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FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE GREEN RIVER Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 7:30AM: Continued high water for the Green river and its tributaries in Sublette County and northern Lincoln County in Wyoming today. Water levels expected to start to fall by Tuesday evening. Widespread minor lowland flooding is likely near the river. Area roads that could be impacted by the flood waters include Lincoln County Road 318 near La Barge and Whalen Road. Stay away from the water’s edge during flooding events. River flow is swift and the water is very cold. Banks and around culverts could be unstable and give way. A man fell into Boulder Creek on Sunday, June 25th and was swept over the falls. Fortunately he was rescued by Tip Top Search & Rescue and is ok, but it was a harrowing experience for all. Breezy with isolated thunderstorms around Pinedale today. Mostly sunny weather for the rest of the week with daytime temps in the 70Fs. Nighttime lows around 40F.  
Stranded. Photo courtesy Sublette County Sheriff's Office.
Stranded A man fell into Boulder Creek on Sunday, June 25th and was swept over the falls and approximately 700 feet downstream. He was able to climb on a rock. Emergency personnel responded and Tip Top Search & Rescue used a helicopter short haul technique to get to the man and lift him up off the rock to safety. Fortunately he only had minor injuries. Click on this link for more on this story. Photo by Sublette County Sheriff's Office.
TTSAR short haul river rescue. Photo courtesy Sublette County Sheriff's Office.
River rescue Tip Top Search and Rescue used a short haul helicopter lift technique to rescue a man stranded in the middle of the rushing waters of Boulder Creek on Sunday, June 25th. Fortunately he received only minor injuries. Click on this link for more on this story. Photo by Sublette County Sheriff's Office.
Walen Daley Photo by Terry Allen.
Bronc Riding The Hi Country Ranch Rodeo was held June 16 & 17 at the Pinedale Rodeo grounds. Four-person teams compete in cattle doctoring, branding, team roping, trailer loading, team tying and bronc riding events. Click on this link for more pictures: Hi Country Ranch Rodeo (43 photos) Photo by Terry Allen.
Gas Prices
June 24, 2017
Pinedale2.499
Big Piney2.499
Wyoming2.329
USA2.270
Regular unleaded average.
WY & US provided by AAA.
Diesel Prices
June 24, 2017
Pinedale2.799
Big Piney2.749
Wyoming2.598
USA2.458
WY & US provided by AAA.
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Pinedale Local:

Dexter Smith estate auction July 1 in Pinedale
Update on fires
Mr. Cool
Gannett Peak Lodge opens in Pinedale
Free health screenings offered at Health Expo June 28
Fitzsimmons and Kappenman to answer questions about men's health
Land Trust Annual Community Picnic July 15
Town of Pinedale 4th of July celebration

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July 3 & 4: 4th of July Chuckwagon Days in Big Piney & Marbleton - Rodeos, Little Buckaroo Rodeo, 4th of July parade in Big Piney, morning fun run, pancake breakfast, free community BBQ, street dance, fireworks. www.chuckwagondays.com
July 4: Town of Pinedale 4th of July celebration - Town picnic, 4th of July fireworks
July 6-9: Green River Rendezvous Days in Pinedale - www.visitpinedale.org
August 18-21, 2017: Pinedale Eclipse Festival - Fun for the whole family! Complete schedule at www.visitpinedale.org. The eclipse will be on Monday morning, August 21st around 10:30AM
August 21, 2017: Total Solar Eclipse - Pinedale is just on the south edge of the totality. Many eclipse related events planned in town for the weekend of the eclipse. www.visitpinedale.org
September 23, 2017: Pinedale Half Marathon - On Saturday. ½ Marathon, 10K, and 1 mile fun walk/run. Early Bird Registration rate until September 1st $35. Registration Sept 2nd to Race Day - $50. On-site registration - $50. www.pinedalehalfmarathon.com

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Tip Top Search and Rescue performed a short haul helicopter rescue of a man who fell into Boulder Creek and was swept over the falls on Sunday, June 25th. Fortunately he sustained only minor injuries. Photo courtesy Sublette County Sheriff's Office.
Tip Top Search and Rescue performed a short haul helicopter rescue of a man who fell into Boulder Creek and was swept over the falls on Sunday, June 25th. Fortunately he sustained only minor injuries. Photo courtesy Sublette County Sheriff's Office.
Man rescued after falling into Boulder Creek (posted 6/27/17)
Sublette County Sheriff’s Office
On Sunday June 25th at approximately 4:50pm Sublette County Dispatch received a 911 call from a woman who informed dispatchers her husband had fallen into Boulder creek and was carried over the falls where she lost sight of him.

Sublette County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) Deputies, Emergency Management Service (EMS), a Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper and Tip Top Search and Rescue (TTSAR) members were dispatched immediately.

The woman then stated her husband had been located approximately 700 feet downstream from the falls and was stranded on a rock in the middle of the creek. SCSO Deputies and TTSAR Swift water team members made their way to the scene about 3 miles above Boulder Lake Lodge via the county leased helicopter, hiking and horseback.

Due to the extreme safety hazard of putting anyone else in the fast moving water, a Short Haul rescue was performed. A TTSAR member was inserted to the rock via a static rope under the helicopter. A life jacket and extraction suit were placed on the trapped man and both men were safely flown to the staging area at Boulder Lake Lodge. EMS was waiting at the staging area and took over the man’s medical care.

This was an extremely dangerous mission with the best possible outcome. This rescue was successful due to the quick response and interoperability of all emergency agencies who responded. The rescue was facilitated by the staff and trail teams of Boulder Lake Lodge to which we owe a huge thanks.

This is also time to remind everyone of the extreme water hazards that will continue to exist in Sublette County for some time. Please refrain from being at the water’s edge without proper protective equipment. There are many hidden entrapments and obstacles that can put you at risk near the water.

The man was transported to Sweetwater County Memorial Hospital to be checked out and was released with only minor injuries.

Sheriff K.C Lehr
Sublette County Sheriff’s Office
Pinedale, Wyoming
Office: 307-367-4378

Click on this link for more pictures


Western Art & Wine Auction on Thursday, July 6th during Rendezvous at the Museum of the Mountain Man. The auction is a fundraiser for the Museum. It will feature original paintings, photography, and museum quality prints along with Wyoming wines. There will also be a silent auction. The event starts right after the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal awards and book signing at 6:00PM at the Museum.
Western Art & Wine Auction on Thursday, July 6th during Rendezvous at the Museum of the Mountain Man. The auction is a fundraiser for the Museum. It will feature original paintings, photography, and museum quality prints along with Wyoming wines. There will also be a silent auction. The event starts right after the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal awards and book signing at 6:00PM at the Museum.
Western Art & Wine Auction July 6 (posted 6/27/17)
Fundraiser during Rendezvous for the Museum of the Mountain Man
Museum of the Mountain Man / Sublette County Historical Society
The Museum of the Mountain Man in Pinedale is launching a new event during 2017 Green River Rendezvous Days. The First Annual Western Art & Wine Auction will be held Thursday, July 6th at the Museum. It will begin right after the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal awards presentation and author signing, which starts at 6:00PM.

Contemporary artists featured include:
Tucker Smith
David Wright
Dave Bell
Genny Albitre
Sue Davis
Kathy Wipfler
Mandy Frank
Maggie Blackwell

In addition, there will be several museum-quality prints of historic artists including:
Charlie Russell
Frank McCarthy
John Clymer
George Catlin
Carl Rungius
Frederic Remington
Karl Bodmer
John Mix Stanley
Alfred Jacob Miller

There will be a live and silent auction. Twenty-one works of art will be auctioned live starting at 6:30PM. Feature artist, Tim Tanner will create an oil painting of a historic trapper similar to the works of Alfred Jacob Miller live during the auction. Tanner’s original painting will be auctioned off at the end of the event.

Eleven lots of wine will be auctioned off during the live auction. These select wines include lots from Wyoming wineries including Jackson Hole Winery, Buffalo Jump Winery from Cody, 307 Weston Winery from Sheridan, and liqueur from Koltiska Distillery in Sheridan. California wines include Carol’s Vineyard, Diamond Creek, Treana, J. Lohr, Caymus, and Eberle.

All of the art and wine have been donated to the Museum for the event. All proceeds go to support educational programs and publications at the Museum. Auctioneer services are being donated by Dave Stephens.

A catalog of art and wine for the auction can be found on the Museum website, www.MMMuseum.com or stop by the Museum in Pinedale to pick up a printed copy. The event is a fundraiser for the Museum, so if you know anyone who loves western art, please pass the news on about this event and send them the link to the art auction catalog: http://museumofthemountainman.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Western-Art-Wine-Auction-Web-Version-PDF.pdf.

Buyers who can’t attend the live auction are welcome to submit absentee bids any time before noon on July 6, 2017.

For more information about the Art & Wine Auction, contact Sandy Smith, Art Auction Organizer, or Clint Gilchrist, Executive Director of the Museum of the Mountain Man, 307-367-4101, PO Box 909, 700 East Hennick St., Pinedale, WY 82941, or email artauction@mmmuseum.com.

The Museum of the Mountain Man was opened in 1990 by the Sublette County Historical Society, a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation. The Museum puts on many educational programs during the year including Living History Day attended by 1,000 fourth grade students from Western Wyoming each May; more than 30 programs during Green River Rendezvous Days each July telling the real story of the mountain men and Plains Indians; and the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journa, an annual peer-reviewed research publication. The Sublette County Historical Society also owns and manages the Sommers Homestead Living History Museum, Lander Trail New Fork River Crossing Historical Park, Trapper’s Point Monument, and the Green River Rendezvous Grounds in Daniel.


Mule deer & energy development impacts (posted 6/25/17)
Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
Hall Sawyer of Western Ecosystem Technology, Inc. and colleagues have published a paper, "Mule deer and energy development – Long-term trends of habituation and abundance" in the journal Global Change Biology that may have an impact on plans for future energy development in the West.

The study concentrated on the Pinedale Anticline's mule deer population as the natural gas field was developed. Using telemetry data from 187 deer during a 17-year period (including two years predevelopment), the researchers assessed whether mule deer habituated to development and if their response varied with winter severity, and measured the abundance of deer to indirectly link behavior with demography. The study took place from 2001-2015.

The researchers found: "Mule deer consistently avoided energy infrastructure through the 15-year period of development and used habitats that were an average of 913 m further from well pads compared with predevelopment patterns of habitat use. Even during the last 3 years of study, when most wells were in production and reclamation efforts underway, mule deer remained >1 km away from well pads. The magnitude of avoidance behavior, however, was mediated by winter severity, where aversion to well pads decreased as winter severity increased.

"Mule deer abundance declined by 36% during the development period, despite aggressive onsite mitigation efforts (e.g. directional drilling and liquid gathering systems) and a 45% reduction in deer harvest. Our results indicate behavioral effects of energy development on mule deer are long term and may affect population abundance by displacing animals and thereby functionally reducing the amount of available habitat."

The steep decline in mule deer abundance may have numerous causes. As the researchers noted, "Although our results are consistent with a population decline caused by indirect habitat loss and ensuing density dependence, the observed population decline could alternatively be explained by:
(1) wide spread mule deer declines across a larger region; or
(2) emigration of mule deer from the study area to avoid disturbance.
Nevertheless, abundance estimates from the Sublette herd unit declined by only 16% during the same period—a decline that largely may have been caused by trends on the Pinedale Anticline, which was included within the Sublette herd unit."

This paper indicates that its findings contradict many federal land planning assessments (NEPA documents) that consider natural gas development a short-term impact to which animals readily habituate once drilling activities are completed. "However, our long-term dataset comprising multiple generations of animals indicates that avoidance of energy infrastructure is a long-term effect that can be associated with significant population declines."

The authors also noted the extensive onsite mitigation measures that were included in Pinedale Anticline's development that were designed to mitigate the impact of energy development on wintering mule deer, while reducing the amount of habitat loss and human disturbance, may have averted an even larger population decline.

The study's implications is future mitigation strategies is significant: "Our study indicates that impacts of energy development in sagebrush steppe can be long term, if not permanent, and mitigation measures should be accordingly long term. Second, minimizing impacts through onsite mitigation, although desirable for species that exhibit high site fidelity, may not be possible. Onsite mitigation was insufficient to abate behavioral and demographic consequences to mule deer during our study.

"Third, given the limitations of onsite mitigation, avoidance of impacts by strategically foregoing leasing or reducing intensity of development of critical habitats is likely the most effective approach to averting population-level impacts.

"And finally, where avoidance and minimization are not possible or effective, offsite mitigation approaches such as biodiversity offsets or conservation banks that aim to compensate for biological impacts in one area with protected or improved habitat elsewhere are untested but warrant consideration."

The authors conclude: "Our long-term study refutes the prevailing notion that mule deer habituate to human disturbance, and instead, demonstrates that energy development can have long-term consequences for deer populations simply through avoidance behavior and the indirect habitat loss that ensues. Furthermore, as the NEPA process is based on full disclosure of the potential impacts from a proposed action, our work indicates that future impact assessments should disclose that the impacts to ungulate habitat in the shrub-steppe environment of the West may well be long-term and perhaps an irretrievable commitment of resources."

To read the entire paper, see the link below.

Related Links:
Mule deer and energy development Global Change Biology


Loves to ride. Photo by Terry Allen.
Loves to ride. Photo by Terry Allen.
Hi Country Ranch Rodeo (posted 6/24/17)
Terry Allen
It takes a lot of hard work and help from a lot of skilled people to make a success of a rodeo and that is what Clint Grimes and Keeley Jensen and their team of friends, family and sponsors have done for four years. This year’s Hi Country Ranch Rodeo was held Friday and Saturday, June 16 & 17, 2017 at the Pinedale Rodeo grounds. This is a family-friendly event. Four-person teams compete in cattle doctoring, branding, team roping, trailer loading, team tying and bronc riding events. The Champion team qualifies for finals in Winnemucca, NV. The rodeo is sanctioned by the Western States Ranch Rodeo Association.

Clint competed in rodeo and his Dad ropes, and Keeley's father and uncles competed in rodeo, so it is just in their blood. They are passing on the tradition to their daughter Ciara who is almost four and just over two feet tall. Every Tuesday and Thursday evening is Father/Daughter Roping Date Night. They load steers into the chute, Ciara pulls open the gate and Clint chases a steer and ropes it. In between, Ciara practices roping an orange cone. As I was getting all this information, Keeley told me that Ciara ropes the cone late into the evening and then falls asleep in the truck on the way home.

Anyway, one day Clint just decided he wanted to bring back the good old days of community based rodeo where people who rode horses and worked cattle for a living could come and compete with each other.

It has turned out to be quite the endeavor. It costs $10,000 to put on Hi Country Ranch Rodeo. Clint and Keeley save every bit they can as they plan the event a year in advance. All year they seek sponsors who want to be part of bringing back real rodeo. It is a non-profit and Clint and Keeley don't pay themselves, so it's pretty attractive to sponsors who like supporting passionate people who just want to do something good for the community.

They have a lot of people to pay to put on a rodeo. They pay for judges, for steers, for bucking horses, insurance, advertising, they pay for making posters, they buy countless small items that add up like, chalk, paint, banners, etc. They pay a fee to have their Ranch Rodeo sanctioned nationally, so athletes can qualify for the national and world championships in Ranch Rodeo. There are folks all over the country who like real old-fashioned rodeo.

One of the guys who helps make it happen is Casey who owns R and R Rodeo in Green River. Casey trains young bareback and saddle bronc riders. He starts them at age three and slowly builds their confidence. Saturday we met two of his nationally ranked athletes right here at the Pinedale Rodeo Grounds. Ranked 3rd and 7th if memory serves. Looks like Casey knows what he's doing.

As everyone around here knows, Jay Fear and his family go back many generations here and have been involved in the old fashioned kind of rodeo Clint is talking about. That's why Jay likes to sponsor my stories of this nature. I asked Jay if I could tell some more stories about his Grandfather, but he said I should just introduce his newest real estate agent, Ward Wise to the folks who don't already know him. Ward gave me a picture and a page of accomplishments he is proud of and so I'll share them here with you. I've known Ward for quite a few years now and he is a most agreeable and accommodating sort as I shoot photos of him at many community events during the year.

Ward Wise graduated from Pinedale High School and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Wyoming. He is married to Natalie Grassell Wise and they have 3 children. Ward is a ski coach, an avid bicyclist, boater, fly fisherman and enjoys being outdoors and backpacking in the mighty Wind River Mountains. He is a former school board member of Sublette County School District #1, former Sublette BOCES board member, former High School Teacher and former Director of Sublette BOCES. He is the Ski School Director and Race Coordinator at White Pine Ski Resort and a Real Estate Agent at Jay Fear Real Estate. He is involved in the community with the Dancing with the Sublette Stars a fundraiser for the Children’s Learning Center, Sublette County Ski and Snowboard Association, and USA Swimming. His wife is a former Rodeo competitor in barrel racing while growing up in Pinedale as well as a former ski racer. http://www.jayfearrealestate.com

Thanks to Keeley Jensen and Ciara for helping me select photos and share interesting stuff for this story.

Thank you to Dawn Ballou of Pinedale Online for co-sponsoring this story about people putting on a rodeo like they did in the good old days.

I took a lot of photos folks; I'm sorry not everyone made the story. I can go into my photo chip, use my photo-editing magic and put together a nice CD for you, for a family friendly price. Terry: txpartisan@gmail.com

Click on this link for more pictures: Hi Country Ranch Rodeo (43 photos)

Related Links:
https://www.facebook.com/HiCountryRanchRodeo


Pine Creek Flood Warning Update (posted 6/23/17)
Sublette County Sheriff’s Office and Sublette County Emergency Management joint media release
Sublette County Emergency Management Agency (SCEMA) continues to monitor flows on Pine Creek above and below Fremont Lake in Sublette County.

In the 22 June data from seoflow.wyo.gov, Pine Creek flows below the lake have been over 1568 cfs or ft³/sec at 12:45 pm. Flow for the same time period into the lake have been 2560 cfs. As the lake fills there becomes less of a cushion and water levels are rising. Currently with the radial gates open and irrigation taking all they can, water has started to go through the spillway at about 8 inches in depth. There has been no compromise in the integrity of the dam.

As the snow pack continues to melt, water in Pine Creek from Fremont Lake down through Pinedale will continue to rise as the lake equalizes its inflow vs outflow.

Please check the Sublette County Emergency Management, and Sublette County Sheriff’s Office Facebook pages for updates. SCEMA will also be sharing updates with Pinedale Online and KPIN Radio (101.1FM). Also flood warnings can be heard on NOAA radio.

Citizens in Sublette County, both Snow Birds and year-round residents can receive alerts from SCEMA and the SCSO upon signing up. Click this link to start being notified of any natural or manmade incident that could affect you and your family http://public.alertsense.com/SignUp/?regionID=1075


Flood Warning continues for Green and New Fork Rivers (posted 6/23/17)
National Weather Service - Riverton Wyoming
FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 2017, 3:36PM: The National Weather Service in Riverton has extended the Flood Warning for Rain and Snowmelt in South central Sublette County in west central Wyoming, East central Lincoln County in west central Wyoming until 615 PM MDT Saturday, June 24.

At 325 PM MDT, the Green River near La Barge was holding nearly steady just below 10.0 feet. Flood Stage is 9 feet and moderate flooding begins at 10.0 feet. The river is expected to rise to around 10.1 feet by Saturday afternoon before dropping to around 9.8 feet later on Sunday. This 10.0 foot level is similar to the crest experienced earlier in June 2017. Widespread minor lowland flooding is likely near the river. Area roads that could be impacted by the flood waters include Lincoln County Road 318 near La Barge and Whalen Road.

At 330 PM Friday, the New Fork River near Big Piney was up to 7.8 feet. This reading is just below Flood Stage of 8.0 feet but still above Action Stage of 7.0 feet. The river level is expected to fluctuate between about 7.9 and 7.1 feet through the weekend, falling below action stage by Sunday night.

Recreation of any kind is strongly discouraged on or along either the Green or New Fork rivers and their tributaries.

Even with cooler weather expected for this weekend, this flood warning may eventually be extended through Sunday due to the continued high water on the Green River near La Barge.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS
Flooding is occurring or is imminent. It is important to know where you are relative to streams, rivers, or creeks which can become killers in heavy rains. Campers and hikers should avoid streams or creeks.

Related Links:: Flood Warning for Pine Creek through Pinedale (5 photos)
Pinedale High Water and Flooding Update By Terry Allen, Pinedale Online, June 22, 2017 (22 photos)


High water warnings are out for Pine Creek through Pinedale. Water recreation on Pine Creek is not recommended at this time. Water is flowing swiftly and is very cold. There is very little clearance under bridges. Photo taken Thursday, June 22. Photo by Terry Allen.
High water warnings are out for Pine Creek through Pinedale. Water recreation on Pine Creek is not recommended at this time. Water is flowing swiftly and is very cold. There is very little clearance under bridges. Photo taken Thursday, June 22. Photo by Terry Allen.
Pinedale High Water and Flooding Update (posted 6/22/17)
Terry Allen
Thought I'd write 22,000 words in picture form and see how you all liked it. That's 22 pictures times 1000 words (a picture is worth a thousand words).

The only picture my plan doesn't seem to work on is Jim Mitchell's picture. He's our Emergency Management Coordinator for Sublette County, so I'll add a few more words.

There are 5 computer monitors on his desk and two smart phones. He also has radios/scanners of course. Jim fingers flew like a piano maestro on a keyboard that could access all 5 screens. While I was there Jim showed me fresh satellite images of road washouts, potential washouts, high water readings at various places in the county. He gets a water height reading for all locations every 15 minutes. He can zoom in on the leaning aspen tree north of Harmony bridge which is a threat to tubers and other recreational water users.

Another reason creek and river use is restricted is the bridge clearance. With only a foot...more or less of clearance, drift boats, tubers and others could find themselves in a bad situation in a hurry. Jim asks that all boaters on lakes or hikers along streams to call in trees and other floating debris that could be a safety hazard.

Take a look at the big water coming out of Fremont lake dam. Jim said, right now water is coming out at 2932 cubic feet per second. That is like 2932 basketballs coming at you in one second. No matter what kind of a superman you think you are...you can't handle that.

Jim asks that everyone sign up for the Sublette County Citizen Emergency Notification System. You can access the notifications to your computer and also your smart phone. If you screen calls like I do, the number that will call you is 307-200-4366. Here is the link: http://public.alertsense.com/SignUp/?regionID=1075

You can also become a member of https://www.facebook.com/Sublette-County-Emergency-Management-579372758805868/ There is some great information there and great videos from around the county.

Click on this link for more pictures: Pinedale High Water and Flooding Update


Grizzly delisting coming soon (posted 6/22/17)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service press release
Due to the success of conservation efforts and collaboration among a variety of stakeholders, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced today (Thursday, June 22, 2017) that the Yellowstone population of the grizzly bear has been recovered to the point where federal protections can be removed and overall management can be returned to the states and tribes. The population has rebounded from as few as 136 bears in 1975 to an estimated 700 today and meets all the criteria for delisting.

"As a kid who grew up in Montana, I can tell you that this is a long time coming and very good news for many communities and advocates in the Yellowstone region," said Secretary Zinke. "This achievement stands as one of America’s great conservation successes; the culmination of decades of hard work and dedication on the part of the state, tribal, federal and private partners. As a Montanan, I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together."

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) consists of portions of northwestern Wyoming, southwestern Montana and eastern Idaho. Grizzly bear populations outside of this DPS in the lower 48 states will be treated separately under the ESA and will continue to be protected.

The GYE grizzly bear population is one of the best studied bear populations in the world thanks to the longstanding efforts of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST). Population and habitat monitoring efforts undertaken by the IGBST indicate that GYE Grizzly Bears have more than doubled their range since the mid-1970s. They now occupy more than 22,500 square miles, an area larger than the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut combined. Stable population numbers for grizzly bears for more than a decade also suggest that the GYE is at or near its capacity to support grizzly bears. This decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) was informed by over four decades of intensive, independent scientific efforts.

The GYE grizzly bear population was determined to be recovered because multiple factors indicate it is healthy and will be sustained into the future. These factors include not only the number and distribution of bears throughout the ecosystem, but also the quantity and quality of the habitat available and the states’ commitments to manage the population from now on in a manner that maintains its healthy and secure status.

In addition to this final rule, the USFWS will also release a final supplement to the 1993 Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan for the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear population. The Conservation Strategy that describes management of the grizzly bear following delisting was finalized by the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee of the IGBC in December of 2016.

The final rule, and the supporting documents, will publish in coming days in the Federal Register and the rule will take effect 30 days after publication.

More information can be found at the link below.

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


76th Annual Bondurant BBQ June 25 (posted 6/21/17)
The community of Bondurant will host its 76th Annual Bondurant BBQ on Sunday, June 25, 2017 at St. Hubert the Hunter Church. Everyone is invited! Church services will begin at 11AM. The BBQ lunch begins at 12:30PM. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under. They will have two whole beef-luau style, desserts and all the fixings. There will be live music during the lunch. Face painting and kids events. Bondurant is located about half way between Pinedale and Jackson, Wyoming, on US 191. Bring your family and friends for a great community event. More info: www.bondurantwyoming.org


BLM begins prescribed burn on Ryegrass Fire Project (posted 6/19/17)
Smoke may be visible southwest of Daniel
Bureau of Land Management
The BLM started their prescribed Ryegrass Fire Project today (Monday, June 19, 2017), which is located 1-5 miles southwest of Daniel, Wyoming and consist of three areas containing approximately 50 acres of mountain big sagebrush. Fire operations will focus on the removal of an overstory canopy in order to create openings for other plants and shrubs that are beneficial to the local habitat.

Smoke may be visible to the public at some times. For inquiries, contact or stop in to the BLM Pinedale Field Office, 307-367-5350.


Montana wolf population strong (posted 6/15/17)
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Wolf numbers in Montana remained healthy in 2016 and more than three times the federally-mandated minimums.

Montana’s annual wolf report shows a minimum of 477 wolves were counted for 2016. This is down from 536 wolves counted in 2015, but doesn’t necessarily reflect a reduction in wolf numbers, but rather a reduction in counting effort. Included in this number is a minimum number of 50 breeding pairs. This compares to a minimum count of 32 breeding pairs in 2015, and 34 breeding pairs in 2014.

"Though the minimum count is down, we’ve long held that these minimum counts are useful only in ensuring Montana’s wolf population stays above the federally-mandated minimum threshold. The minimum count is not a population count or an index or estimate of the total number of wolves," said Bob Inman, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks carnivore and furbearer program chief.

The actual wolf population in Montana is hard to pin down, but FWP employs another counting method that get closer. The Patch Occupancy Model, or POM, incorporates data on territory and wolf pack sizes, along with hunter observations and known wolf locations to get to a more accurate estimation of wolf populations.

The most recent POM estimate from 2014 was 892 wolves in Montana, about 61 percent higher than the minimum counts from that year. Data for 2015 and 2016 POM counts of Montana’s wolves are being compiled and will be analyzed this summer.

The other benefit of the POM method is it’s a much cheaper undertaking since it incorporates data analysis rather than direct counting efforts.

During the 2016/2017 wolf hunting and trapping season, 246 wolves were harvested – 163 by hunters and 83 by trappers. This is the highest harvest to date, but only 16 wolves higher than the 2013/2014 season. 2016 also saw 57 confirmed wolf livestock depredations – 52 cattle, five sheep. This is down from 64 in 2016.

The recovery of the wolf in the northern Rockies remains one of the fastest endangered species comebacks on record and a real success story. Montana’s wolf population remains healthy, well distributed and genetically connected. In the mid-1990s, to hasten the overall pace of wolf recovery in the Northern Rockies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released 66 wolves into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho. FWP began monitoring the wolf population and managing livestock conflicts in 2004. After several court challenges wolves were successfully delisted in 2011.

The delisting of wolves in 2011 allows Montana to manage wolves as it does any other game species, which is guided by state management plans, administrative rules and laws.

Related Links:
Montana wolves - Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Wolf Watch - by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!


Beware IRS and Power Bill Scams (posted 6/15/17)
Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office
ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING - The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office issued an upgraded warning about two ongoing scams circulating in the county.

The first involves telephone calls from people claiming to be agents of the Internal Revenue Service, demanding payment of (allegedly) delinquent income taxes.

The pattern is for the caller to insist on prompt payment through a credit or debit card or a wire transfer. If the person called refuses or begins asking questions, the caller often threatens a visit from law enforcement, arrest, arrest of a spouse, or a driver’s license revocation.

Sheriff Mike Lowell said the callers use fake names and sometimes even provide a bogus IRS badge number. They may even know the last four digits of their intended victim’s Social Security number, all in an effort to make the swindle sound more convincing.

Genuine communications from the IRS begin with a letter, not a phone call. Other tipoffs that such calls are a scam include the following:

- Knowledge of the intended victim’s Social Security number or its last four digits.

- Recitation of the bogus IRS agent’s badge number.

- During the call, the sound of other, similar conversations can be heard in the background.

- The caller becomes rude and hostile and hangs up.

- Follow-up calls from a different person claiming to be an IRS agent.

Authorities make the following recommendations to those who receive such calls: If you actually owe on your federal income taxes or think you might owe, contact the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 to speak with a genuine official about your tax issues.

If you know you don’t owe any income taxes, call 1-800-366-4484 to report the caller to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

The second scam strategy concerns bogus calls in both Rock Springs and Green River, purportedly from the power company, warning you that your electric bill is overdue and must be paid immediately with a credit or debit card, a MoneyGram, or a pre-paid card to avoid service interruption; the scammers are after not only the amount of the phony "payment," but your credit and/or debit card information.

The best strategy here to avoid being defrauded is simple and straightforward: hang up and contact the power company directly - obtaining the telephone number from its website or from the phone book - to check on the status of your account.


Rock Springs to get new general aviation airport facility (posted 6/13/17)
ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING – Wyoming Governor Matt Mead and other dignitaries will be in Rock Springs on Tuesday, June 13th for a groundbreaking ceremony at the Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport. The ceremony is for the new General Aviation Terminal and Hangar Facility that replaces the outdated structure that was built in the 1920s. The $5.4 million project is 100% grant funded by the Wyoming Business Council, Federal Aviation Administration, and WYDOT Aeronautics Division, with no local match required. General aviation traffic accounts for a significant portion of the airport’s operating revenue. The new facility is expected to be operational by April, 2018.

Click on this for more details on this story: Gov. Mead to Speak at New General Aviation Terminal Groundbreaking. by Katie Glennemeier, Sweetwaternow.com, June 12, 2017


Wolf News Roundup 6/12/2017 (posted 6/12/17)
Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
Wolves Killed In Predator Zone
As of Friday, June 9, there have been 11 wolves legally killed in Wyoming’s predator zone since wolves were removed from federal protection on April 25, according to Kennith Mills with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. That number includes wolves killed through depredation control actions as well as legal hunter harvest in the predator zone.

At the present time, wolf hunting is NOT allowed in the Trophy Game Management Area (TGMA). The TGMA is where the vast majority of wolves in Wyoming live and there is not an established hunting season in place. WG&F’s proposed hunt area quotas and hunting regulations are expected to be finalized in late July.

Wolves outside the TGMA are considered predatory animals as defined in state law and therefore can be harvested. Any wolf harvested in the predator zone must be reported to the Game and Fish within 10 days of harvest, this can be done by phone. WG&F would like to obtain a genetic sample from each harvested wolf. WG&F does not manage wolves outside the Trophy Game Management Area.

Montana
Montana wildlife officials are making plans to change the way wolves are counted, easing away from trying to count every wolf in the state to using hunter sightings to help map out areas occupied by wolf packs.

Oregon
The Oregon Cattlemen's Association has given notice that it intends to sue the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for its failure to move forward with removing wolves from the list of federally protected species in the Lower 48.

Washington
Wolves are moving into the western portion of Washington state, 100 miles from the closest known wolf packs. State wildlife officials are investigating recent sightings and photos.

Red & Eastern Wolves
A team led by University of Idaho researchers is calling into question a widely publicized 2016 study that concluded eastern and red wolves are not distinct species, but rather recent hybrids of gray wolves and coyotes. In a comment paper that published this week in the journal Science Advances, the team examines the previous study and argues that its genomic data and analyses do not definitively prove recent hybridization — but rather provide support for the genetic and evolutionary distinctiveness of red and eastern wolves.

Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s wolf population has grown six percent in the last year, and now totals about 950 animals, according to the most recent population county by state wildlife officials. Along with the population increase has been a rise in hunting dog deaths caused by wolves, with state officials paying out nearly $100,000 in compensation.

For more information, check out the links below.

Related Links:
Montana - Great Falls Tribune
Oregon - Capital Press
Washington - King 5 TV
Red & Eastern wolves - University of Idaho
Wisconsin - State Journal
Wolf Watch - by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!


Rendezvous Rodeo July 6, 7 & 8, 2017 (posted 5/21/17)
Green River Rendezvous Days in Pinedale
The annual Rendezvous Rodeo will be held at 7PM at the Pinedale Rodeo Grounds during Green River Rendezvous Days.

Events will include Barrel Racing (Open, Junior, Peewee), Roping (Tie-Down, Breakaway, Team Roping), Rough Stock (Bareback, Saddle Bronc, Ranc Bronc, Bulls). Other events will be Diamond Z English Shire Hitch, Calf Scramble, Bull Poker and Ring of Fear.

Entry Fees are:
All Rough Stock: $100
Roping Events – Breakaway, Tie-Down, Team Roping (per man) $110
Open Barrels - $70
Junior Barrels - $30
Peewee Barrels - $15

Participant entries are due in the rodeo office by Friday, June 30th. All entries should include name, address, phone, entries, entry fee (cash, check, money order). Mail to SCSA, Box 405, Pinedale, WY 82941. Barrel racers are responsible for calling 307-367-2302 on Wednesday, July 5th between 4:00PM and 8:00PM to see if they are in slack.

Admission $7, under 7 free. Veterans who have served in the Armed Forces will be honored at the Saturday night rodeo. They may pick up tickets at the Pinedale VFW from Spencer Nichols in Big Piney.


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