precinct where you live. What we have this year is the opportunity to participate in meaningful change, and I truly believe that that depends on you. I want to be really clear: In 2016 we have the opportunity to make an investment in our community. We have the opportunity to take action and not postpone these challenges for future electeds or a future community to solve. Let’s put our families in homes, let’s work together to reduce traffic, to protect our wildlife, and let’s do this so that we can conserve our open spaces.

One thing the community can do

One thing that is so clear about our community is that you like to show up. So please, keep showing up this year. Please help us meet the needs of our community. Our success depends on our ability to work together. That means Natalia Macker Biggest challenge all of our agencies collaborating, but it Critical to rolling out both the housing and transalso means each of you doing your part. It means our portation plans is funding. In November the county business community collaborating with nonprofits. It and town will ask you, the voters, to approve using one means our public sector collaborating with the private. penny of general sales tax to fund these priorities. It means bringing open minds so that we discard the Having made that decision, it would be really easy partisan rhetoric that divides us and we carve a new for us to say, “Our job is done, the ball’s in your court.” path together. Instead, it’s time for us, your electeds, to get to work Because I also work in the theater, I would be reon the specifics of how that funding will turn into meamiss if I didn’t wrap up with a quote from the eversurable outcomes for our community. We need to give wise William Shakespeare: “Our doubts are traitors, you the tools you need to say “yes” to our community’s and they make us lose the good we oft might win by priorities. fearing to attempt.” Let’s not be driven by fear and doubt this year. Let’s work together so that our comBiggest opportunity munity can thrive. This is an election year, and Teton County Clerk Sherry Daigle and her staff are converting all of our — Natalia Macker, Teton County commissioner

2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

41


WYOMING

M

any years ago Wyoming hitched its wagon to the hydrocarbon star, relying on coal, oil and natural gas to be major sources of revenue for the state government. Today, along with property and sales taxes, hydrocarbon revenues are one of the state’s three major buckets of money for funding its operations. For the past couple of decades this has been a winning strategy, allowing the state’s residents to enjoy a high level of services while enjoying a relatively low personal tax bite: no state income taxes and low rates of sales and property taxes. Thanks to three forces beyond the state’s control, though, Wyoming’s happy hydrocarbon ride has come to an end, even if officialdom doesn’t want to acknowledge it. The first two of these forces are technology and economics. Thanks to fracking the supply of natural gas has skyrocketed, leading to a plunge in prices. Hence, as Table 1 shows, today it’s cheaper to produce electricity with natural gas than coal. More troublesome still for the state is that, thanks to other technologic advances, coal has become a relatively expensive way to generate electricity. Looking ahead, over the next decade or two coal is about the only energy source that won’t become significantly cheaper due to technologic advances. As a result, energy economics will continue to work against coal and, by extension, Wyoming’s current way of funding its government. The final force is climate science. Coal is abundant and has served mankind well for centuries. But to all reasonably objective observers the evidence is clear that coal use causes great damage to both climate and human health. Add this to the emergence of cost-effective alternatives to coal-generated electricity and it’s clear coal’s days are numbered. Far less clear is how Wyoming will choose to respond. Particularly in this election year the predominant approach seems to be “wail and wait”: Wail against Washington, D.C.’s alleged “war on coal” and wait out the current “bust.” The problem with wail and wait is that it’s not grounded in reality. Coal’s opponent in the “war on coal” isn’t Washington but, rather, market and technologic

42

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

forces, foes Wyoming can’t defeat. Similarly, coal’s current “bust” is not part of some cycle but instead the start of a terminal decline. Hence, while wail and wait may feel good it’s doomed to fail. Making matters worse for the state is that coal’s decline affects more than just the hydrocarbon bucket of funds. Instead it spills over into all of Wyoming’s major governmental funding sources by producing concomitant declines in sales and property taxes. As a result, Wyoming is in for some lean times, needing first to start diversifying its economy and then waiting a while longer until those efforts begin to bear fruit. Until then Wyoming’s population will likely shrink and grow older, with those remaining residents paying new taxes on formerly sacrosanct sources.

Cost of Generating a Kilowatt-Hour of Electricity, by Power Plant Type U.S. Department of Energy

Geothermal Natural Gas Hydroelectric Wind Biomass Nuclear Coal

COST PER KILOWATT HOUR $0.05 $0.07-0.13 $0.08 $0.08-0.20 $0.10 $0.10 $0.10-0.14

Solar Photovoltaic

$0.13

Solar Thermal

$0.24


Population and Growth Rates by County, 2010-15 In 2015 eight of Wyoming’s 23 counties had populations of fewer than 10,000 people. Of those, three lost population between 2010 and 2015. Another three counties also lost population during that time, all of which had between 10,000 and 20,000 residents. Between 2010 and 2015, America’s overall population grew 3.9 percent. Six Wyoming counties grew faster than that. Three are associated with energy: Crook (4.6 percent), Campbell (6.4 percent) and Natrona (8.9 percent). One is the location of the University of Wyoming (Albany, at 4.2 percent), and another is the seat of Wyoming’s government (Laramie, at 5.3 percent). Teton County is the sixth (8.6 percent). Due to the energy bust it seems likely that the first three of these six counties will start to see their population growth slow, if not decline. U.S. Census Bureau 2010-15 GROWTH

Niobrara Hot Springs Weston Crook Washakie Johnson Platte Sublette Big Horn Goshen Converse Carbon Lincoln Uinta Teton Park Sheridan Albany Fremont Sweetwater Campbell Natrona Laramie 20,000

40,000

60,000

80,000

100,000

Niobrara Hot Springs Weston Crook Washakie Johnson Platte Sublette Big Horn Goshen Converse Carbon Lincoln Uinta Teton Park Sheridan Albany Fremont Sweetwater Campbell Natrona Laramie

2.0% -1.5% 0.7% 4.6% -2.5% 0.0% 1.5% -3.4% 3.0% -0.2% 3.0% -1.8% 3.5% -1.3% 8.6% 3.4% 3.0% 4.2% 0.2% 2.4% 6.4% 8.9% 5.3%

Ethnicity and Median Age by County, 2014 As even the most casual observer will note, from a racial and ethnic perspective Wyoming is exceptionally white: 85 percent of Wyoming residents are non-Hispanic whites, as opposed to 63 percent of all Americans. In 10 of Wyoming’s 23 counties at least 90 percent of all residents are white, and even the least-white Wyoming county — Fremont — has a significantly higher percentage of non-Hispanic whites than the nation: 71 percent. With the exception of Albany County, the location of the University of Wyoming, there is a rough correlation between a county’s percentage of white residents and its median age. U.S. Census Bureau BRADLY J. BONER

This is the Jonah Oil Field in Pinedale. Because of Wyoming’s energy bust the state is facing lean times.

MEDIAN AGE

Crook Hot Springs Weston Lincoln Sheridan Johnson Niobrara Park Platte Converse Sublette Big Horn Uinta Campbell Natrona Goshen Albany Washakie Teton Sweetwater Laramie Carbon Fremont 20%

40% White

Hispanic

60% American Indian

80% Other

100%

Crook Hot Springs Weston Lincoln Sheridan Johnson Niobrara Park Platte Converse Sublette Big Horn Uinta Campbell Natrona Goshen Albany Washakie Teton Sweetwater Laramie Carbon Fremont

43.1 49.9 41.7 37.7 42.4 44.7 42.7 43.6 47.0 39.3 37.8 41.4 34.4 32.6 36.2 42.8 27.0 43.6 37.6 33.3 36.9 39.3 38.1

2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

43


Median Home Value, 2014

Per Capita Income, 2010-14

Not surprisingly, housing values in Wyoming tend to reflect incomes. With the exception of Teton County every county’s per capita income is relatively close to that of the state as a whole, and so too is each county’s median home value (in 2014 Wyoming’s median home value was $185,900). Teton County’s 2014 median value was $660,100. At the other end of the spectrum was Big Horn County, at $131,000. To cast a bit of interesting perspective on Wyoming housing values, in 2014 the least expensive townhome sold in Jackson Hole went for $270,000. That price was higher than the 2014 median home value in every Wyoming county except Teton and Sublette, where it was $282,800. U.S. Census Bureau

In 2014 Teton County’s per capita income of $194,485 was 3.6 times greater than the state’s overall per capita income of $54,584. That year Teton County had 4 percent of Wyoming’s population and 14 percent of its total personal income. Do the math, and without Teton County’s income the state’s overall per capita income falls 10 percent. In 2014 Teton County’s per capita income was greater than that of the next three wealthiest Wyoming counties combined or the five least-wealthy counties combined. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

MEDIAN HOME VALUE

MEDIAN HOME VALUE

Teton

$660,100

Natrona

Sublette

$282,800

Sweetwater

$177,300

Johnson

$228,800

Crook

$172,200

Sheridan

$220,400

Washakie

$162,600

Park

$212,100

Niobrara

$147,700

Campbell

$201,900

Platte

$147,100

Albany

$201,500

Hot Springs

$143,900

Lincoln

$190,900

Carbon

$143,500

Uinta

$181,700

Goshen

$139,700

Laramie

$181,700

Weston

$136,000

Fremont

$181,000

Big Horn

$131,000

Converse

$180,900

$178,300

15%

$50,000

$100,000 2014 (bottom)

A TRUE LEADER GIVES BACK TO MOVE THEIR COMMUNITY FORWARD.

Give kids the support they need and watch them make the world a better place for all of us. 4-H empowers kids with the skills they need in life. Help grow more true leaders at 4-H.org

Teton County 4-H “To Make the Best Better” 225 W. Deloney Ave. Jackson WY • 307-733-3087 • www.tetonwyo.org/ex4H

44

30%

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

45%

60%

$150,000

$200,000

Big Horn Albany Lincoln Goshen Fremont Washakie Uinta Platte Hot Springs Johnson Crook Park Campbell Carbon Laramie Niobrara Converse Sublette Sheridan Sweetwater Weston Natrona Teton 2010-14 Change (top)

Join in the fun!

Don’t miss out on all the great things happening at Parks & Recreation Visit us online to get up to date information on upcoming programs and events.

www.tetonparkandrec.org Follow us!


Annual Coal Production, 2008-16 Through the end of the first 18 weeks of 2015 Wyoming’s coal mines produced 130 million tons of coal. At the end of that week the price per ton of Powder River Basin Coal was $11.55. Applying that price to the year’s entire production through that date, the value of all the coal produced in Wyoming was $1.5 billion. Through the first 18 weeks of 2016 the tonnage produced by Wyoming’s mines was 89 million, a 31 percent drop. The average price it fetched was $9.35, a 19 percent drop. Multiply tonnage by price, and the value of all the coal produced in Wyoming during the first 18 weeks of 2016 was $835 million, a 44 percent drop from 2015. For a state hyperdependent on coal revenues these are daunting numbers indeed. U.S. Energy Information Agency PRODUCTION IN TONS

AVERAGE PRICE

500,000,000

$13.15

2008

400,000,000

300,000,000

2009

$9.88

2010

$13.02

2011

$13.76

2012

$13.76

2013

$10.52

2014

$12.21

2015

$11.49 $9.49

2016*

ANNUAL VALUE 200,000,000

100,000,000

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF JACKSON HOLE

GATHER to Love God GROW to Know & Follow Jesus GO into the Community & Make a World of Difference Sunday Services at 8:00am in the Chapel; 10:15am in the main Sanctuary

1251 South Park Loop Road Jackson, WY 83001 734-0388 • www.pcjh.org

2014

2015

2016*

2008

$6,130,000,000

2009

$4,270,000,000

2010

$5,760,000,000

2011

$6,030,000,000

2012

$5,530,000,000

2013

$4,080,000,000

2014

$4,830,000,000

2015

$4,320,000,000

2016*

$2,430,000,000

*estimate

9 Years Over $800,000 Awarded 78 Great Projects Funded

1PercentTetons.org

Giving Back for the Future (307) 733-8687 • info@1PercentTetons.org 1% for the Tetons is a project of the Charture Institute 2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

45


I

REGION

n 2014 America had 3,113 counties. Of these, 76 — 2.4 percent — had more jobs than residents. Leading the pack was our neighbor, Butte County, Idaho, home of Idaho National Laboratory but not many people. Sixth on the list was the island of Manhattan, which attracts over a million people each day from New York City’s suburbs and other boroughs. Twenty-fifth among U.S. counties in its ratio of jobs to people is Teton County, Wyoming, which in 2014 had 1.28 jobs for every permanent resident. That is just one of many ways in which Teton County can be thought of as analogous to Manhattan. Jackson Hole is a landlocked island, its 85,000 acres of private land completely surrounded by public lands. (For point of reference, Manhattan is roughly 14,720 acres, or about one sixth the acreage of Jackson Hole’s private lands.) Combine Jackson Hole’s islandlike qualities with its wealth and the net result is a series of linkages between Teton County, Wyoming, and its neighboring counties. The best way to capture this notion is to think about our region as the “greater Jackson Hole community,” one com-

munity spanning two states and at least three counties: Teton, Wyoming, Teton, Idaho, and the northern half of Lincoln, Wyoming. In the past a more complete definition would have been one community spanning two states and four counties, for until Sublette County’s natural gas boom began in the early 2000s, a surprising number

Population, 2010-15 Due to Census Bureau methodologies, for the table below the national, state and county population estimates are as of July 1, 2015. The population estimates for the sub-county areas are for July 1, 2014, as are the median ages. Also of note is that because the estimates are based on samples taken over five years, they are not as accurate for smaller areas. As a result, the county-level estimates are probably pretty accurate, while the sub-county estimates are less so. The quick takeaway from the population data is that economics matter. As the economic engine of the region, Teton County, Wyoming, is driving the region’s population growth. As Sublette County’s natural gas boom of the past decade has gone bust, its population has started to decline. As it has, the population has also aged. A similar phenomenon is occurring in the southern half of Lincoln County. U.S. Census Bureau POPULATION Teton County, ID Driggs Tetonia Victor Bulk of Teton County Lincoln County, WY Star Valley Afton Alpine Bulk of Star Valley Southern Lincoln County Kemmerer Bulk of southern Lincoln County Sublette County, WY Big Piney Marbleton Pinedale Bulk of Sublette County Teton County, WY Jackson Bulk of Teton County

46

MEDIAN AGE 2010

2015

2010-15 GROWTH

2014

9,413 2,000 266 2,257 4,890 17,447 11,851 2,311 893 8,647 5,596 2,653 2,943 9,322 695 1,422 1,949 5,256 20,802 9,441 11,361

10,212 2,141 286 2,247 5,538 18,180 12,747 2,065 744 9,938 5,433 2,672 2,761 10,183 529 1,188 1,913 6,553 21,956 9,967 11,989

8% 7% 8% 0% 13% 4% 8% -11% -17% 15% -3% 1% -6% 9% -24% -16% -2% 25% 6% 6% 6%

33.6 30.9 35.5 32.3

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

37.5 37.0 33.9 35.4

40.2 39.5 37.2 34.6 30.8 35.7 32.2

BRADLY J. BONER

Just as with the ecosystem the Jackson Hole area’s human community is of one piece, subject to forces that transcend political jurisdictions.

of Sublette residents commuted to Jackson Hole every day. Now that the gas boom has gone bust, that pattern will likely begin again. Throw in people who commute to Jackson Hole daily from still farther away, and the best way to view the greater Tetons region is to adopt the view those in the greater New York area have of their region. Teton Pass and roads through the Snake and Hoback river canyons are as important to the greater Jackson Hole community as the bridges and tunnels going into Manhattan are to the greater New York City region. Anything affecting those linkages affects people on both ends and beyond. That’s reality. Unfortunately, so too is another fact. This region may be closely tied together by economics and culture, but it’s tremendously fragmented by political boundaries. Fiefdoms abound: state, county and municipal governments; federal, state and local agencies; elected officials and employees so overworked at their jobs that they can’t find the time to connect with their counterparts located miles and hours away. Just as with the area’s ecosystem, the area’s human community is of one piece, subject to forces far more powerful than arbitrary lines defining political jurisdictions. Dealing with that reality is one of the great challenges facing the greater Jackson Hole community.


Per Capita Jobs, 1969-2014

Per Capita Income, 1980-2014

Teton, Wyoming’s wealth also produces jobs. It is one of the handful of counties in America that have more jobs than residents, meaning it has more than one job for every full-time resident, regardless of age or financial circumstance. In contrast, Teton, Idaho, and Lincoln, Wyoming, have per capita job figures similar to that of the nation as a whole. Sublette County has seen a sharp fall in its per capita job numbers the past several years as its natural gas boom has turned to bust. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

The per capita incomes of all counties in the greater Jackson Hole region were similar until the mid-1980s. Since then, though, Teton, Wyoming’s incomes have followed an explosive trajectory, growing three times faster than those in the surrounding counties. In 2014 Teton, Wyoming’s per capita income was not only the highest in the nation but 60 percent higher than the combined per capita incomes of the three surrounding counties. U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

1.5 1.2 0.9 0.6 0.3 1969

1974

1979 Teton, WY

1984 Sublette, WY

1989

1994 United States

1999 Lincoln, WY

2004 Teton, ID

2009

2014

United States

1980 $10,153

1990 $19,591

2000 $30,602

2014 $46,049

Teton, ID

$7,833

$12,233

$19,233

$28,763

Lincoln, WY

$9,183

$14,480

$23,798

$40,217

Sublette, WY

$11,947

$18,862

$28,549

$51,579

Teton, WY

$14,702

$35,419

$72,665

$194,485

State of your jurisdiction

even worse trying to work across state lines, because of the added time and distance. A lot of things on the Teton County, Idaho, is doing OK. Not great, but Wyoming side affect us on the Idaho side, so we really OK. We’ve got enough money to survive and get by, need to figure out how to find time to work with our but we have a lot of challenges ahead of us. Here are counterparts in Wyoming. some: - Affordable workforce housing. Biggest opportunity - Public transportation. A lot of vehicles drive over The biggest opportunity is to become more efficient Teton Pass every day. and effective in addressing our high-priority items and - Economic development. The incentives, infrachallenges. structure and facilities just aren’t there. In “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective - Roads. We have around 300 miles of People” Stephen Covey talks about “beroad, and most aren’t in great shape. gin with the end in mind” and “seek first - We adopted a new comprehensive to understand, then be understood.” plan in 2012, but the accompanying These are key to us addressing our codes aren’t done yet. high-priority items and challenges. - Weed control. If we don’t know what the overall ob- Recreation access. We’re running jective we’re trying to achieve is, we can out of room yet expecting many more work hard at working on it but we’re not people. How are we going to accommogoing to get there. And before we start date those folks? pursuing that end it’s vital to first listen - Ordinance and code enforcement and learn and understand. have lagged and need to be cleaned up. Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t - Solid waste disposal and recycling. explain it simply, you don’t know We need to take a long-range view, which Bill Leake enough.” A lot of our issues are so comis hard. plex that oftentimes we can talk right over people’s - Engage with our surrounding communities and heads. So I like that statement, because if you know state legislatures. enough to explain it simply you can get people’s at- Local health care. How can we ensure our hospital tention. stays viable? Einstein also observed, “We can’t solve problems - Education quality and the adequacy of our fausing the same kind of thinking we used when we crecilities. ated them.” So we’ve got to get out of the box, chalAnother dozen things come up over the course of lenge the status quo and not be afraid to do so. the day to distract us from these, but these are all important. So is this: If we don’t communicate early and often that we’re working on these things, people feel One thing the community can do we’re not doing anything. A lot of the input we get is not all that well thought out. If people would come to us with meaningful and Biggest challenge constructive feedback that’s comprehensive, well reOur biggest challenge is finding time to work on searched and based on facts, we can take that inforthe county’s many challenges and opportunities and to mation and use it as we move forward to solve some communicate what we’re doing. It’s not just me. It’s simof these problems. ilarly hard for all the people working on different issues. Finding even an hour or two can be hard, and it’s — Bill Leake, chairman of the often not enough time to do justice to those things. It’s Teton County (Idaho) Board of Commissioners

2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

47


Home Values and Occupancy, 2014

Commuting to Work, 2014

Census data confirm what even a blind man can see: Housing prices in Jackson Hole are significantly higher than anywhere else in the region. Most striking is that for 2014 the Census Bureau estimated that the median home value in the town of Jackson — Teton, Wyoming’s least-expensive area — was more than twice that of anywhere else in the region. The data also suggest the Jackson Hole “contagion” is spreading down the Snake River canyon, with homes in Alpine the highest of anywhere outside Teton, Wyoming. U.S. Census Bureau

Teton County, Wyoming, has so many jobs that only a handful of its residents work outside the county, and this is especially true of people living in the town of Jackson. In contrast, over 40 percent of Teton, Idaho’s workforce leaves their county for their jobs, as does a third of Star Valley’s workforce. Especially striking are the figures for Victor, Idaho, and Alpine, Wyoming, the two towns closest to Jackson Hole: Roughly three-fifths of Victor’s workforce heads over Teton Pass, and nearly two-thirds of Alpine’s heads up the Snake River canyon. U.S. Census Bureau

State of your jurisdiction

Driggs, Idaho, is a city finding itself, maturing beyond that gangly teenage phase. Over the past decade Driggs has worked hard to implement its 2006 Comprehensive Plan. Smart growth principles were the focus, emphasizing quality of life and amenities. Investments by the city have spurred private property owners to make similar efforts, multiplying the value of the public investment. Driggs has also seen a boom in its creative class — not just in the arts but also in entrepreneurial growth nurtured through city-owned incubator spaces and a microloan fund. In short, Driggs is not only prepared for the 21st century but is already living it. So much so that in pure investment potential the city of Driggs offers the greatest investment opportunity right now in the northern Rocky region.

Rest of Teton, WY

Jackson, WY

Teton, WY

Rest of Sublette, WY

Pinedale, WY

60%

Sublette, WY

61%

$675,000

Rest of southern Lincoln, WY

$284,400

Teton, WY

Kemmerer, WY

Sublette, WY

20%

Southern Lincoln, WY

73%

Rest of Star Valley, WY

$194,700

Alpine, WY

Lincoln, WY

Afton, WY

65%

Star Valley, WY

$220,700

Lincoln, WY

Teton, ID

40%

Rest of Teton County, ID

85%

Victor, ID

87%

$189,300

Driggs, ID

$160,500

Wyoming

Teton, ID

Idaho

60%

Wyoming

OCCUPIED PERCENT 88%

Idaho

MEDIAN HOME VALUE $175,700

80%

United States

United States

100%

industry in our city and in our state, rather than lured away to Wyoming?

Biggest opportunity

Oddly, it’s that Driggs is somewhat of a blank slate. Between our smart-growth efforts and the natural wonders surrounding us, Driggs residents enjoy a premier quality of life. But our economy does not yet stand alone. We don’t have a strong base of industry beyond tourism, and even with that we still have storefronts and offices anxiously awaiting occupants. In our business development efforts we’ve identified five “good fit” industries: - Aviation, to take advantage of our phenomenal airport. - Recreation technology, an industry that has developed organically in Driggs and Teton Valley and continues to grow. - Value-added agriculture and food Hyrum Johnson products, to capitalize on the county’s sevBiggest challenge eral small farms and burgeoning food-related activities. Driggs faces two major challenges. - Lifestyle-centric, gig economy Web-based adThe biggest challenge to all the communities in ventures. Teton Valley is our proximity to Jackson Hole. Teton - Working with regional education entities to make County, Idaho, and Teton County, Wyoming, depend on our town a hub for certain technical educational proeach other, and one result is that Jackson’s problems grams, particularly in the aviation industry. become our problems. Unfortunately, we don’t necessarily realize some of the corresponding benefits. It’s One thing the community can do an unequal playing field, with Jackson’s growth causHelp connect Driggs with the private capital needed ing unbalanced pressure on our facilities, infrastructo develop and grow our homegrown businesses. And ture and markets. That, in turn, affects our own efforts help connect Driggs with ready and willing industry to grow. leaders prepared to invest in a community that has reThe second challenge is also related to our invented itself over a decade. proximity to Jackson: How do we facilitate business The city of Driggs has shown itself ready by laying startup expansion and attraction with limited available the groundwork. Please help us get the word out and incentives? How does our small city, in a state with take these next steps. very few tools for business attraction, draw capable capital for local startups and expanding businesses? — Hyrum Johnson, mayor of Driggs, Idaho Further, when we succeed, how do we keep homegrown

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Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition


People without Health Insurance, 2014 In 2014, 14 percent of Americans lacked health insurance. It was the same in Wyoming, and a little higher in Idaho: 16 percent. The uninsured rates were much higher in Teton County, Idaho, and the town of Jackson, Wyoming, likely an effect of the large proportion of Hispanics living in those two areas. A similar phenomenon occurred in Lincoln County, where the place with the highest proportion of uninsured residents was the same as the place with the largest percentage of Hispanics: Alpine. Because neither Idaho nor Wyoming has chosen to opt into the federal government’s programs to help the poor, both states have larger proportions of uninsured poor people than the nation as a whole. The same is true for the counties in the Tetons region. U.S. Census Bureau

State of your jurisdiction

Victor is ready for the next wave of growth. Our boom of the mid-2000s occurred without sound planning principles. Over the last four years Victor has implemented smart-growth principles that are going to drive residents and the flow of money to our downtown commercial districts. Victor is growing in part due to upper-middle-class and middle-class families moving from Jackson. Seventy-five percent of all households in Victor have at least one commuter employed in Teton County, Wyoming, and our two communities are increasingly connected at the hip. The recession hit Jackson fairly hard. It affected Teton Valley more, because many of the jobs that dried up in Jackson, including construction and tourism jobs, were held by people who were living in Teton Valley. Now we are building again, and real esZach Smith tate prices suggest there’s significant demand for the middle-class housing in Victor.

Biggest challenge

One of Victor’s biggest challenges is to create a stable economy less dependent on development and tourism. To help address that, Victor adopted new codes aimed at maintaining and creating a great sense of place within the city core and keeping the majority of new housing stock within walking and biking distance to downtown. We also have built pathways connecting most of the existing neighborhoods to the commercial core, as well as a pathway connecting to the Wyoming state line. Another big challenge is the perception of Teton Valley’s schools. While the schools have not always been great, they are improving. Driving those changes is a tremendously involved school board. Don’t just go by what you hear about our valley. Teton Valley is a rapidly changing community, and old information is most certainly outdated. There is opportunity in Jackson’s closest suburb; the challenge is to make that known.

Biggest opportunity

The biggest opportunity for Victor right now is to be a major part of the solution to the housing and transportation issues facing the region. The model zoning code

Rest of Teton, WY

Jackson, WY

Teton, WY

Rest of Sublette, WY

Pinedale, WY

Sublette, WY

Kemmerer, WY

Alpine, WY

Afton, WY

Lincoln, WY

Victor, ID

Driggs, ID

Teton, ID

Wyoming

Idaho

5%

United States

15% 10%

Rest of Teton County, ID

25% 20%

Rest of southern Lincoln, WY

30%

Victor developed in conjunction with Driggs, and Teton County, Idaho, will allow us to concentrate residential and commercial development in the city core. That will support the master plans of both the county and city, which will in turn lay the foundation for a growth cycle There is also opportunity regarding transportation. The region’s traffic is bad, and it’s going to get worse. The goal of Teton, Wyoming’s Integrated Transportation Plan is to double the million riders that START bus currently has. Because tourists are not going to stop renting cars, though, the only truly effective way to increase those numbers and get vehicles off the road is to greatly expand mass transit over the Wyoming-Idaho state line. Currently there are just two commuter shuttles a day, both of which run at very early hours. That doesn’t work for most people. More consistent and constant transportation would give many more people the opportunity to Jeff Potter consider using public transportation rather than driving over Teton Pass alone and clogging Teton County, Wyoming’s roads, particularly in the summer. By greatly expanding bus service over Teton Pass, up to one-quarter of the Integrated Transportation Plan’s goal for START could be met.

One thing the community can do

The biggest thing the Jackson community can do to support Victor’s efforts to grow thoughtfully and firm up our economic base is to think about regional challenges and regional solutions. That means including Victor and Teton Valley not only in your thinking but in your conversations about housing and transportation issues. Where appropriate, it also means giving Victor and the other Teton Valley governments a seat at the table. In a similar vein, please involve Victor in strategic policy-making, strategic decisions, strategic planning, coordinated efforts and further collaboration, be it applying for federal grants or simply coordinating planning on both sides. Finally, let’s work together on transportation. There is great potential on all these fronts. Our opportunity is to seize it. — Zach Smith and Jeff Potter, previous mayor and current mayor of Victor, Idaho

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PEERS

W

e’re a privileged lot, those of us who live in communities with major ski areas. Eight counties in the northern Rockies fit this bill. Five are in Colorado: Eagle (the location of Vail), Pitkin (Aspen), Routt (Steamboat Springs), San Miguel (Telluride) and Summit (Breckenridge). There is one in each of three other states: Blaine, Idaho (Sun Valley), Summit, Utah (Park City) and Teton, Wyoming (Jackson Hole). We’re privileged in the sense that we live in places blessed with extraordinary beauty, terrain, and flora and fauna. We’re privileged because, thanks to modern technologies, those natural features have been complemented by a variety of man-made amenities, allowing us to enjoy our surroundings in ways unimaginable to previous generations of residents and visitors. And we’re privileged in the sense that, on

50

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

average, we’re well-to-do. Very wellto-do. The per capita income in each of the eight counties is higher than the nation’s, with each ranking in the top 12 percent of all U.S. counties. Drill down a little further and the per capita incomes in four of the eight peers rank among America’s top 25 counties. Three are in the top 10, and Teton County, Wyoming, is the wealthiest county in America. By a large margin. In the late 1960s the eight peer communities were isolated and sparsely populated. The most populous among them ranked in the bottom 18 percent of all U.S. counties. Forty-five years later the secret has gotten out and then some: Between 1969 and 2014 all but one of the eight ranked among the top 5 percent of U.S. counties in population growth, and the eighth was in the top 9 percent. Even with all that population growth, five of the eight ranked in the


Population and Change, 2010-15 Eagle County, Colorado, is the most populous of the eight peer counties, but between 2010 and 2015 it was one of the slowest-growing: Only Blaine and Routt counties grew more slowly. Perhaps troubling for those worried about the pace of Teton County’s growth, Teton County was the fastest-growing of the peers during the first five years of this decade, growing just a skosh faster than Summit County, Utah. U.S. Census Bureau 60,000

12%

50,000

10%

40,000

8%

30,000

6%

20,000

4%

10,000

2%

Eagle, CO

Summit, UT

Summit, CO

Routt, CO 2015

Teton, WY

2010

Blaine, ID

Pitkin, CO

San Miguel, CO

Percent change

Population Change Components, April 1, 2010-July 1, 2015 During the first half of this decade roughly 80 percent of the growth in the peer counties was due to “natural growth,” i.e., more births than deaths. That was especially true in Eagle and Blaine counties, which saw more people leaving the county to live elsewhere than moving in. The two exceptions to this natural-growth rule were Summit County, Utah, and San Miguel County, Colorado, both of which experienced more growth through migration than through natural growth. U.S. Census Bureau 3,500 3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 -500 -1,000 -1,500 -2,000

Eagle, CO

Summit, UT

Summit, CO

Routt, CO

Births minus deaths

BRADLY J. BONER

Aerial Tram Valley Station at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

top 2 percent of U.S. counties in per capita income growth, with two more in the top 10 percent, and the slowestgrowing in the top 13 percent of all U.S. counties. In the early 21st century these are arguably the places in America that come closest to having it all. Which in turn raises an interesting philosophical issue. In the Bible, Luke 12:48 says, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.” Those of us in the eight peer communities have been given not just much, but an extraordinary amount. The question now is whether we choose to accept the accompanying responsibility, and, if so, how.

Teton, WY

Net migration

Blaine, ID

Pitkin, CO

San Miguel, CO

Net population gain

Population and Ethnicity, 2014 Eagle County, Colorado, is not only the most populous of the peer communities, but also the most ethnically diverse, with fully one-third of its population nonwhite. In that sense it is the closest of all the peers to resembling the nation as a whole, which is 63 percent white. Of the other peer counties, only Blaine County has fewer than 80 percent white residents. In Routt County, 90 percent of the population is white. U.S. Census Bureau 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000

Eagle, CO

Summit, UT

Summit, CO

Routt, CO White

Teton, WY Hispanic

Blaine, ID

Pitkin, CO

San Miguel, CO

Other

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51


Total Acreage by Land Ownership, 2014 Of Teton County’s peer counties, Teton is by far the biggest with 2.7 million acres, more than twice the acreage of second-place Routt County, Colorado. In fact, Teton County’s National Park Service acreage alone is greater than the total acreage in Eagle, San Miguel, Pitkin and the two Summit counties. Ditto Teton County’s U.S. Forest Service acreage. At the other end of the scale, only Pitkin County has fewer privately owned acres than Teton. U.S. Department of the Interior

Median Age, 2014 As a crude rule of thumb, the larger the percentage of Hispanics living in a peer county, the lower its overall median age will be. Among the peers, Eagle, Colorado, has both the highest percentage of Latinos (30 percent) and the lowest median age (34.6 years old). Even with their growing Hispanic populations the peer counties are aging: Five of the eight have a higher overall median age than the nation as a whole. U.S. Census Bureau

3,000,000 2,500,000 2,000,000 1,500,000 1,000,000 500,000 Teton, WY National Park Service

Blaine, ID

Routt, CO

US Forest Service

Summit, UT

Eagle, CO

Bureau of Land Management

San Miguel, CO Bureau of Reclamation

Pitkin, CO

Summit, CO

Non-federal land

WHITE

HISPANIC

TOTAL

Educational Attainment, 2014

United States

42.6

27.9

37.4

Eagle, CO

40.3

27.1

34.6

Summit, CO

39.7

24.8

36.1

Summit, UT

40.0

25.5

36.7

Teton, WY

40.6

28.6

37.6

The residents of the peer counties are far more highly educated than the residents of the nation as a whole. Twenty-nine percent of all Americans have a bachelor’s degree or higher; in the peer counties, the range is 45 percent to 56 percent. Some of this is due to the influx of ski bums who leave college but don’t want to enter the real world. Some of it is due to the increasing ease of doing different kinds of work in any locale with access to the Internet and an airport. U.S. Census Bureau

Routt, CO

41.6

21.4

39.2

San Miguel, CO

42.2

29.0

40.2

80%

Blaine, ID

46.5

27.4

41.8

60%

Pitkin, CO

45.0

29.3

43.3

100%

40% 20% United States

Pitkin, CO

No high school degree

San Miguel, CO

Teton ,WY

High school degree

Summit, UT Some college

Routt, CO

Summit, CO

Bachelor’s degree

Eagle, CO

Blaine, ID

Graduate or professional degree

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THE CENTER

52

265 SOUTH CACHE JACKSON, WY 83001 JHCENTERFORTHEARTS.ORG

Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

PHOTO BY JEFFREY KAPHAN

JACKSON HOLE.


Median Home Values, 2014 In 2014 the median value of an American home was $175,000. The lowest median price among the peer counties was roughly twice that amount: $373,000 in Blaine County. The highest median price was in Teton County, where the $675,000 median was nearly four times that of the nation’s. U.S. Census Bureau $800,000 $700,000 $600,000 $500,000 $400,000 $300,000 $200,000 $100,000 United States

Eagle, CO

Pitkin, CO

Routt, CO

San Miguel, CO

Summit, CO

Blaine, ID

Summit, UT

Teton ,WY

Per Capita Income by Type, 2014 In 2014 the per capita income for all Americans was $46,049. In the least-affluent peer county — Summit, Colorado — the per capita income was $50,685, or 10 percent higher. At the other end of the peer spectrum was Teton County, where the 2014 per capita income was a staggering $194,485, over four times the national average. Collectively, in 2014 residents of the eight peer communities earned 51 percent of their incomes from investments (the range was 35 percent to 72 percent), 35 percent of their incomes from wages (19 percent to 49 percent), 9 percent from self-employment income (6 percent to 13 percent), and 5 percent from pensions (2 percent to 7 percent). For America as a whole these figures are 19 percent investments, 53 percent wages, 10 percent self-employment and 18 percent pensions. U.S. Census Bureau $200,000 $150,000 $100,000 $50,000 United States

Summit, CO

Eagle, CO

San Miguel, CO Investments

Routt, CO Wages

Self-employed

Summit, UT

Blaine, ID

Pitkin, CO

Teton ,WY

Pensions

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2016 Edition Jackson Hole Compass

53


DIRECTORY As of April 17, 2016

Town Council

150 E. Pearl Ave. P.O. Box 1687 Jackson, WY 83001 307-733-3932 TownOfJackson.com Sara Flitner — Mayor sflitner@townofjackson.com First elected: 2014 Up for re-election: 2016 Note: Beginning with the 2016 election, the mayor will be elected to a four year term. Hailey Morton Levinson— Vice Mayor hmortonlevinson@townofjackson.com First elected: 2012 Up for re-election: 2016 Don Frank — Councilor dfrank@ci.jackson.wy.us Appointed: 2014 Up for re-election: 2018 Bob Lenz — Councilor blenz@ci.jackson.wy.us First elected: 2006 Up for re-election: 2018 Jim Stanford — Councilor jstanford@ci.jackson.wy.us First elected: 2012 Up for re-election: 2016 Bob McLaurin — Town Manager bmclaurin@ci.jackson.wy.us

Town Officials

Tyler Sinclair — Town and County Planning Director tsinclair@ci.jackson.wy.us 307-733-0440 Todd Smith — Chief of Police tsmith@jacksonholepolice.com 307-733-1430 Larry Pardee — Public Works Director lpardee@ci.jackson.wy.us 307-733-3079 Audrey Cohen-Davis — Town Attorney 734-1689 acohendavis@ci.jackson.wy.us

Board of County Commissioners

200 S. Willow St. Jackson, WY 83001 P.O. Box 3594 commissioners@tetonwyo.org 307-733-8094 Barbara Allen (R) ballen@tetonwyo.org First elected: 2012 Up for re-election: 2016 Allen has announced she will not seek re-election. Mark Newcomb (D) mnewcomb@tetonwyo.org First elected: 2014 Up for re-election: 2018 Smokey Rhea (D) srhea@tetonwyo.org First elected: 2014 Up for re-election: 2018 Paul Vogelheim (R) pvogelheim@tetonwyo.org Appointed: 2010 Up for re-election: 2018 Natalia Macker (D) nmacker@tetonwyo.org

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Jackson Hole Compass 2016 Edition

First appointed: 2015 Up for re-election: 2016 Alyssa Watkins — Administrator awatkins@tetonwyo.org 307-732-8402

Other Teton County Elected Officials 200 S. Willow St. Jackson, WY 83001 TetonWyo.org

Donna Baur (D) — Treasurer 200 S. Willow St. P.O. Box 585 Jackson, WY 83001 dbaur@tetonwyo.org 307-733-4770 First elected: 2006 Up for re-election: 2018 Brent Blue, M.D. (D) — Coroner 200 S. Willow St. P.O. Box 1727 Jackson, WY 83001 bblue@tetonwyo.org 307-733-2331 (24-hour) First elected: 2014 Up for re-election: 2018 Sherry Daigle (R) — Clerk 200 S. Willow St. P.O. Box 1727 Jackson, WY 83001 sdaigle@tetonwyo.org 307-733-4430 First elected: 2002 Up for re-election: 2018 Andy Cavallaro (D) — Assessor 200 S. Willow Street P.O. Box 583 Jackson, WY 83001 acavallaro@tetonwyo.org 307-733-4960 First elected: 2014 Up for re-election: 2018 Annie Comeaux Sutton (D) — Clerk of District Court 180 S. King St. P.O. Box 4460 Jackson, WY 83001 asutton@tetonwyo.org 307-733-2533 Appointed: 2014 Up for re-election: 2018 Stephen Weichman (R) — County and Prosecuting Attorney 200 S. Willow St. P.O. Box 4068 Jackson, WY 83001 sweichman@wyoming.com 307-733-4012 First elected: 1996 Up for re-election: 2018 Jim Whalen (R) — Sheriff 180 S. Willow St. P.O. Box 1885 Jackson, WY 83001 jwhalen@tetonwyo.org 307-733-4052 First elected: 2006 Up for re-election: 2018

County Department Heads

Darren Brugmann — START Director P.O. Box 1687 Jackson, WY 83301 StartBus.com dbrugmann@startbus.com 307-733-4521 Erika Edmiston — Weed & Pest 7575 S. Highway 89 Jackson, WY 83001

TCWeed.org ewells@tcweed.org 307-733-8419 Valerie Maginnis — Library Director 125 Virginian Lane P.O. Box 1629 Jackson, WY 83301 TCLib.org vmaginnis@tclib.org 307-733-2164, ext. 128 Mary Martin — UW Extension 255 W. Deloney St. P.O. Box 1708 Jackson, WY 83001 mmartin@uwyo.edu 307-733-3087 Sean O’Malley — Engineer 320 S. King St. P.O. Box 3594 Jackson, WY 83001 somalley@tetonwyo.org 307-733-3317 Heather Overholser — Integrated Solid Waste & Recycling 3270 S. Adams Canyon Road P.O. Box 9088 Jackson, WY 83002 hoverholsen@tetonwyo.org 307-732-5766 Jodie Pond — Environmental & Public Health Director 460 E. Pearl Ave. P.O. Box 937 Jackson, WY 83001 jodie.pond@wyo.gov 307-732-8461 Tracy Ross — Fair Manager 305 W. Snow King Ave. P.O. Box 3075 Jackson, WY 83001 TetonCountyFair.com tross@tetonwyo.org 307-733-5289 Tyler Sinclair — Town and County Planning Director 200 S. Willow St. P.O. Box 1727 Jackson WY 83001 tsinclair@tetonwyo.org 307-733-3959 Stacy Stoker — Housing Authority 260 W. Broadway Suite B P.O. Box 714 Jackson, WY 83001 TetonWyo.org sstoker@tetonwyo.org 307-732-0867 Willy Watsabaugh — Fire Chief 40 E. Pearl Ave. P.O. Box 901 Jackson, WY 83001 307-733-4732 wwatsabaugh@tetonwyo.org

Judiciary

Tim Day — 9th District Court Judge 180 S. King St. P.O. Box 4460 Jackson, WY 83001 307-733-1461 Appointed: 2010 Up for retention: 2019 Melissa Owens — Town of Jackson Municipal Court 150 E. Pearl Ave. P.O. Box 1687

See DIRECTORY on 55


DIRECTORY Continued from 54

Jackson, WY 83001 mowens@ci.jackson.wy.us 307-733-3932, ext. 1152 Appointed: 2014 Up for Retention: 2018 Jim Radda — 9th Circuit Court Judge 180 South King St. P.O. Box 2906 Jackson, WY 83001 jlr@courts.state.wy.us 307-733-7713 Appointed: 2010 Up for Retention: 2017

St. John’s Medical Center Board of Trustees 625 E. Broadway P.O. Box 428 Jackson, WY 83001 307-733-3636 TetonHospital.org info@tetonhospital.org

Robbi Farrow — Trustee rfarrow@tcsd.org 307-733-2862 First elected: 2008 Up for re-election: 2016 Keith Gingery — Trustee kgingery@tcsd.org 307-734-5624 First elected: 2014 Up for re-election: 2018 Janine Teske — Trustee jteske@tcsd.org 307-739-0951 First elected: 2002 Up for re-election: 2018 Gillian Chapman, Ed.D. — Superintendent gchapman@tcsd.org 307-733-2790

Teton Conservation District Board of Supervisors

Michael Tennican — President First elected: 2010 Up for re-election: 2018

420 W. Pearl Ave. P.O. Box 1070 Jackson, WY 83001 307-733-2110 TetonConservation.org info@tetonconservation.org

Barbara Herz — Vice President First elected: 2006 Up for re-election: 2016

Dave Adams — Chairman First elected: 2002 Up for re-election: 2018

Joe Albright First elected: 2010 Up for re-election: 2018

Bailey Schreiber — Vice Chair Appointed: 2015 Up for election: 2016

Scott Gibson —Treasurer First elected: 2012 Up for re-election: 2016

Tom Campbell — Treasurer First elected: 2012 Up for re-election: 2016

Liz Masek — Secretary First elected: 2014 Up for re-election: 2018

Sandy Shuptrine — Secretary First elected: 2010 Up for re-election: 2018

Dr. Bruce Hayse — Member First elected: 2008 Up for re-election: 2016

Bob Lucas — Supervisor First elected: 1996 Up for re-election: 2018

Cynthia Hogan – Member Appointed: 2015 Up for re-election: 2016

Tom Segerstrom —Executive Director tom@tetonconservation.org

Dr. Louis Hochheiser — CEO (outgoing) lhochheiser@tetonhospital.org Dr. Paul Beaupre (incoming)

Teton County School District Board of Education 1235 Gregory Lane P.O. Box 568 Jackson, WY 83001 307-733-2704 TCSD.org

State of Wyoming — Legislature

Leland Christensen (R) — Senator SD17 leland.christensen@wyoleg.gov 307-353-8204 First elected: 2010 Up for re-election: 2018 Dan Dockstader (R) — Senator SD16 dan.dockstader@wyoleg.gov 307-885-9705 (home) First elected: 2008 Up for re-election: 2016

Patricia Russell — Chairman prussell@tcsd.org 307-200-1397 First elected: 2008 Up for re-election: 2016

Andy Schwartz (D) — Representative H23 andy.schwartz@wyoleg.gov 307-413-6464 First elected: 2014 Up for re-election: 2016

Kate Mead — Vice Chairman kmead@tcsd.org 307-733-5163 First elected: 2008 Up for re-election: 2016

Marti Halverson (R) — Representative H22 marti.halverson@wyoleg.gov 307-883-0250 First elected: 2012 Up for re-election: 2016

Joe Larrow — Treasurer jlarrow@tcsd.org First elected: 2014 Up for re-election: 2018

Ruth Ann Petroff (R) — Representative H16 ruth.petroff@wyoleg.gov 307-734-9446 First elected: 2010 Up for re-election: 2016 Petroff has announced that she does not plan to seek re-election this year.

Syd Elliot — Clerk selliott@tcsd.org 307-733-3820 First elected: 2008 Up for re-election: 2016

Jackson Hole Airport

1250 E. Airport Road

P.O. Box 159 Jackson, WY 83001 307-733-7682 JacksonHoleAirport.com Jim Elwood — Airport Director jim.elwood@jacksonholeairport.com John Eastman — President Jim Waldrop — Vice President Jerry Blann — Treasurer Rick Braun — Secretary Mary Gibson Scott — Member

Parks & Recreation

155 E. Gill St. P.O. Box 811 Jackson, WY 83001 307-739-9025 TetonParksAndRec.org Steve Ashworth — Director sashworth@tetonwyo.org 307-732-5752

Pathways

320 S. King St. P.O. Box 1687 Jackson, WY 83001 307-732-8573 Brian Schilling — Director bschilling@tetonwyo.org

Travel and Tourism Board

200 S. Willow St. P.O. Box 550 Jackson, WY 83001 TetonWyo.org/travel info@4jacksonhole.org Alex Klein — Chairman Appointed: 2014 Up for reappointment: 2016 Keely Herron — Vice Chair Appointed: 2015 Up for reappointment: 2018 Mike Halpin — Treasurer Appointed: 2013 Up for reappointment: 2017 Chip Carey — Secretary Appointed: 2011 Up for reappointment: 2016 Aaron Pruzan — Member Appointed: 2011 Up for reappointment: 2017 Stephen Price — Member Appointed: 2011 Up for reappointment: 2017 Brian Modena — Member Appointed: 2015 Up for reappointment: 2018 Kate Sollitt — Executive Director 307-201-1774

Grand Teton National Park P.O. Drawer 170 Moose, WY 83012 307-739-3300 NPS.gov/grte

David Vela — Superintendent 307-739-3411 Appointed: 2014

Bridger-Teton National Forest 340 N. Cache St. P.O. Box 1888 Jackson, WY 83001

See DIRECTORY on 56

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DIRECTORY Continued from 55

307-739-5500 www.fs.usda.gov/btnf Tricia O’Connor — Supervisor 307-739-5500 Appointed: 2014

National Elk Refuge

675 E. Broadway P.O. Box 510 Jackson, WY 83001 307-733-9212 fws.gov/refuge/national_elk_refuge nationalelkrefuge@fws.gov

307-733-2321

Up for re-election: 2018

Jon Stephens — Jackson North Game Warden 307-733-2712

Mark Gordon (R) — Treasurer 307-777-7408 Treasurer.state.wy.us First appointed: 2012 Up for re-election: 2018

Kyle Lash — Jackson South Game Warden 307-733-4995

Caribou-Targhee National Forest

Garth Smelser — Supervisor

Steve Kallin — Refuge Manager Appointed: June 2007

Yellowstone National Park

Joe Alexander — Supervisor

Dan Wenk — Superintendent yell_superintendent@nps.gov Appointed: 2011

Wyoming Game and Fish Jackson Regional Office 420 N. Cache St. P.O. Box 67 Jackson, WY 83001 307-733-2321 WGFD.wyo.gov/Regional-Offices/ Jackson-Region

Doug Brimeyer — Regional Wildlife Management Coordinator

U.S. Legislators

Shoshone National Forest

808 Meadowlane Ave. Cody, WY 82414 307-527-6241 FS.usda.gov/shoshone

P.O. Box 168 Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 307-344-7381 NPS.gov/yell yell_visitor_service@ nps.gov

Jillian Balow (R) — Superintendent of Public Instruction 307-777-7675 Edu.wyoming.gov First elected: 2014 Up for re-election: 2018

1405 Hollipark Drive Idaho Falls, ID 83401 208-524-7500 FS.usda.gov/ctnf

John Barrasso (R) — U.S. Senator 307 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 Barrasso.senate.gov 202-224-6441 First appointed: 2007 Up for re-election: 2018

Wyoming Executive Branch

Mike Enzi (R) — U.S. Senator 379A Senate Russell Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 202-224-3424 1110 Maple Way, Suite G P.O. Box 12470 Jackson, WY 83002 307-739-9507 Enzi.senate.gov First elected: 1996 Up for re-election: 2020

State Capitol 200 W. 24th St. Cheyenne, WY 82002 Matt Mead (R) — Governor 307-777-7434 Governor.WY.gov First elected: 2010 Up for re-election: 2018 Edward Murray (R) — Secretary of State 307-777-7378 SOSWY.state.wy.us First elected: 2014 Up for re-election: 2018

Cynthia Lummis (R) — U.S. Representative 2433 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Lummis.house.gov 202-225-2311 First elected: 2008 Up for re-election: 2016 (not running)

Cynthia Cloud (R) — Auditor 307-777-7831 SAO.wyo.gov First elected: 2010

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Jackson Hole Compass 2016  

Jackson Hole Compass 2016  

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