Our History

For over 85 years, Grand Teton Association has been committed to inspiring deeper connection, better understanding, and enduring support for our public lands through long standing support and partnership with Grand Teton National Park, the National Elk Refuge and Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Cooperating Associations were developed early in the National Park Service history to provide low cost educational materials and support to visitors to public lands. Established in 1937, Grand Teton Association, was one of the earliest cooperating associations created. While other associations may fundraise or provide educational programs as part of their partnership with federal agencies, Grand Teton Association focuses exclusively on developing and providing educational products for agency partners. 100% of the profits from sale of these products is donated back to support agency educational, interpretive, and research initiatives.


  • May 10, 2022 - December of 1936

    The superintendent of Grand Teton National Park met with a group of Jackson Hole businessmen to discuss ways to provide written educational materials to the visitors of Grand Teton National Park. At that meeting, Bruce Porter, the local druggist, donated $50.00 to begin the purchase of publications. The board selected an advisory committee consisting of, among others, Dr. Fritiof Fryxell, S. N. Leek; Harrison R. Crandall, and Olaus J. Murie.

  • 1937 - 1937

    Jackson Hole Museum and Historical Association was formed as a result of that initial meeting.

  •  - 1956

    Organization’s name was changed to Grand Teton Natural History Association (GTNHA).

  •  - 1959

    GTNHA was incorporated in the state of Wyoming.

  •  - 1966

    Granted tax-exempt status.

  •  - 1982

    During the early 1980’s requests from other federal agencies motivated the National Park Service to request that cooperating associations aid those agencies.

  •  - 1982

    A cooperating agreement was signed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide educational and interpretive materials to visitors of the National Elk Refuge.

  •  - 1986

    Cooperating agreements were established with the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

  •  - 2007

    Grand Teton Natural History Association became Grand Teton Association on its 70th anniversary.

  •  - 2016

    Caribou Targhee and GTA ended formal agreements.


Currently, GTA has interpretive sales in Grand Teton National Park visitor centers, the Jackson Hole Airport, several interpretive locations with the Bridger-Teton National Forest, and at the National Elk Refuge’s Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center. The association does much more than simply operate book stores. True to their nonprofit status, the association provides funds critical for the agencies’ commitment to supporting educational programming, interpretation, and research projects of its agency partners. Currently, the staff is comprised of approximately 6 full-time employees and approximately 50 summer seasonal employees. In 2019, association sales were over $4.1 million dollars. True to their non profit status, the association provides funds critical for partner agencies commitment to supporting educational programming, interpretation, and research projects including:

● Interpretive associates and interns to support seasonal staffing needs
● printing free brochures, trail guides, and newsletters
● equipment and supplies to assist in educational outreach, research
● training and education support
● student scholarships
● support of educational programs including Snowdesk , Feathered Fridays, and Junior Ranger
● Agency leadership support for dignitaries and special events

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