ecoDestinations Western US: Bentwood Inn, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

ecoDestinations Western US: Bentwood Inn, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Western US - Bentwood Inn

Keith Sproule, Owner, The Bentwood Inn

As the owner of a lodge accommodating travelers in one of the most important natural environments in North America, what do you do to ensure that guests return home more aware, and empowered to inspire others?


Keith SprouleThe Bentwood Inn offers visitors to Jackson Hole an opportunity to become truly immersed in the ecology and history of this diverse corner of the US. In addition to warm and cozy hospitality at the only Select Registry property in Wyoming, guests are treated to a weekly presentation by Benj Sinclair, a professional naturalist from the Teton Science School. The goal of this program is for guests of the inn to walk away with an increased awareness of the ecological, historical, cultural, political, and social influences that impact the diverse and fragile Jackson Hole region, and to take that awareness back home and share it with their families and communities.


The presentation is given after dinner in the Great Room of the inn, complete with a roaring fire and hot apple cider to create an intimate setting. After an introduction about himself and the science school, Sinclair conducts an interactive program that includes guest participation in the form of a "Paradise Puzzle." The puzzle is a slide presentation with high quality photographs, maps, diagrams, charts and clips from newspapers that include relevant background information to facilitate a discussion of Jackson's unique natural heritage.


Guests are introduced to the population, diseases, migration patterns, feeding programs, laws, and sanctuaries that have an impact on the regions' animals: elk, bison, Pronghorn, brown and black bears, Mule Deer, fish, beaver, and birds. Guests of the inn also learn about and discuss current topics like how oil, gas, and mining affect the flora and fauna of the area, about political issues that revolve around these subjects, and how population growth and business development affects where and how organizations are built.


The discussion continues to include information about the role of various government agencies, nonprofit organizations, research institutes and land trusts, and what people can do to deepen their awareness of our surroundings, no matter where they live. 97% of the land area around Jackson Hole is protected as National Park, National Forest, dedicated Wilderness, Bureau of Land Management, National Wildlife Sanctuary, or private conservation initiatives. The expanse of protected areas around the valley helps sustain wildlife habitat and affords some of the greatest wildlife viewing in the US.


The Bentwood Inn is committed to providing guests the opportunity to understand the beauty and uniqueness of Jackson Hole as part of their vacation experience. Visitors to Jackson Hole are treated to one of the most beautiful valleys in the US and the Bentwood Inn is pleased to offer an opportunity for their guests to better understand the natural history of the region.



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As the world's oldest and largest international ecotourism association, TIES seeks to be the global source of knowledge and advocacy uniting communities, conservation, sustainable travel..




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The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference will highlight global challenges and local opportunities, supporting sustainable development of tourism and promoting solutions that balance conservation, communities and sustainable travel.

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