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XMR Vintage Snowmobile Race
Vintage Snowmobile Race The XMR Vintage Snowmobile Race was held on Saturday, January 20th at Sagebrush Downs track in Cora. About two dozen vintage sleds competed in the races which were sponsored by the Pinedale Snow Explorers / Altitude Off Road. The sleds all had to be 1985 or older to compete. Click on this link for more pictures of the event: XMR Extreme Mountain Snowmobile Racing Photo by Terry Allen.
Wyoming Special Olympics. Photo by Terry Allen.
Wyoming Special Olympics The Area II Winter Games of the 2018 Wyoming Special Olympics was held Friday, January 19 at the White Pine ski area. Approximately 100 athletes participated in events including Giant Slalom, Slalom, Snowshoe racing, Nordic racing and Snowboarding. The winners will go to Jackson for the State Championships in two weeks. Pictured here is the start of the 1500 meter Nordic ski race. Click on this link for more pictures: Wyoming Special Olympics 2018 Photo by Terry Allen.
Pinedale Indoor Triathlon winners. Photo by Karen Rule.
Pinedale Indoor Triathlon David Rule placed 1st in the Pinedale Indoor Triathlon held on Saturday, January 20th. This is the 3rd year in a row David has placed 1st in this event held by the Pinedale Aquatic Center. Athletes could participate as individuals, pairs, or 3-person relay teams. Participants did a 15 minute swim, 20 minutes of biking, and 15 minute run for the event. David was first place overall and in his age division. Michael Lutz from Jackson came in 2nd place overall and Larry Proud got 3rd place. Photo by Karen Rule.
Gas Prices
Jan. 20, 2018
Big Piney2.599
Regular unleaded average.
WY & US provided by AAA.
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Jan. 20, 2018
Big Piney3.399
WY & US provided by AAA.

Pinedale Local:

Nordic ski trail grooming report – Jan. 23, 2018
Greenhouse gardening workshop Feb. 5
New group to help entrepreneurs to meet Feb. 1
Wyoming Legislature update
Marbleton home saved from fire
Pinedale, Big Piney band students prep for medley with The Queen’s Cartoonists
Telestroke Services Program talks in January
Request for Proposal for flooring replacement in the PAC

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January 24: The Queen's Cartoonists - PFAC Season Ticket event production.
January 26 - February 1: 2018 Pedigree Sled Dog Race - Race starts in Jackson on the 26th. 27th in Alpine, 28th in Kemmerer, 29th in Big Piney, 30th in Pinedale, 31st in Lander, February 1 a travel day, Feb 2 in Driggs Idaho, Feb 3 ending in Teton County.
February 3, 2018: 18th Annual One Lunger 100 Vintage Snowmobile Race - At Sagebrush Downs Oval track near Cora. Hosted by Snow Explorers/Altitude Off-Road Inc. Visit for rules and entry forms. Concessions available.
February 16, 17 & 18: Pinedale Winter Carnival - February 16, 17 & 18: Pinedale Winter Carnival
July 12-15, 2018: Green River Rendezvous in Pinedale - Celebrating the legacy of the Mountain Men! Join us in Pinedale for 4 days of fun and frolic of the Green River Rendezvous! Living history programs and demonstrations at the Museum of the Mountain Man, street fair, Trader's Row, rodeos, Green River Rendezvous Pageant, many events every day. More info

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XMR Vintage Snowmobile Race. Photo by Terry Allen.
XMR Vintage Snowmobile Race. Photo by Terry Allen.
XMR Extreme Mountain Snowmobile Racing (posted 1/23/18)
Vintage Oval
Terry Allen
The third stop on the XMR Vintage Snowmobile Racing Tour was held in Pinedale, Wyoming this past Saturday (January 20, 2018). There are four events in Colorado and two in Wyoming. About two-dozen vintage sleds competed in 12 different classes from Juniors all the way to Outlaws. Vintage means 1985 and older leaf spring sleds (stock, super stock, and modified.) The event was hosted by the Pinedale Snow Explorers/Altitude Off-Road Inc.

The track is very near the historic town of Cora, Wyoming. The track is bordered by historic log cabins and historic beef cattle range. In fact, according to Gary Neeley and Mike Carrillo, one of the old log cabins used to be the Bronx Schoolhouse out at Forty Rod, and the other was a cookhouse. That leaves one cabin a mystery. If you know, let me know and I'll update this account.

Gary Neeley said there used to be 126 different snowmobile brands in America until the recession in the 1980's. By the time the dust settled, there were only four companies remaining. That leaves a lot of interesting snowmobiles for vintage racing.

The course is an oval. About half of it is a huge banked turn and the other half is a flat turn. The driving adjustments make it fun to watch. This year due to the light snow pack, it's also fun or painful to listen to. Since we live on top of gravel from the ice age, that means racers just have to deal with rocks...going thru the track tunnel and their tracks taking what they find in there...out with them when they about 100 miles an hour.

Tom Barnard from Colorado learned it better than anyone. He was on the tail of someone and caught a rock right between the eyes. One inch gash and a broken nose. I went down to the pits to check on him and he was on his phone. I could tell by the way he talked he was talking to a girl, so I knew he'd be alright. Sure enough, when his class came up, he shoe-horned his swollen nose into his helmet and finished the race.

I talked with Tip Top Rescue and they said his googles did just what they were supposed to do...not shatter and not let the rock thru the polycarbonate...though there was a star right between his eyes.

Speaking of stars, Tom said he definitely saw them. "I saw a lot of stars and gushed a lot of blood," he said. "I couldn't get my helmet off fast enough. I didn't see the rock that got me but it sure went POW! and hurt like a bitch! They took real good care of me in the ambulance, in fact it was a toss-up whether to stay in there with the cute nurse or get back on the track."

Robert Jaskolski was flagging the finish line and we talked about how they'd prepared the track for the race. "We packed it down with our pickup trucks after we knocked down all the badger hole dirt piles." A young woman was with Robert and she was doing the hard work writing down finish numbers with cold fingers. About the time I was noticing she had a nice smile, a voice down in the turn called out. "Hey honey, if you get cold you can go to the trailer and warm up." I asked the young woman if they were newlyweds and she laughed and said, "No, I think he's just trying to get me to heat up the soup and make him a sandwich."

Jerry Jeff and Amanda are friends of mine and back when she was expecting...I just assumed there would be one baby, but there turned out to be two. Henry and Pearson. Jerry Jeff bought them their first snowmobile Saturday and they had been racing it up and down the parking lot all day. But because of the stage of life they are in, in between runs with Dad, they had to check in with Mom, and that included a hello kiss and a goodbye kiss.

As an old bobsled coach, I'm built to look for racing secrets. This kissing before a race thing sounds sort of interesting. I might try to track the twins racing success and see if I can find a correlation. This could be big, folks!

You may share the low rez photos on this site among yourselves. I only sell hi-rez photos to the persons in the photos, and their families.

Terry Allen:

Related Links:
XMR 2018 Racing Schedule Pinedale Snow Explorers/Altitude Off Road

Special Olympics Giant Slalom skiers. Photo by Terry Allen.
Special Olympics Giant Slalom skiers. Photo by Terry Allen.
Special Olympics Wyoming 2018 (posted 1/22/18)
Area II Winter Games
Terry Allen
The Area II Winter Games of the 2018 Wyoming Special Olympics was held Friday, January 19 at the White Pine ski area.

Chandler and Ian led the assembled competitors in a rousing recitation of the Athlete Oath: "Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."

When the cheering ended, approximately 100 athletes dashed off to the first sport on their list. Sports included: Giant Slalom, Slalom, Snowshoe racing, Nordic racing and Snowboarding.

Jase and Jesse were tuning skis for the athletes and they said the athletes from Lander had been coming over every week to train. They had two requests. Make them fast and they wanted the same skis they had every week. Turns out, they had kept a log of the ski numbers and so each athlete was happy.

A Uinta County Sheriff Office employee was helping with medals and I learned law enforcement has the reputation as being a backbone of the Special Olympics. I didn't know that...but recalled three years ago that Deputy Lance Gehlausen had walked with athletes in those opening ceremonies.

Up on the ski hill Sublette County Sheriff KC Lehr and Casey Manning were recording times of the athletes as they ran thru the slalom gates. I recognized Zac Knudsen from three years ago when I last covered this event and met him as he crossed the finish line. "It felt wonderful," he exclaimed when I asked him how his run went.

Doc Johnston and I fought over the same door as I tried to go in the lodge and he tried to come out. "This is by far my favorite event of the year," he said. "I wouldn't miss it for anything."

I went in the lower level of the lodge and Slalom athlete Jax was sitting there eating a peanut butter and strawberry sandwich on a hotdog bun. "I'm doing a frozen food review," he cracked. "It got cold in my pocket."

I ran into old friend and Multi-Olympian Amy Linn, (who prefers to be called "Turbo" when she is on the track) and we caught up with each other. I learned Amy has been competing in athletics for about 25 years and in the Special Olympics for 10 years. A while later I took a photo of her as she took off on her Nordic skis for a 1500 meter race. Her closest competitor was Robbie and he beat her off the start and finished just ahead of her at the finish for the Gold, but Amy was pleased with her Silver medal.

I found White Pine owner Alan Blackburn in the lodge and he was pleased with the event. "I'm delighted that this has become an annual event. Our staff and the Olympians enjoy this day and we enjoy having them here."

As I was writing this story I sent a text to area organizer Gail Hamner. "We are looking forward to going to Jackson for the State Championships in two weeks. It is rewarding being involved in the Special Olympics. If anyone would like to be involved, contact me:"

Click on this link for more pictures: Wyoming Special Olympics 2018

Terry Allen:

Related Links: Wyoming Special Olympics

Critical Access Hospital to be called Sublette County Medical Center (posted 1/22/18)
Sublette County Rural Health Care District
The Sublette County Rural Health Care District Board of Trustees approved a name for the future critical access hospital (CAH) in Pinedale, Wyoming — Sublette County Medical Center. The new name was the most popular in the voting and shows the intent of the District to create a medical campus with the new hospital, a physicians clinic and future ambulance. The goal of the District with the construction of the hospital is to reduce the financial dependence of the District on tax revenues while improving access to healthcare for the citizens of the county.

"We appreciate the community’s involvement, patience, and support, and we’re excited to move ahead to a hospital as the focal point of county-wide health care." said District Board Chair Scott Scherbel, adding, "Sublette County Medical Center will be a valuable community resource. Our shared goal is to help keep healthcare local, provide jobs, and preserve and improve health care services as we move into the future."

Community meetings to help communicate project progress are being planned; dates and details will soon be announced.

Wolf News Roundup 1/17/2018 (posted 1/17/18)
Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
Wyoming Hunt
Wolf hunting in Wyoming’s trophy game zone concluded with the start of the new year. The Wyoming Game & Fish Department reports that the total quota of 44 animals was met. Although some hunt areas were under quota, and some were over, the total number of wolves harvested was 44, which was the agency’s goal for 2017. In addition, there were 32 wolves killed in the state’s predator zone in 2017.

Members of the Rogue wolf pack in southwestern Oregon have repeatedly killed cattle on a ranch since the start of the year. Tracking collars place members of the pack near the scene. State officials were installing wolf-deterrent devices on the ranch when the most recent kill was discovered. In other Oregon wolf news, at least two wolves are confirmed to be roaming the Mount Hood area in the northern Cascades.

Minnesota wolf versus car
A wolf was hit and killed in a collision with a car in west-central Minnesota this week, in an area not know to harbor the species.

Wisconsin debate
Debate has heated up in Wisconsin over a bill that would limit state efforts to manage wolves while the animals remain under federal protection. If enacted, the law would prohibit local law enforcement officials from investigating wolf killings. Those supporting the law assert that it is an attempt to have the federal government take more responsibility for the program, since federal officials have repeatedly failed to have wolves removed from federal protection. But on the other side, opponents argue that the bill is a reflection of negative sentiments about wolves dating to a century ago. Check out the Associated Press article in the StarTribune for more details on this

Wolf roams Belgium
For the first time in 100 years, a wolf has been detected in Belgium. The radio-collared wolf originated in Germany, but has also roamed in the Netherlands. The wolf has reportedly traveled 300 miles in 10 days.

Related Links:
Oregon wolves - OregonLive
Minnesota - Twin Cities Pioneer Press
Wisconsin - StarTribune
Belgium -
Wolf Watch - by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!

Visitation to Grand Teton Park sets another record (posted 1/16/18)
National Park Service - Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park's 2017 visitation set a record for the fourth consecutive year. The park received over 4.9 million total visits, a 3 percent increase from the previous record set in 2016. Visitation reached monthly records in June, August, September, and October. August, which included the total solar eclipse viewable from throughout the park, had 65,000 more visits than the previous record August of 2015.

Year Total Visitation
2012 - 3,918,000
2013 - 4,117,000
2014 - 4,297,000*
2015 - 4,648,000*
2016 - 4,823,000*
2017 - 4,969,000*
*indicates record

The record visitation is part of a longer term upward trend which has seen park visitation increase by over 1 million visits, or 27 percent, during the past five years. The record is also part of a nationwide trend which has brought record numbers to national parks across the country.

The busy year for the park was highlighted by the total solar eclipse on August 21. The park saw a significant increase in visitation on the days leading up to the eclipse, as well as the day following the event. Park managers estimate the long weekend was the busiest period in the park's history. Park concession-operated campgrounds were near capacity, and for the first time in park history, all backcountry permits were issued for three days straight.

Visitation numbers are derived from traffic counter data. The numbers recorded by these counters are run through an algorithm to determine an estimated visitation number. The methodology has been consistent since 1992, which allows park managers to compare visitation levels from year to year.

In addition to the total visitation number, park traffic counters also calculate a "recreational visitation" statistic which excludes most traffic on U.S. Highway 26/89/191. In terms of recreational visitation, the park received 3.3 million visits in 2017, 1 percent more than the previous record number the park received in 2016.

For more information about visitation statistics and how they are calculated, visit

Well-meaning people take working sheep dogs who are outside thinking they are abandoned. This leaves the herd unprotected from predators like coyotes and wolves. Please do not take these dogs from their environment.
Well-meaning people take working sheep dogs who are outside thinking they are abandoned. This leaves the herd unprotected from predators like coyotes and wolves. Please do not take these dogs from their environment.
Sheriff’s Office issues advisory about working sheep dogs (posted 1/16/18)
Large dogs encountered in remote areas are protecting sheep herds, do not take them
Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office
The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office issued an updated advisory Tuesday (Jan. 16) concerning working sheep dogs.

Sheriff Mike Lowell said one male Great Pyrenees, a large breed favored by sheepherders, was recently picked up in the Jamestown area west of Green River and another north of Rock Springs in the vicinity of the Stassinos Ranch Road and brought to city animal shelters by well-meaning people who believed they had been abandoned.

As is often the case, these particular dogs were not abandoned or dumped, however; but were working sheep dogs.

County Animal Control Officer Chris Thomas explained the situation: "People pick these dogs up and bring them in with the best of intentions, but once these dogs are removed from their working environment and brought into town, they quickly lose their herding skills and their owners usually don’t want them back. It creates a serious problem."

Officials ask that people encountering large dogs in remote areas not pick them up or feed them, but note their location and notify the Sheriff’s Office. A County animal control officer can then go to the scene, assess the situation, and take appropriate action.

ACO Thomas is shown here with "Lou," a Great Pyrenees mistakenly thought to be abandoned last year and brought to the City Animal Shelter in Rock Springs. Sheriff Mike Lowell warned that such large breeds are often used as working sheep dogs; once they are brought into town, they lose their herding instincts and their sheepherder owners do not want them back. Lou was lucky; Rock Springs City Animal Shelter staff saw to it that he was neutered and received his shots and he was adopted out to a ranch family.

FWS eyes lynx delisting (posted 1/14/18)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service press release
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is announcing the completion of a scientific review of the Canada lynx in the contiguous United States. The review concludes that the Canada lynx may no longer warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and should be considered for delisting due to recovery. This recommendation is the result of an extensive review of the best available scientific information and almost 20 years of working in partnership with state, federal, tribal, industry and other land managers on the conservation of this species. As a result of this status review, the Service will begin development of a proposed rule to delist the species.

The recommendation was informed by a recently completed, peer-reviewed Species Status Assessment for the lynx, which compiled and evaluated the best available scientific information on the historical, current and possible future conditions for the Canada lynx. Over a two-year process, the Service worked closely with federal, state and academic subject matter experts to evaluate relevant scientific information on snowshoe hare population dynamics, climate change, forest ecology and other issues. Although climate change remains an important factor for the conservation of the Canada lynx, neither the Service nor the experts we consulted conclude that the lynx is at risk of extinction from climate change within the foreseeable future.

The Canada lynx was listed as threatened in 2000 largely due to a lack of regulatory mechanisms on federal public lands, which is where a majority of the habitat for Canada lynx was believed to be located in the lower 48 states. Since receiving ESA protection, federal land managers throughout the lynx’s range have formally amended their management plans and implemented conservation measures to conserve the species. For example, all U.S. Forest Service land management plans in the Rocky Mountain region have been amended to include conservation measures for the Canada lynx. In addition, in Maine, private landowners have voluntarily supported working woodland easements that protect nearly 2.5 million acres of forest, benefitting the Canada lynx and other species.A cousin of the more common bobcat, the Canada lynx is similar in size but can be distinguished by its black-tipped tail, long tufts of black hair at the tips of its ears, and long legs with large, furry paws for hunting snowshoe hares in deep snow. In the contiguous U.S., Canada lynx populations are found in Maine, northeastern Minnesota, northwestern Montana, northeastern Idaho, north-central Washington and western Colorado.

Providing the Canada lynx protection under the ESA also prompted an increase in scientific understanding of lynx biology. Research, monitoring and conservation efforts conducted by state and federal agencies, tribes and academic institutions, helped refine biologists’ understanding of habitat needs, distributions, population characteristics and potential stressors.

Given the outcome of this analysis, the Service will not at this time be completing a recovery plan for the Canada lynx. Today’s recommendation does not remove or negate the Endangered Species Act protections currently in place for the Canada lynx. To delist a species, the Service must follow a process similar to what is used in considering whether to list species. The next step is for the Service to publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register, receive public comments, review and analyze those comments, conduct a peer review, and then announce a final decision.

{Editor’s Note: The status assessment for lynx in the Greater Yellowstone region notes: "Recent surveys and research-related trapping efforts have failed to detect lynx in this unit after 2010 … it is uncertain whether this unit historically supported a small but persistent resident population that was recently extirpated, or if it historically and recently supported resident lynx only intermittently. Given the protected conservation status of millions of acres in this unit, its apparent recent inability to support resident lynx may be a reflection of naturally marginal and patchy habitats and relatively low hare abundance in much of the unit, resulting in only an intermittent ability of this unit to support resident lynx."}

Related Links:
Lynx information - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Sunset reflections on the ice on the shore of Fremont Lake. Photo by Dave Bell.
Sunset reflections on the ice on the shore of Fremont Lake. Photo by Dave Bell.
Will Fremont Lake freeze over? (posted 1/16/18)
Last time it didn’t freeze over was in 1981
Pinedale Online!
It looks like this might be another rare year when the surface of Fremont Lake might not freeze over. We usually get several weeks of sub-zero weather during December and January that are cold enough to freeze over our area lakes, but so far that hasn’t happened this winter, much to the disappointment of ice fishermen. The last time Fremont Lake didn’t freeze over was in 1981. We know this because each year the Pinedale Boat Club has a barrel drop guess contest, putting a barrel out in the middle of the lake and then recording the exact time when the ice melts and it falls through. The one who guesses the closest day and time wins the $500 prize that year (must be a Boat Club member to participate). Those times can be found here:

Pictured here are some photos by Dave Bell of the ice formations around the edge of Fremont Lake. Click here to see more of Dave’s photos of the ice formations: Newly Formed Ice on Fremont Lake

Groups ask court to reinstate grizzly protections (posted 1/10/18)
Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
Tribal and environmental groups have asked a federal judge to invalidate a government decision to strip the Yellowstone region’s grizzly bears of endangered species protections and to return the Yellowstone grizzly bear population to federal protection.

The coalition cited the recent reopening of public comment on the Yellowstone grizzly delisting rule as evidence the government did not complete its homework before removing protections for this population of bears. In particular, the government failed to consider the impacts of its delisting decision on the opportunity for a broader recovery of grizzly bears in the lower-48 states.

"The time for taking public comment and considering all issues surrounding the removal of federal protections for Yellowstone grizzlies was before those protections were removed – not after the decision was finalized," said Earthjustice attorney Timothy Preso, who is representing the coalition.

The summary judgment request was filed by Earthjustice on behalf of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, and National Parks Conservation Association.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized the Yellowstone grizzly bear delisting rule in June 2017, and the tribal/environmental coalition filed a lawsuit soon afterwards. In December, the Service began soliciting public comment on the impact of a recent court ruling that overturned a similar government effort to withdraw federal protections from the Western Great Lakes wolf population without addressing broader recovery of the species.

Wyoming Senior Winter Games in Pinedale Feb 8-10, 2018
Wyoming Senior Winter Games in Pinedale Feb 8-10, 2018
2018 Wyoming Senior Olympic Games in Pinedale Feb. 8-10 (posted 1/10/18)
The Wyoming Senior Games will be held in Pinedale Thursday through Saturday, February 8-10th. Anyone over the age of 50 is invited to participate. Events include Alpine skiing, Slalom and Giant Slalom, snowshoe, Nordic skiing – Classic and Freestyle, hockey, pickleball, swim meet, racquetball, speed skating, indoor walking, a climbing competition and more.

General Regulations
- Any person turning 50 years of age ON OR BEFORE December 31, 2017 is eligible to participate.
- Registration fee is $50. Register online at
-To request a paper registration form by mail, contact Amber Anderson at 307-367-2832 ext. 6248.

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Pinedale Online! is designed and maintained by Wind River Web Services LLC in Pinedale, Wyoming to offer a "slice of life" view of happenings in and around Pinedale, Wyoming. Webmaster for this site is Dawn Ballou. Although we try to cover as many local events as possible, we have a very limited staff and much of this site is done in our volunteer time. We welcome community volunteers who can provide pictures or event information. Photos by Pinedale Online unless otherwise credited. Please see our companion site Pinedale OFFline,, updated annually on April Fool's Day. All site content is copyright 2018. No photos, stories or content may be used or reproduced without permission for commercial or non-commerical purposes. Please contact Pinedale Online for more information or permission about using pictures or content found on our site, or advertising on this website. If you find any broken links on our site, please let us know. Privacy Policy: E-mail inquiries may be forwarded to the local Chamber of Commerce, businesses or others who can best respond to questions asked. We use website server visitation statistics to compile web traffic analysis to refine our site content to better serve our visitors. Server statistics do not gather e-mail addresses or personally-identifiable information. Pinedale Online does not sell, trade or rent our opt-in lists or any personally-identifiable information to third parties. Thanks for visiting Pinedale, Wyoming on the Web!

We remember September 11, 2001.

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