The US Forest Service announced Thursday that a portion of the Bridger Teton National Forest is included in the awarding of $44.2-million in grants to permanently protect working forests in 15 states. In making the announcement, the Forest Service explained that private forest landowners are facing increasing real estate prices, property taxes and development pressure which have resulted in conversion of some forest land to other land uses. The announcement says among the areas of concern is the Munger Mountain Corridor on the Bridger Teton National Forest. A grant of $3-million is intended to help maintain that corridor as protected land connecting the Bridger-Teton National Forest to important elk wintering grounds owned by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission. The granting statement explains that hundreds of elk traverse the corridor annually, contributing to the health of one of the largest elk herds in North America. The Munger Mountain Corridor project will also protect valuable riparian habitat and more than one mile of frontage along the Snake River, which was recently added by Congress to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.