PFAC presents Shannon Troxler art show & reception March 29 (posted 3/23/19)
Shannon Troxler March 29th
Pinedale Fine Arts Council release
The Pinedale Fine Arts Council is proud to present an exhibit/lecture and reception for Jackson, WY artist Shannon Troxler on Friday, March 29 at 7 p.m. in the Sublette County Library (Pinedale) Lovatt Room. This event is free to the public and wine and appetizers will be served! Troxler will be presenting a body of work created in encaustics, which involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid or paste is then applied to a surface—usually prepared wood.
Troxler is a graduate of the Schuler School of Fine Arts and the Art Student’s League where she learned a deep appreciation for the craft of classical art while grinding pigments and making her own charcoal. These days she continues to explore new mediums and methods in her studio in Wilson Wyoming. Her latest passion involves molten wax, a blow torch, and the encaustic medium. Her work has been featured by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Birds in Art exhibit, The National Museum of Wildlife Art, The Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibit, and Arts for the Parks. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Wyoming State Museum.
According to her website, Troxler’s work explores the natural world we encounter and how we as humans relate to it through myth, poetry and literature. She is fascinated by the intersection of the visual world and the written word and how closely they are entwined. She is continually exploring and experimenting with new mediums that challenge and excite her.
Additionally, Troxler will also be spending a week in residence with Pinedale High School art students March 25-29. The residency will focus on the Encaustic painting.
The March 29 evening reception will feature Troxler presenting a slide show lecture accompanied by a small exhibit of her work as well as work completed works by Pinedale High School students during her week-in-residence.
Shannon Troxlers’s reception and residency are presented by the Pinedale Fine Arts Council with support from Sublette BOCES, Wyoming Arts Council and Sublette County School District No. 1.
Please visit www.pinedalefinearts.com for more information.
Town of Pinedale statement on Ozone Action Days (posted 3/22/19)
Town of Pinedale
Residents asked to minimize ozone precursor emissions
Town of Pinedale media release
Attention Pinedale Residents: We would like to call attention to the Ozone Action Days that have been recently instituted by the Air Quality Division of Wyoming’s Department of Environmental Quality. The Town of Pinedale is doing our part by limiting vehicular activities such as plowing and grading to a minimum in order to reduce any precursor emissions. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause and appreciate resident understanding and cooperation. Additionally, the Town of Pinedale will be more strongly enforcing the Wyoming no-idling law (§31-5-509) during Ozone Action Days, which states that no vehicle shall remain idling, while parked, for more than 20 minutes.
Ozone is a type of air pollutant created by dangerous levels of volatile organic particles and nitrogen oxide emissions in the air. These pollutants become compounded with weather conditions such as strong temperature inversions, low winds, high amounts of snow cover, and bright sunlight. It can cause many respiratory issues in vulnerable populations, specifically children, the elderly, and people with pre-existing respiratory issues. It is advised that activities involving long durations of outdoor exposure and/or strenuous activity be limited, particularly towards afternoon and evening.
We also ask that Pinedale residents do their part in decreasing these dangerous Ozone emissions where possible by consolidating trips in vehicles, limiting the idling of vehicles & machinery, and eliminating the unnecessary use of wood burning stoves.
www.townofpinedale.us Town of Pinedale website
Update on high ozone levels near Boulder Pinedale Online! March 22, 2019
Enzi, Barrasso statements on federal judge halting new oil and gas drilling in Wyoming (posted 3/22/19)
Wyoming Senate Delegation joint media release
Washington, D.C. – On March 19, a district court judge in Washington, D.C. blocked new oil and gas drilling across nearly 500 square miles in Wyoming. U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., released the following statements:
"This short-sighted decision by a judge in Washington, D.C. will not only damage Wyoming’s workforce and economy, it also sets a dangerous precedent for the future," Enzi said. "Leasing public lands is vital for our continued efforts to keep energy prices low and create energy independence for the nation. Instead of trying to manipulate our judicial system to stop energy development, we should be focused on innovative technological solutions to help ensure our energy development is affordable, reliable and cleaner."
"This bad decision will hurt workers in Wyoming, reduce revenue for the state and slow America’s energy production," said Barrasso. "Wyoming is a leader of protecting our environment and responsibly developing our natural resources."
Judge blocks oil and gas drilling on Wyoming public land because US didn't consider climate impactBy Debra Cassens Weiss, American Bar Association Journal, March 21, 2019
Judge Blocks Oil and Gas Drilling on 300,000 Acres in Wyoming Until Government Considers Climate Impacts By Olivia Rosane, EcoWatch.com, March 21, 2019
US Judge Blocks Drilling Over Climate Change Hart Energy, March 20, 2019
Wolf News Roundup 3/21/2019 (posted 3/21/19)
Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
Matthew Brown and John Flesher of the Associated Press have put together a comprehensive article about the possible impact of the proposal to remove federal protection for gray wolves in the Lower 48 states. The article notes that in states where wolf hunting and trapping occur, wolves have proven their resilience, expanding their range into other states even while hunting restrictions have been eased. The Associated Press team included views of more than a half-dozen wolf managers across the nation. See the link to the article below.
Guardian pup killed
Oregon wildlife officials report that the Rogue wolf pack has struck again, this time killing a mastiff guardian pup in Jackson County. "At 9:00 am on 3/15/2019, a livestock owner found one of his 16-week-old mastiff-mix pups dead approximately 400 yards from his residence on the industrial timber and neighboring his property. He had last seen the dog alive at midnight that morning when he had gone outside to turn on Air Dancer wolf deterrent devices after being awakened by his dogs barking incessantly. The carcass was intact except for a section of spinal column missing from the lower back, missing tissue from the upper flank area, and missing abdominal organs."
Idaho kills wolves to help elk
Idaho Fish and Game has completed wolf control actions in northern Idaho's Lolo elk zone to improve elk survival in the area. Seven wolves were taken during the operation, which started in late February. The operation is consistent with Fish and Game's Elk Management Plan and Lolo Predation Management Plan.The control operation was paid for using Fish and Game license dollars transferred to the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board, created by the Idaho Legislature in 2014.
Fish and Game authorizes control actions where wolves are causing conflicts with people or domestic animals, or are a significant, measured factor in deer and elk population declines. Such control actions are consistent with Idaho's 2002 Wolf Conservation and Management Plan approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Idaho Legislature.
Fish and Game prefers to manage wolf populations using hunters and trappers and only authorizes control actions where regulated harvest has been insufficient to meet management goals. The Lolo zone is steep, rugged country that is difficult to access, especially in winter. Since wolf control began in 2011, an average of 14 wolves were removed annually through control actions and an average of 21 wolves were taken annually by hunters and trappers. To date, hunters and trappers have reported 18 wolves taken in the Lolo zone during the 2018-19 season. The trapping season ends March 31 and the hunting season ends June 30.
The present day boundary of the Lolo elk Zone was established in 1992. That year, an estimated 10,120 elk inhabited the zone. Since then, this elk herd has decreased substantially because of declining vegetative quality, a catastrophic loss of elk during the 1996-1997 winter, and predation by mountain lions, black bears, and wolves. An estimated 1,893 elk were estimated in the Lolo Zone during the most recent survey in 2017.
The 1,137 cow elk and 425 bull elk estimated during 2017 were well below the long-term objectives for 6,100 to 9,100 cow elk and 1,300 to 1,900 bull elk. Short-term goals for the Lolo elk population outlined in the 2014 Elk Management Plan include stabilizing the population and helping it grow.
Fish and Game has worked with the U.S. Forest Service for over 40 years to improve habitat for elk in the Lolo zone and will continue to do so. Hunting in the zone has been extremely restricted since the late 1990s. Rifle bull hunting was reduced by half and all rifle cow hunts have been eliminated. Additional restrictions were placed on rifle and archery hunters in 2011.
Fish and Game stepped up predation management in the Lolo area through increased harvest opportunities of black bears and mountain lions. Restoring the Lolo elk population will require continued harvest of black bears, mountain lions, and wolves along with wolf control actions when needed and meaningful large-scale habitat improvements.
Resilient wolves - Associated Press article
Pup killed - Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
Idaho - Idaho Department of Fish & Game
Wolf Watch - by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
Big Sandy Enlargement Meeting March 26th (posted 3/17/19)
Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
The US Bureau of Reclamation (BuRec) will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, March 26 to accept public comment on the proposed Big Sandy Reservoir Enlargement Project. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Eden Valley Community Center in Farson.
BuRec has issued its second draft environmental assessment (EA) for the Big Sandy Enlargement Project, and is accepting comments on that draft until April 15th. Click on the link below to read the EA.
The Big Sandy Reservoir, located about 10 miles north of Farson in both Sublette and Sweetwater counties, provides storage for irrigation, flood control, and recreation.
The Wyoming Water Development Commission is interested in increasing the storage capacity of the reservoir by raising the spillway crest by five feet, increasing total storage capacity (by 13,600 acre-feet) to 52,300 acre-feet. A toe drain and filter trench would be installed along the left abutment of the dam, a filter diaphragm would be installed around the outlet works, a cement-bentonite cutoff wall would be constructed through the crest of the dike, and since raising the reservoir would increase the water height on the existing dikes that are already experiencing erosion, additional riprap would be required. In addition, the project would replace the Big Sandy Feeder Canal headworks and six concrete drop structures.
BuRec is expected to issue of Finding of No Significant Impact and authorize the proposed project to begin this fall.
Enlargement Project - Bureau of Reclamation
Wolf delisting proposed (posted 3/17/19)
Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) has issued proposed rules to remove gray wolves in the Lower 48 states from federal protection of the Endangered Species Act. The Trump-administration proposal is the latest in a string of similar proposals issued under the Bush, Obama and Clinton administrations that all ultimately failed after litigation by wolf advocates. With a variety of conservation organizations already pledging to sue to keep wolves protected, it can be expected that the new proposal will befall the same fate as its predecessors.
It's the ongoing cycle of delisting-lawsuits-relisting that has prompted Wyoming Senators John Barrasso and Mike Enzi to serve as co-sponsors of a bill that would order wolves delisted in the Western Great Lakes States and in Wyoming, and would prohibit judicial review of the decision. The bill has been proposed in numerous Congressional sessions, and was introduced again last week as Senate bill 831.
The gray wolf has already been delisted in the Northern Rocky Mountains, and are subject to regulated hunting in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. While wolf delisting in Idaho and Montana is protected from judicial oversight, Wyoming's delisting was negotiated with federal officials, and the FWS must be satisfied with Wyoming's management of wolves in this state or its wolves may once again be placed back under federal protection.
The FWS proposal to delist the gray wolf throughout the contiguous United States was published in the Federal Register on Friday, March 15th, and comments on the proposal will be accepted until May 14, 2019. See the link below for more information.
Delisting proposal - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Wolf Watch - by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
G&F invites the public to discuss proposed 2019 hunting seasons (posted 3/17/19)
Public meeting in Pinedale March 26th
Wyoming Game & Fish
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is holding open public meetings and has opened a comment period to gather input on proposed big game, wild turkey, upland game bird, small game, wild bison, migratory game bird and light goose conservation order hunting seasons and the general hunting regulation.
All interested parties are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming public meetings to be held in western Wyoming to discuss the proposed 2019 hunt season proposals.
Afton: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, Afton Civic Center (open house)
Jackson: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, Jackson Game & Fish office (open house)
Pinedale: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, Pinedale Game & Fish office
Written comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Monday, April 1, at public meetings or by mailing: Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Regulations, 3030 Energy Lane, Casper, WY 82604 or online at http://wgfd.wyo.gov.
Copies of the proposed regulations are available on the Game & Fish website and at the address above in accordance with Chapter 1 Regulation Governing Access to Public Records. Written comments will be presented to the Game and Fish Commission prior to the public hearing at their April 23-24 meeting in Riverton.
BLM offers new incentives to encourage more adoptions of wild horses and burros (posted 3/12/19)
Bureau of Land Management
WASHINGTON – As part of the Bureau of Land Management’s effort to find good homes for wild horses and burros removed from public lands, the agency today (March 12, 2019) began offering new financial incentives to encourage qualified people to adopt one or more of the animals. The incentives are being implemented to step up placement efforts and confront the growing overpopulation of wild horses and burros on fragile rangelands and in off-range holding facilities, which cost taxpayers nearly $50 million every year to maintain.
"We understand that adopting a wild horse or burro represents a commitment. The incentive is designed to help the adopter cover all or most of the initial costs for training and providing humane care up to the time of receiving title," said BLM Deputy Director Brian Steed. "I urge anyone who has considered adopting a wild horse or burro to join the thousands of owners who have provided good homes to more than 245,000 wild horses or burros since 1971."
Through the new incentive program, qualified adopters are eligible to receive $500 within 60 days of the adoption date and an additional $500 within 60 days of titling for each animal, which normally occurs one year from the adoption date. The incentive is available for all animals that are eligible for adoption, including animals at BLM facilities, off-site events or on the agency’s Online Corral website. Adopters will just pay a minimum $25 adoption fee per animal.
Potential adopters are required to complete an application proving they can feed and provide humane care to the animals and that they will adhere to the prohibited acts and titling requirements. In addition, potential adopters must authorize the incentive to be deposited via electronic funds transfers to their preferred account at their financial institution. Potential adopters should visit the BLM website or call 866-468-7826 to learn more about the guidelines and requirements for adopting a wild horse or burro.
The BLM manages and protects wild horses and burros under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The Act directs the BLM to address overpopulation by removing excess animals from over-populated herds and offering them to the public for adoption or purchase.
The wild horse and burro population on public lands is approximately 81,950 animals, which is more than triple the size the land can support along with other legally mandated uses, according to a March 2018 estimate. High costs and a growing number of unadopted and unsold animals in BLM holding facilities has hindered the agency’s ability to reduce overpopulation in recent years. Chronic overpopulation increases the risk of damage to rangeland resources through overgrazing, and raises the chances of starvation and thirst for animals in overpopulated herds.
"Finding good homes for excess animals and reducing overpopulation on the range are top priorities for the BLM as we strive to protect the health of these animals while balancing other legal uses of our public rangelands, including allowing for other traditional land uses such as wildlife conservation and grazing," Steed added.
Owning a wild horse or burro is an extraordinary experience. They have reached national notoriety through disciplines such as dressage, endurance and therapeutic programs that help veterans fulfill a new mission. Wild horses and burros are routinely preferred by public officials for important tasks such as patrolling the border and local policing. Read stories from recent wild horse and burro adopters and purchasers on the BLM’s Flickr page.
2019 civilian firearms training offered in Rock Springs (posted 3/12/19)
Classroom and range training
Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office
The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office firearms training staff is pleased to announce our 2019 civilian firearms training course schedule. We are now offering basic, intermediate and special accommodations classes. The basic and special accommodations classes comprise a combination of classroom instruction and shooting exercises. The training emphasizes firearms familiarization and safety, and training topics include grip, stance, sight picture, trigger control, holster considerations, home firearms storage and more.
The special accommodations class offers a smaller class size with fewer students for more one-on-one instruction and hands-on time with firearms; it is designed specifically for those who have no previous firearms experience or who otherwise require special accommodation by virtue of a disability or other condition. The intermediate class consists of eight hours of range training and shooting exercises, and participants are required to complete the basic course as a prerequisite.
There is a $30 registration fee for each class. All classes satisfy the state’s training requirement for a concealed carry permit. In addition to a personal firearm, participants are required to supply a suitable belt or paddle holster for their firearm as well as proper eye and ear protection. The basic and special accommodations classes require a minimum of 100 rounds of ammunition, while the intermediate class requires a minimum of 200 rounds.
Scheduled classes are as follows:
• Saturday, May 18 (Basic)
• Saturday, June 15 (Basic)
• Saturday, August 24 (Special accommodations)
• Saturday, September 7 (Intermediate)
Classroom and range training is in Rock Springs. To register, or for more information, please contact the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office by phone at (307) 352-4901.
Governor signs temporary executive order to expedite propane deliveries (posted 3/12/19)
Governor signs temporary executive order to expedite propane deliveries
Buckrail posted a story reporting that Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has signed an executive order putting in place temporary emergency rules for the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) that allows drivers to make extra propane deliveries to heat homes and businesses for 20 days. The emergency rule suspends regulations on driving hours to allow drivers to meet the increased demand but still says drivers cannot be on the road when they are fatigued. Click on this link to read the full story: Governor signs temporary executive order for propane deliveries
Wolf News Roundup 3/11/2019 (posted 3/11/19)
Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
A top Interior Department official announced intentions to remove wolves nationwide from the list of federally protected species. If the Trump-administration’s proposal goes forward, it will follow the same path as similar proposals in the Bush, Clinton, and Obama administrations – efforts that ultimately failed when wolf advocates succeeded in convincing federal courts to keep the predators protected. Numerous wolf advocacy groups have already pledged their intention to sue, and have undertaken fundraising efforts to contest the government’s proposal.
23 Sheep killed
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has determined that 23 dead sheep found in a private pasture in Curry County were probably killed by wolves. This Oregon county was not previously known to have one of the state’s wolf packs.
More wolves to Isle Royale
Last week was a busy one on Isle Royale, with four more Canadian wolves captured and relocated into Isle Royale National Park. A 65-pound female wolf was released into the park, as well as three male wolves, each weighing around 90 pounds. The recent translocation brings the island’s wolf population to 8 animals, as the National Park Service seeks to restore predation on moose as a major driver of the park’s ecosystem.
Wolves in Tajikistan have been making the headlines after numerous attacks on humans. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports that wolves killed two women in eastern Tajikistan. There have been three other reported attacks on humans: one involving a young boy; one on a police officer; and another on a young boy. The attacks reportedly took place when wolves entered villages after heavy snowfall. After a wolf-hunting ban was imposed several years ago, rifles were confiscated, and villagers now resort to defending themselves with shovels and pitchforks.
For more on these stories, check out the links below.
Delisting - Superior Telegram
Sheep killed - Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
Isle Royale - National Park Service
Two women killed - RFE/RL
Additional attacks - Asia Plus
Wolf Watch - By Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
100 Year Anniversary of Military Convoy and Lincoln Highway to be commemorated (posted 3/10/19)
2019 Military Convoy Centennial Tour
Annual conference in Rock Springs June 18-21
Sweetwater County Historical Museum
SWEETWATER COUNTY — The U.S. Army’s groundbreaking 1919 Transcontinental Motor Convoy that crossed the United States from Washington, DC to San Francisco — ultimately a source of inspiration for the Interstate Highway System — passed through Sweetwater County.
The convoy’s mission was multi-faceted, but its basic goal was to test equipment and determine the feasibility of motorized cross-country travel. Eighty-one vehicles and trailers, including heavy cargo trucks, light trucks, water tankers, mobile machine shops, an "artillery wheeled tractor," cars, and motorcycles, manned by 24 officers and 258 enlisted men, covered the 3,200-plus miles from Washington to San Francisco in 62 days, sometimes at little better than a jogging pace.
Among the convoy’s officers was a future President of the United States; 29-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower.
A century ago, road conditions west of the Mississippi were primitive. What would become the Lincoln Highway (U.S. Highway 30) and Interstate 80 in the west was often little more than series of dirt roads, rutted wagon trails, and abandoned railbeds. Breakdowns were constant, and bridges (14 in Wyoming alone) frequently had to be strengthened or repaired.
The convoy left Washington on July 7, 1919, and entered Wyoming a month later, on August 8. (In Cheyenne, the men were treated to a rodeo at Frontier Park.)
On August 13, the convoy reached Sweetwater County. As noted in its official log:
"At Creston Station a Class B truck slipped off the road and was helped back by another Class B… near Latham Station, [about 5 ½ miles west of present-day Creston Junction], Class B water tanker #80216 ran off road on abandoned railroad grade and rolled over 270 degrees, resting on left side. It was righted by 2 Class B’s, and proceeded under its own power in 20 min."
At Wamsutter, the convoy made numerous repairs and, three miles from Tipton, a mobile blacksmith vehicle sheared through a bridge’s floor planks and "narrowly averted dropping into 12′ ravine." That night the party "Camped on Red Desert, on barren, sandy plain, no inhabitants or buildings other than railroad personnel and property. Nearest natural water supply 16 miles."
The next day, the convoy "stopped for lunch at Point of Rocks," and proceeded from there to Rock Springs. The log noted that "The intensely dry air, absence of trees and green vegetation, and parched appearance of the landscape exerted depressing influence on personnel."
The night of August 14 was spent in Green River. At Granger, "a doubtful bridge about 60′ long was successfully passed by using great care." The convoy’s next stop was Fort Bridger. Three weeks later, it reached Oakland and was ferried across the Golden Gate to San Francisco.
Nearly 40 years later, as president, Eisenhower championed successful passage of the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, which created the Interstate Highway System – officially titled the "Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways." Today the system features some 50,000 miles of interstate roadways nationwide. There is little doubt that Eisenhower’s participation in the 1919 convoy was a powerful influence in shaping his views on long-distance motorized travel and transport.
This year the Lincoln Highway Association is hosting a cross-country tour to commemorate the convoy’s 100th anniversary from August 31 to September 16. In addition, the Association will hold its annual conference in Rock Springs June 18-21. For more information, go to the Association’s website at www.lincolnhighwayassoc.org.
An excellent article about the 1919 convoy by Lori Van Pelt can be found on the Wyoming State Historical Society’s website, WyoHistory.org, at