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TRAFFIC ADVISORY, Monday, Dec. 5, 1:09PM: The fire is out. No injuries reported. There was an explosion reported at a dehy plant 10 miles north of Daniel Junction (milepost 128) on US 189/191 south of the Rim around 12:45PM today. It was releasing natural gas initially, but that has been shut down. Emergency services are enroute and on scene. Traffic is now being allowed to pass by. Roads are reported to be extremely slippery. Please drive with caution through the area.  
Weather update, Monday, Dec. 5, 8:00AM: Winter Weather Advisory in effect for Pinedale area until noon today. 2-6 inches from Pinedale to Bondurant, 3-8 inches for Wind River Mountains. Those outdoors should be prepared for winter conditions. Travelers will encounter slick roads with limited visibility. Slow down, and allow extra time to reach your destination. Call 511 in Wyoming or 1-888-996-7623 for the latest Wyoming road condition reports or go to Click on this link for more road and weather links and Pinedale area webcam views.  
Fan Favorite
Fan Favorite This beautiful horse head wreath crafted by Julie Early was this year’s Fan Favorite. It was one of the many unique and beautiful hand-made wreaths created by local people and donated for the Museum of the Mountain Man’s annual wreath auction fundraiser. Click on this link for more pictures: Wreath Auction (59 pictures) Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
Wreath Auction
Wreath Auction The Museum of the Mountain Man held their 23rd annual Holiday Wreath & Chocolate Auction in the Lovatt Room of the Pinedale Library on Friday, Dec. 2nd. Not all of the items were technically "wreaths", but all were hand-crafted by individuals and organizations and donated for the event. Don Strube donated two delightful hand-made log cabin bird houses and a beautiful wood jewelry box. There was also a silent auction of delicious chocolate delights and gift items. The event is a fundraiser with proceeds going to support the Museum’s 2017 exhibits and programs. Click on this link for more pictures: Wreath Auction (59 pictures) Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
Gas Prices
Dec. 3, 2016
Big Piney2.299
Regular unleaded average.
WY & US provided by AAA.
Diesel Prices
Dec. 3, 2016
Big Piney2.459
WY & US provided by AAA.

Pinedale Local:

A Christmas Celebration through Scripture and Song Dec. 11
Sublette County Commissioners meeting agenda – December 6, 2016
White Pine Snow and Grooming update – Monday, Dec. 5, 2016
Wyoming Public Lands Initiative Sublette County Advisory Committee Panel Discussion Dec. 14
Town of Pinedale Drinking Water Public Notice
‘You Asked – The Travels and Adventures of Dan Abernathy’ Dec. 13
LaBarge Ding-the-Ling Fishing Derby January 7 & 8
Angel Wreaths still available
The Den celebrates 1-Year Anniversary Dec. 12
New brand history book available
Racy 2017 Big Piney Senior Calendar now on sale
BLM offers Christmas Tree permits for sale

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December 10: Mountain Man Christmas in Pinedale - Parade of Lights, Visitor Center Holiday Open House, Late Night Shopping. 4-6PM. Tree lighting in front of the courthouse at 5:30PM. Parade of Lights 6:00PM. Shop and Stroll 6-8PM. See the Sublette County Chamber of Commerce for more information,
December 11: Community Choir performance - Sunday at 3:00PM at the Pinedale Community UCC, 113 S Maybell.
December 31: Torchlight Parade at White Pine Ski Area - Help ski in the New Year at White Pine!

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Pinedale Online is Pinedale, Wyoming on the web. We give our viewers, locals and out-of-area visitors, a "slice of life" snapshot window into our world view of what is happening in Pinedale. Visit us for current local news on what is happening, photos of local events, links to area businesses and services and more. We are long-time area residents and are happy to answer questions if you are planning a visit to our area. Much of our information is by community contribution.


Wolf Watch, by Cat Urbigkit


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Wyoming Cowboys to play BYU in Poinsettia Bowl Dec. 21 (posted 12/5/16)
The Wyoming Cowboys will play the BYU Cougars in the Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California on Wednesday, Dec. 21, vs the BYU Cougars. Game time is 7PM Mountain time.

'The Drift' - The true story of a 100 year, 100-mile long cattle drive in western Wyoming
'The Drift' - The true story of a 100 year, 100-mile long cattle drive in western Wyoming.
Copies of ‘The Drift’ video available to order (posted 12/3/16)
The true story of a 100 year, 100-mile long cattle drive in western Wyoming
Those who would like to get a personal copy of the new video "The Drift" can now order them now and get them in time for Christmas. DVDs are $19.99 each plus shipping. Click on this link to get to the order page:

"The Drift" is a documentary from The Content Lab, LLC out of Lander, Wyoming. It is described as "A true story of the Old West in the modern world." From the pasture and mesas along the Green River to the alpine meadows near the Continental Divide, "The Drift" tells a story embedded in the history and culture of Wyoming: a cattle drive, and the people who ride it. For over a century, ranchers along the Green River have driven their cattle long distances to high pastures in the mountains of Wyoming. Now they must find their way past drilling rigs, vacation homes, grizzly bears... and an uncertain future.

In the midst of a monumental landscape, the documentary focuses in on authentic, unforgettable characters: Bob Beard and his grand-daughter Sara riding among the snorting, pluming cattle in the Counting Gate chute, shouting out and counting brands; grizzly bears picking off straggling calves at "the Bend" as biologist Zach Turnbull tries to trap and collar the bad actors; old Bobby Gilbank riding out in a lightning storm along Fish Creek to doctor a sick calf. Our cameras capture the grit and grime, the calving and winter storms, the personal stories of loss and love. And hovering over the extraordinary mountain landscapes, a foreboding cloud: the Drift itself is endangered by the encroaching modern world.

The documentary will air again on Wyoming PBS on Wednesday, December 7th at 7:00PM (Pinedale Online Editor’s comment: note new date and time from our earlier postings).

There will be an additional screening at the Wyoming Stock Growers meeting on Monday, December 5th at 7:45PM at the Parkway Plaza, American Room in Casper, Wyoming.

For more information about the documentary, contact:
Geoffrey O'Gara
The Content Lab
PO Box 973
Lander, WY 82520

EPA proposes financial responsibility requirements for hardrock mining industry (posted 12/2/16)
Companies must prove financial ability to pay for response and cleanup of environment around mineral mining sites – EPA proposes similar rules for chemical manufacturing; electric power generation, transmission and distribution, and petroleum and coal products manufacturing industries
Environmental Protection Agency
WASHINGTON – Following a court order and Congressional directive under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today (Friday, Dec. 2, 2016) is taking action to protect American taxpayers by proposing financial responsibility requirements for the hardrock mining industry.

This proposal would require that owners and operators of certain classes of hardrock mines and mineral processing facilities show financial ability to address risks from hazardous substances. Since the 1980s, EPA has spent considerable resources cleaning up contamination from hardrock mines. The most recent analysis, from 2010 to 2014, shows that the Agency spent nearly $1.1 billion on response and cleanup actions on hardrock mining and mineral processing sites.

"Far too often the American people bear the costs of expensive environmental cleanups stemming from hardrock mining and mineral processing," said Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for the agency’s Office of Land and Emergency Management. "This proposed rule, once finalized, would move the financial burden from taxpayers, and ensure that industry assumes responsibility for these cleanups. The proposed rule would also give companies an economic incentive to use environmentally protective practices that can help prevent future releases."

This proposal is the result of many years of incremental steps since the Agency identified hard rock mining as the first sector for development of these regulations. The Agency extensively consulted with stakeholders, including small businesses, industry groups, environmental groups, and state and tribal governments.

These proposed requirements complement existing financial responsibility requirements. Facilities that apply environmentally protective practices—including those required by other regulations—may be able to reduce their required amount of financial responsibility under the proposed rule.

In addition, as requested by Congress, EPA published a market capacity study to examine the availability of financial responsibility instruments for this proposal. The study illustrated the likely probability of sufficient providers and capacity to meet requirements of a future CERCLA 108(b) regulation for hardrock mining.

In a separate action, the EPA Administrator also signed a Regulatory Determination Notice stating the agency’s determination to issue notices of proposed rulemaking on similar financial responsibility requirements for three additional industries: chemical manufacturing; electric power generation, transmission and distribution; and petroleum and coal products manufacturing.

This notice is not a determination that regulatory financial assurance requirements are necessary for any of these three industries. The notice explains that EPA intends to move forward with the regulatory process, which will determine what, if any, financial responsibility requirements are necessary for these industries.

The hardrock mining proposal and the notice on determination for additional classes of industries will be published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks. The proposal will be available for public comment for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. EPA invites stakeholders and the public to share their expertise by providing comments on the proposed rule for the hard rock mining industry during the public comment period. EPA is not establishing a public comment period on the Regulatory Determination Notice.

A pre-publication version of the rule is available for review at:

A pre-publication version of the Regulatory Determination Notice for additional industries may be viewed at:

White Pine Ski Area trail map
White Pine Ski Area trail map
White Pine Ski Area opens Dec. 2 (posted 12/1/16)
White Pine Ski Area near Pinedale will have their opening day on Friday, December 2nd. They will begin the season with opening Little Spirit lift first, Great Spirit lift will open as soon as snow conditions allow. Updates will be posted on their website,, and via social media.

White Pine will operate Friday through Monday this winter with lifts running from 9AM to 4PM. White Pine will be open for all the Federal holidays as well as Teacher Training days which mostly occur on Mondays. White Pine will open daily through the school Christmas break, including Christmas Day, from Friday December 16 to Monday January 2. For more information call 307-367-6606.

Energy Share of Wyoming kicks off for 2016-17 (posted 12/1/16)
Funding is available to pay energy bills when all other resources and assistance have been exhausted
Rocky Mountain Power
Raising more than $100,000 and assisting more than 350 families statewide are among goals of Energy Share of Wyoming, which kicks-off its 2016-17 season Thursday, December 1.

Numerous Wyoming businesses, organizations and communities sponsor the program that assists individuals with energy-related emergencies when unusual circumstances create financial needs not met through existing assistance programs. Funding comes from voluntary contributions for the program that runs through spring 2017.

During its 28th season last year, Energy Share raised nearly $64,000 in private and corporate donations to assist 191 households throughout the state. Recipients of funding resided in 13 of Wyoming’s counties, with an average bill being paid of $268.

According to Leslie Blythe, Energy Share past president from Rocky Mountain Power, "We are very fortunate in Wyoming to have so many generous people who want to help their neighbors through the rough times. Over the years, our program has been very successful and been able to assist thousands of families in need."

A nonprofit organization, Energy Share of Wyoming is a partnership of numerous organizations, utilities and businesses. Sponsoring groups include The Salvation Army; Montana-Dakota Utilities; Rocky Mountain Power and Rocky Mountain Power Foundation; Black Hills Energy and Black Hills Corporation Foundation; Townsquare Media Group; City of Gillette; Wyoming Rural Electric Association; Town of Lusk; Dominion-Questar; City of Powell; Powder River Energy Corp.; Kelly Rizley Advertising & PR; and Align.

Energy Share funding is available to pay energy bills when all other resources and assistance have been exhausted. First priority goes to individuals and families at or above 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Special consideration is given to senior citizens and the disabled. Energy Share provides for a one-time expenditure of up to $400 per household, and all applicants must be Wyoming residents.

Funding decisions are made by The Salvation Army, which reviews applications and assesses eligibility based on need, lack of other resources and available Energy Share funds. Individuals interested in applying for funds should contact their local Salvation Army, or call toll-free 1-877-461-5719, to determine your local Salvation Army field representative.

For those wishing to make a tax-deductible contribution, sponsoring utilities include instructions in their fall and winter billing statements. In areas without a sponsoring utility, individuals may send their tax-deductible donations to Energy Share of Wyoming, c/o Align, 1401 Airport Parkway Suite 300, Cheyenne, WY 82001-1543.

Wyoming will host Mountain West Football Championship Dec. 3 (posted 12/1/16)
Play against San Diego State
University of Wyoming
For the first time in school history, the Wyoming Cowboys will host the Mountain West Football Championship Saturday, Dec. 3 at War Memorial Stadium. The Cowboys will face the San Diego State Aztecs in the first ever postseason game at the War. Kick-off is at 5:45 p.m. Gates to the stadium will open at 3:30 p.m.

Wyoming earned hosting rights based upon its higher composite computer average. It’s the first conference championship game appearance for UW since the inaugural Western Athletic Conference title game in 1996. San Diego State won the 2015 MW Championship with a victory over Air Force, 27-24, last December. Both teams finished 6-2 in league play. The Cowboys are 8-4 on the season, while the Aztecs are 9-3.

Tickets went on sale at noon on Sunday, Nov. 27 and are available through the University of Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office. You can visit or stop by the ticket office in-person, open noon-to-6 p.m. Sunday or by calling 307-766-7220.

Ticket prices range from $21 to $38 for adults. Youth tickets are $17. Since the Championship is operated by the Mountain West, parking must be purchased. Cowboy Joe Club members can purchase in their regular-season designated lots for $15 by Friday, Dec. 2. Non-members can buy a parking pass in select lots for $20. A limited number of game day passes will be available for $20.

The University of Wyoming will also host a men’s basketball game against Northern Iowa Saturday, Dec. 3. The start time for the game was already moved to 1 p.m. in an effort to avoid a conflict with MW Championship football game.

Wyoming roads ready for increase in traffic for UW championship football game Dec. 3 (posted 12/1/16)
Wyoming Department of Transportation
The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) is ready for the increase in traffic going to Saturday’s (Dec. 3) University of Wyoming vs San Diego State football game for the Mountain West Conference championship.

No delays are anticipated for motorists due to construction or maintenance on I-80, WYO 287, WYO 487, WYO 34 and US 30, which are the routes drivers can use to get to Laramie.

WYDOT is partnering with the University of Wyoming to ensure travelers can get to the game with no issues. Weather would be the only thing that could impact travel, but conditions are expected to be decent and WYDOT is ready just in case.

"If we do have weather we’re prepared, as always," said Tom DeHoff, district engineer out of Laramie. "We’ll have workers on standby just in case and we’ll be able to take care of anything that happens."

WYDOT’s partnership with UW and the work it does on its roads on a daily basis is in line with the department’s goals of improving safety on the state transportation system, serving its customers and taking care of all physical aspects of the state transportation system.

"We want to make sure everyone gets to the game safely and gets home safely," DeHoff said.

For more information about this news release, contact Aimee Inama, WYDOT Public Affairs specialist, at (307) 777-4013.

Related Links: Wyoming Road Condition Reports (WYDOT)

BTNF roads to close Dec. 1 for winter season (posted 11/28/16)
Most become impassable by conventional vehicles due to snow
Bridger-Teton National Forest
JACKSON, Wyo., November 28, 2016 – The Jackson Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest announced that the Granite Creek road and the Mosquito Creek road, south of Jackson, and the Shadow Mountain road, north of Jackson have been intermittently passable by vehicle over the last several days. With more snow predicted this week, the Forest is cautioning visitors to check conditions before heading out, especially those who might be tempted to drive these roads in search of Christmas trees.

All forest roads will be closed on Thursday, December 1, 2016 when the winter travel restrictions go into effect on the Forest. "Oftentimes, visitors forget that there is no snow removal on forest roadways," said Public Affairs Officer Mary Cernicek. "As winter progresses, the mountain roads become drifted with snow and unpassable. If not careful, an unsuspecting motorist could get caught on a drifted road or slide off into a ditch and the vehicle cold be stuck there until snowmelt in the spring," she said.

Winter weather conditions may change rapidly on the forest, especially with forest roads and highways. "Visitors are encouraged to contact their forest district office for the most up-to-date information," she said. Most Forest Service roads are impassable to conventional vehicles during the winter due to deep snow. Forest Service roads are not maintained or plowed for winter travel by conventional vehicles.

"We ask our visitors to take all precautions as weather and road conditions can change," Cernicek said. "Be prepared for winter driving, limited sight distance and bumpy driving on all Forest Service roads." Bring extra clothing, food, water, blankets, first aid kit, shovel, tire chains and let someone know your destination and expected day/time of return.

It is a good idea to check the Bridger-Teton National Forest avalanche forecast at Road and trail condition reports are updated regularly with help from forest visitors, trail crews and engineering reports. Please call the Bridger-Teton National Forest at 307-739-5500 or send an email to to give a report after your hike of the conditions during your visit. "We can’t be everywhere at once and appreciate your help."

2016 / 2017 Winter Programs to begin on the National Elk Refuge (posted 11/28/16)
Elk feedground sleigh rides begin Dec. 17
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
The National Elk Refuge is pleased to announce the 2016 / 2017 winter program schedule for the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center. The visitor center, located at 532 N. Cache Street in Jackson, is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily this season, except for Christmas Day.

The Refuge’s most popular educational program takes place from the unique setting of a horse-drawn sleigh. Sleigh rides begin for the season on Saturday, December 17 and operate daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, except for Christmas Day. The rides are an exciting way to observe and photograph wildlife on the Refuge. In addition to elk, passengers routinely see coyotes, bald eagles, trumpeter swans, ravens, and other wildlife.

Participants purchase sleigh ride tickets at the visitor center and are transported on a free shuttle bus to the sleigh boarding area three miles north of Jackson. Sleighs depart three to four times each hour throughout the day, with rides typically lasting an hour. The sleigh rides are operated under contract by Double H Bar, Inc. Rates are $21 for adults and $15 for children ages 5 through 12, with children under age 5 riding for free. Reservations are required for private tours and groups of 20 people or more; smaller groups or families may make reservations, but advanced booking is not necessary. Additional information on sleigh rides, including group rates, reservations, and gift certificate purchases, is available by visiting or by calling (307) 733-0277.

The National Elk Refuge is again partnering with the Teton Raptor Center this winter to present a series of "Feathered Fridays" visits this season at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center. The programs, offered each Friday from 12:00-2:00 pm, will run weekly from December 23, 2016 through March 31, 2017. The "Feathered Fridays" series was implemented last season as a pilot program and quickly became a popular success. Over 2,000 people attended one of the free programs, prompting the partnering organizations to continue the raptor program at the visitor center this winter. New this year is the opportunity for school and non-profit groups to sign up for a private Friday group raptor lesson from 11:30 am-12:00 pm. To schedule an educational program, please call (307) 739-9322.

Please visit the National Elk Refuge’s web site at throughout the winter season for announcements on special events, including wildlife tours, full moon walks, craft days, guest speakers, and other programming.

Elk hunting opportunities remain at National Elk Refuge (posted 11/23/16)
Wyoming Game & Fish
Hunters who have not yet filled their 2016 Wyoming elk license still have an opportunity to hunt elk on the National Elk Refuge (Hunt Area 77). Three additional hunt periods remain through the end of the season, which is scheduled to conclude on December 16.

The application process for National Elk Refuge elk hunting permits is conducted in cooperation with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. Applications are made through the Wyoming Game & Fish Department’s Access Yes Program web site at

Many hunters receive a Refuge elk hunt permit via a computerized drawing in September. However, once the season is underway, alternate permits also become available to hunters on a weekly basis. The alternate permits are issued online on Mondays. In order to disperse hunters over the hunt period, half of the alternate permits issued are valid for Tuesday-Friday of the respective week, with the remaining half valid for Saturday-Tuesday of the same hunt period.

Hunters apply for an alternate permit between Friday at 9:00 am and Sunday at 11:59 pm MST for the upcoming hunt period. During the application process, hunters designate if they want to be considered for the Tuesday-Friday or the Saturday-Tuesday option for the upcoming hunt period. The results of the weekly computerized random draw are then posted on the application web site by 11:00 am on the following Monday. Currently, three alternate draws remain for the 2016 Refuge elk hunting season: November 28, December 5, and December 12.

The number of alternate permits issued will vary, depending on hunter harvest rates and participation. Individuals who were already successful in obtaining an elk permit for another hunt period may still apply for an alternate permit.

Beginning in late November, Refuge daily field permits may also be available on a first-come, first-served basis. This allows wildlife managers from both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Wyoming Game & Fish Department to provide additional late season hunting opportunities to achieve population objectives. Hunters can call a recorded message at (307) 201-5437 to be notified if field permits are available. The daily field permits are the only permits issued on location; when available, they are distributed on the Refuge Road near the 90° turn at Twin Creek, approximately 3.5 miles on the Refuge Road. Daily field permits are valid for the day of issuance only and give licensed hunters immediate access to the Refuge hunt once their permit is signed.

Daily field permits will be based on the number of current hunters and the safe dispersal of hunters and animals. There is no guarantee these permits will be available.

Refuge hunting regulations, including access, a map, retrieval of harvested animals, and other information, can be found on the National Elk Refuge web site at

Printed copies of the regulations are also available at the following locations:
Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, 532 N. Cache Street
Wyoming Game & Fish Department Jackson office, 420 N. Cache Street
National Elk Refuge Administrative Offices, 675 E. Broadway Avenue

Forest Service seeks public comment on two Elk feedground permits (posted 11/23/16)
Bridger-Teton National Forest
Greys River and Big Piney Ranger Districts are seeking comments on issuing permits for two elk feedgrounds on National Forest System lands. The proposed two special use permits, one each for the use of Forest Park feedground and Dell Creek feedground, would be issued to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission for the purpose of continuing their elk management activities and associated facilities for one year period. The permits would expire on December 31, 2017.

These feedgrounds are two of 22 state operated feedgrounds located in Wyoming. The current 20-year permits authorizing use of the Forest Park and Dell Creek feedgrounds will expire on December 31, 2016. The one-year re-authorization of the existing special use permits allows for the continued management of the elk feedgrounds on a temporary basis while the Forest Service and Commission conduct environmental analyses for longer term use. "We intend to complete an environmental assessment to provide sufficient analysis for determining whether to prepare an environmental impact statement or a finding of no significant pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act," said Anita Delong, Environmental Coordinator for the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Information Is available at Comments are due by December 5, 2016. Written comments should be submitted to: District Ranger Richard Raione, Greys River Ranger District, 671 N. Washington, Afton, WY 83110 or to District Ranger Don Kranendonk, Big Piney Ranger District, P.O. Box 218, Pig Piney, WY 83113. Electronic comments can be submitted to or to For more information or to be added to the mailing list for this project, please contact Environmental Coordinator Anita DeLong at or (307) 886-5329.

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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 2016. 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!

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