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Kemmerer Stage
Buddy Streeper of Ft. Nelson, BC, Canada was the final overall winner of the EUKANUBA Stage Stop Race. The race is done in stages over an entire week. At each stage, communities host an evening banquet where the public has an opportunity to meet the mushers and handlers. The photo above was part of the Kemmerer Stage on Friday, Feb. 5th. Pinedale and Big Piney/Marbleton have been Stage Stop communities for years. Their races were held on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. We'll have more photos of the Pinedale Stage of the sled dog race soon. Photo by EUKANUBA Stage Stop Race.
Musher Banquet in Marbleton
Musher Banquet in Marbleton Big Piney & Marbleton co-hosted the Musher Dinner at the Southwest Sublette County Pioneers Senior Center in Marbleton on Wednesday evening, February 3rd. Dutch Oven delights have been a hallmark favorite of their Stage Stop. Their Stage Stop race was held the next day in Middle Piney. The event is part of the EUKANUBA Stage Stop Race (formerly the International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race - IPSSSDR). Click here for photos of the Big Piney/Marbleton Stage Photo by EUKANUBA Stage Stop Race.
Gas Prices
Feb. 6, 2016
Big Piney1.999
Regular unleaded average.
WY & US provided by AAA.
Diesel Prices
Feb. 6, 2016
Big Piney1.999
WY & US provided by AAA.

Pinedale Local:

Death Notice: Michael Adams
2016 P.E.A.C.E. Award recipients honored
Nordic ski trail grooming report – February 8, 2016
Wyoming Legislature update
One Lunger
Avalanche Awareness Clinic Feb. 13
ASK FLORA – Herbs for Winter Health
Pinedale Travel and Tourism Request for Qualifications
Archaeology talk in Pinedale Feb. 16
Man found unresponsive near local park in Pinedale
Girls Freeride Ski Clinic February 12th and 13th
Sublette County Rural Health Care District Board of Trustees Special Meeting Feb. 8
New providers welcomed to Sublette County
Court rules in favor of County Clerk in civil lawsuit brought by Sheriff
WLCI Local Project Development Teams hold February meetings
BLM holds combined Pinedale Anticline Annual Planning meetings Feb. 18
Pinedale Town Hall staff moves to temporary offices at Town Shop

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WYDOT Web Cam on US 189 north of Marbleton at the junction with Hwy 351  - view looking south
US 189 north of Marbleton - View looking south

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US 191 at Sand Draw - View looking north

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Fremont Lake
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Events: Click for event information
February 11: Letters Aloud - The Seattle-based Letters Aloud will be presenting a very special Valentine’s production of "LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME—Letters of Loving, Longing and Leaving." Thursday, February 11 at 7 p.m. in the Pinedale Auditorium. Pinedale Fine Arts Council presentation,
February 18-21, 2016: 2016 Pinedale Winter Carnival - Organized by Main Street Pinedale. Click here for schedule. Contact Kate Dahl, 307-231-4836 or email for more information.
March 3: Quattrosound - Pinedale Fine Arts Council (PFAC) presentation. Latin, pop, jazz and classical crossover musical concert. Pinedale Auditorium, 7PM. For tickets and more program information call 307-367-7322 or go to
March 31: Deeply Rooted - March 31: Deeply Rooted Council (PFAC) presentation. Acclaimed New York dance troupe brings modern, classical and African-American traditions in dance performance. Pinedale Auditorium, 7PM. For tickets and more program information call 307-367-7322 or go to
July 7-10: 2016 Green River Rendezvous Days in Pinedale - More info

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What is Pinedale Online?

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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BLM seeking public comment on the Jonah Year-Round Development Project Environmental Assessment (posted 2/8/16)
15-Day comment period open - Deadline for public comment is Feb. 22, 2016
Bureau of Land Management
The BLM’s Pinedale Field Office has released an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Jonah Year-Round Development Project Area. The EA analyses a proposal from Jonah Energy LLC and LINN Operating, Inc. to conduct year-round development for a 5-year period in the northern portion of the Jonah Infill Development Project Area (JIDPA). Development in the JIDPA was analyzed in an EIS and approved in a Record of Decision (ROD) issued in 2006. The release of the EA also begins a 15-day public comment period that will close on Feb. 22, 2016. The EA is available for review at

The EA analyzes the development of natural gas well pads, access roads, and pipeline corridors situated approximately 21 miles south of Boulder, Wyoming. Specifically, the development of about 245 natural gas wells by Jonah Energy LLC’s and LINN Operating, Inc. in the northern third of the Jonah Field within the JIDPA.

The proposed project requests that BLM approve an exception to existing time limitations on development related to wildlife, the proposal would significantly reduce the development footprint in the area relative to what is authorized under the current JIDPA ROD. While the number of wells (245) would remain the same, the number of well pads would be reduced from 245 to 24 and the total disturbance would drop from 1315 acres to 232 acres. These reductions ensure that the proposed project would not cause Jonah Field development to exceed the well number or disturbance thresholds previously analyzed in the 2006 Jonah Infill Drilling Project Final Environmental Impact Statement.

Written comments will be accepted until Feb. 22, 2016, and should be emailed to To ensure comments are considered please include "Jonah YRD Project Area Comment" in the subject line.

Public comments are also being accepted by mail delivery to the following address.
BLM Pinedale Field Office
Attn: Brian Roberts
1625 West Pine Street
P.O. Box 768
Pinedale, WY 82941

Comments are most useful when they substantively address specific issues, concerns, ideas or mitigation opportunities.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

For more information, please contact Brian Roberts at 307-367-5351.

Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the individual above during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

Wolf howling dialects (posted 2/8/16)
University of Cambridge (UK)
The largest ever study of howling in the ‘canid’ family of species – which includes wolves, jackals and domestic dogs – has shown that the various species and subspecies have distinguishing repertoires of howling, or "vocal fingerprints": different types of howls are used with varying regularity depending on the canid species.

Researchers used computer algorithms for the first time to analyse howling, distilling over 2,000 different howls into 21 howl types based on pitch and fluctuation, and then matching up patterns of howling.

They found that the frequency with which types of howls are used – from flat to highly modulated – corresponded to the species of canid, whether dog or coyote, as well as to the subspecies of wolf.

For example, the howling repertoire of the timber wolf is heavy with low, flat howls but doesn’t feature the high, looping vocal that is the most frequently used in the range of howls deployed by critically-endangered red wolves.

Lead researcher Dr Arik Kershenbaum from the University of Cambridge describes these distinctive howl repertoires as resembling vocal dialects, with each species having its own identifiable use of the various howl types. He says the findings could be used to track and manage wild wolf populations better, and help mitigate conflict with farmers.

The origins of language development in humans are mysterious, as the vocalisations of our closest existing biological relatives such as chimpanzees are relatively simple. Kershenbaum and colleagues believe that studying the sounds of other intelligent species that use vocal communication for cooperative behaviour – such as wolves and dolphins – may provide clues to the earliest evolution of our own use of language.

"Wolves may not be close to us taxonomically, but ecologically their behaviour in a social structure is remarkably close to that of humans. That’s why we domesticated dogs – they are very similar to us," said Kershenbaum, from Cambridge’s Department of Zoology. "Understanding the communication of existing social species is essential to uncovering the evolutionary trajectories that led to more complex communication in the past, eventually leading to our own linguistic ability" he said.

The research was conducted by a team of scientists from the UK, US, Spain and India, and is published in the journal Behavioural Processes.

The researchers made use of howls recorded from both captive and wild animals, from Australia and India, to Europe and the United States, creating a database of 6,000 howls that was whittled down to 2,000 for the study. This included combing YouTube for domestic dog howls.

These were then fed into machine learning algorithms to classify the howls into discrete types. Studies on howling in the past have had to rely on subjective human comparisons by looking at soundwave patterns, but the new algorithms allowed the howl types to be compared objectively, revealing that the various species have characteristically different repertoires of howl type usage.

While the howling repertoires of most of the 13 species analysed were very distinct, some bore close similarities to each other that may influence interbreeding and, in at least one case, threaten the survival of a species.Red wolves, hunted to the brink of extinction in the mid-20th century, were the focus of a reintroduction programme instigated by the US government, which has recently been halted due to a lack of success.

Part of the problem was red wolves breeding with coyotes, and the resultant hybridisation diluted attempts to maintain this rare wolf species. The researchers found significant overlap between the howling vocabulary of the red wolf and the coyote – with both favouring highly modulated, whining howls such as the one classed by researchers as ‘type three’.

"The survival of red wolves in the wild is threatened by interbreeding with coyotes, and we found that the howling behaviour of the two species is very similar. This may be one reason why they are so likely to mate with each other, and perhaps we can take advantage of the subtle differences in howling behaviour we have now discovered to keep the populations apart," said Kershenbaum.

Other conservation uses for the new findings may involve refining the use of playbacks to recreate more accurate howling behaviours that imitate territorial markings, thereby encouraging wolf packs to steer clear of farms and livestock. However, we know very little about the meaning of different howl types and what they are actually communicating, says Kershenbaum, because – as with dolphins, that other highly vocal, smart and social species which he studies – wolves are extremely difficult to study in the wild.

"You don’t observe natural wolf behaviour in zoos, only in the wild, and you need to know where the animals are when howling before you can really begin to try and discern meanings. But, as with dolphin pods, physically following a wild wolf pack is virtually impossible," explained Kershenbaum.

"We are currently working on research in Yellowstone National Park in the US using multiple recording devices and triangulation technology to try and pick up howl sounds and location. In this way we might be able to tell whether certain calls relate to distance communication or pack warnings, for example," he said.

For Kershenbaum, wolves and dolphins show remarkable parallels with each other in social behaviour, intelligence and vocal communication – all comparisons that extend to humans.

"As well as being intelligent and cooperative species, wolves and dolphins have remarkably similar vocal characteristics. If you slow a dolphin whistle down about 30 times it sounds just like a wolf howl, something I often do in my lectures," he said.

"The presence of complex referential communication in species that must communicate to survive was probably a crucial step in the evolution of language. I think we can shed a lot of light on early evolution of our own use of language by studying the vocalisation of animals that are socially and behaviourally similar to us, if not necessarily taxonomically closely related."

Related Links:
Behavioral Processes - Full paper available, for a fee.
Wolf Watch - by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!

Photo courtesy EUKANUBA Stage Stop Race
Photo courtesy EUKANUBA Stage Stop Race
Buddy Streeper wins 2016 EUKANUBA Stage Stop (posted 2/7/16)
Sled Dog Race
Saturday, February 6, 2016: Dan Carter, EUKANUBA Stage Stop Race Director and the Pedigree® 8-Dog Classic Race Director, announced the winners of the Uinta County/Bridger Valley Wyoming stage.

Winning the 42 mile eighth stage of the EUKANUBA Stage Stop Race is Buddy Streeper of Ft. Nelson, BC, Canada with an elapsed time of 2:54:04. With that win, Mr. Streeper is the first place winner of this year’s Eukanuba Stage Stop Race with an Overall time of 24:34:30. Congratulations, Buddy!

Final Positions for all 13 competitors:
#1 — Buddy Streeper — Overall Time 24:34:30.
#2 — Alex Stegmann — Overall Time 25:05:33.
#3 — JR Anderson — Overall Time 25:20:26.
#4 — Bruce Magnusson — Overall Time 25:31:00.
#5 — Jerry Bath — Overall Time 25:33:10.
#6 — Jeff Conn — Overall Time 26:24:23.
#7 — Gerry Willomitzer — Overall Time 27:11:03.
#8 — Al Borak — Overall Time 27:32:29.
#9 — Dennis Laboda — Overall Time 27:49:36.
#10 — Emilie Entrikin — Overall Time 27:51:16.
#11 — Jerry Scordis — Overall Time 29:14:11.
#12 — Austin Forney — Overall Time 33:27:42.
#13 — Chris Adkins — Overall Time 35:09:51.

Related Links:

Odds ‘n Ends news (posted 2/7/16)
Facebook Announces Ban On Private Gun Sales, 2/1/16
Facebook announced on January 31, 2016 that it will no longer be allowing users to coordinate private gun sales on its website or on the photo-sharing service Instagram, which Facebook owns. The new announcement came after President Barack Obama’s new push for greater gun control and longtime pressure from gun control advocates.

Wisconsin Becomes First State to Legalize Blaze Pink, 2/2/16
Wisconsin passed a new law which would allow state hunters to wear blaze pink in place of the traditional orange garb. They are the first state in the country to legalize fluorescent pink clothing as an alternative in satisfying the visibility requirement. Blaze pink has been available to purchase, but has not been legal for hunting use. Lawmakers proposed the bill in the hopes that the new color option will draw in more women hunters and to tap into a new market to begin promoting pink merchandise, which includes everything from clothing to weapons. Researchers claim that blaze pink is just as visible, if not more visible, to the human eye than blaze orange, and is actually more difficult for deer to see than blaze orange.

Video: Company Trains Eagles to Attack Drones, 2/4/16
A company in the Netherlands is using specially trained eagles and hawks to intercept aerial drones. The new venture is in response to the government looking for ways to counter the undesirable use of drones. The use of trained raptors has proven to be an efficient alternative to shooting the vehicles down or trying to use sophisticated jamming technologies to disable the craft. Trained birds of prey have been used for centuries by skilled falconers for hunting purposes.

Video: Need a New Way to Travel on Thick Snow? Meet "Droneboarding", 2/3/16
Speaking of drones, here’s a pretty cool video of someone using a souped-up drone to do "droneboarding."

Smart Gigabit Cities – Why Utah's thriving technology sector also need gigabit speeds
DeseretNews, 2/7/15
One of the great strengths of Utah’s economy is in their information technology sector, including Adobe, eBay, Microsoft and Oracle. Utah has an exceedingly large number of fiber-optic Internet connections permitting consumers to upload or download at gigabit speeds, more than exist in Silicon Valley or Boston or New York. Information highways are the building blocks for software in the same way that physical highways are necessary for cars to get from here to there. Both information and concrete highways are strongly correlated with lasting economic development. "Smart Gigabit Cities" allow faster web browsing and help lower the digital distance between communities. In addition to gigabit speeds, communities need ultra-low latency, which permits holographic-like experiences such as symphony musicians playing simultaneously in multiple cities, or remote surgery, and virtual networking. Opening gigabit data connection systems can provide internet infrastructure to boost the entrepreneurial digital start-up culture.

New Montana Ant Species Emerge From 46-Million-Year-Old Rock
Smithsonian Science News, 1/8/16
Researchers have discovered a 46-million year old queen ant species in a fossil found along the middle fork of the Flathead River in Montana. This winged female ant is the only known member of her species. Her discovery is raising eyebrows among scientists who study ants because they believed living ants evolved more recently. This discovery proves that ants have been around much longer than previously believed. Crematogaster aurora is one of 12 new prehistoric ant species discovered in Kishenehn Formation shale in northwestern Montana by Dale Greenwalt, a paleontologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and ant expert J.S. LaPolla of Towson University in Maryland. All 12 represent species new to science, known only from the locality in Montana. All are long extinct yet some represent genera that still exist. It is speculated that higher temperature climate change 46 million years ago led to the diversification, evolution and appearance of many new species of flowering plants. In the early Eocene it was as much as 15 degrees Celsius warmer worldwide than it is today. By comparing Kishenehn ant species and genera with other North American Eocene fossil deposits such as the Green River Deposit along the Green River in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah (48 million years old) and the Florissant Formation in Colorado (34 million years old) scientists can gradually piece together the abundance and distribution of North American ants during this period.

Cancer drug breakthrough announced, 2/7/16
Experts have announced results of tests on a new drug made from tree bark, combined with radiation therapy, to cure some forms of solid tumor cancer. The 'double whammy' has proved 85% effective in laboratory trials on mice. British experts who made the discovery believe this may be a long-term complete cure for many common types of cancer. The optimism is based on results from a laboratory experiment involving human tumors grown in mice. The tests covered all the major forms of cancer which produce solid tumors, including bowel, breast, liver and lung. The drug, called combretastatin, works by destroying the developing blood vessels which tumors generate to supply themselves. Used on its own, however, it leaves a 'rim' of cancerous cells at the edge, allowing the disease to return. Radiation therapy completes the attack on the tumor by ensuring all the leftover cells are killed off. The scientists found that human tumors grown in mice disappeared completely in 85% of cases. The animals were still free of the disease almost a year afterwards. Combretastatin, which is derived from the bark of an African bush willow, leaves normal blood vessels untouched. The study was done by the Royal Free Hospital and University College Medical School in London, and the Gray Laboratory Cancer Research Trust. The results were published in the journal Cancer Research. Experts now hope to start human trials of the combination therapy as the next stage. The dual treatment could be available to patients within five years.

Unearthing B.C.’s mysterious Spanish roots
The Globe and Mail, 2/5/16
Spain has no record of any lost expeditions in Canada, but an old sword and shipwrecks suggest an early presence in the Okanagan, north of Washington state. A growing body of evidence, including a Spanish sword that has been dated to the 16th century, now suggests Spanish explorers thousands of kilometres farther north than they are currently known to have penetrated in inland expeditions. As early as 1542, Spanish ships had sailed as far north as San Diego Bay and by the 1700s they had reached Alaska. Coastal features in British Columbia – Juan de Fuca Strait, Cortes Island – reflect an early Spanish presence. The historical record shows Spanish explorers sailed along the west coast of North America, reaching as far north as Alaska in the 1700s. Overland expeditions crisscrossed what is now the southern United States in a quest for gold that took conquistadors from Florida to California. Ancient rock paintings in the Okanagan include one that appears to show a line of slaves, tied together at the neck, guarded by dogs and mounted men, which was the Spanish method. Native American legends exist of the "Turtle People," said to be a native name used because of the armour early conquistadors wore. Several artifacts have been found over the years that suggest the earlier Spanish presence. The weapons could have been brought into the area by early fur traders, who first arrived in 1811, or even before that, by native traders. One of the early shipwrecks is known about because parts of its cargo, huge blocks of beeswax destined to be turned into candles for Spanish mission churches, have been dug out of the sand near where the wreck is thought to lie.

Livestock guardian dog 'Rena' went missing in November 2011 when a good samaritan picked her up thinking she was 'lost', when she was actually out with her sheep herd east of Marbleton. Photo courtesy Cat Urbigkit.
Livestock guardian dog 'Rena' went missing in November 2011 when a good samaritan picked her up thinking she was 'lost', when she was actually out with her sheep herd east of Marbleton. Photo courtesy Cat Urbigkit.
Sweetwater Sheriff’s Office issues advisory about working sheep dogs (posted 2/5/16)
Please don't pick them up thinking they are 'lost'
Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office
The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office (Rock Springs) issued an advisory Thursday concerning working sheep dogs.

Sheriff Mike Lowell said several border collies and Australian shepherd dogs were recently picked up near the Tata Chemicals Plant west of Green River. They were reported by people who were concerned about their well-being in the recent harsh weather.

These particular dogs were not abandoned or dumped, however; they were working sheep dogs that belonged to a sheep camp about 3/4s of a mile away.

Sweetwater County Animal Control Officer Chris Thomas explained the problem. "People pick these dogs up and bring them in with the best of intentions, but once they’ve been removed from their working environment for any amount of time, they often lose their working skills. Often, too, these sheepherder’s dogs are females that may have litters of pups hidden somewhere."

One incident two years ago was a typical example. A Rock Springs woman came upon seven Great Pyrenees puppies in the bottom of a gulch in a remote area south of the city and took them home, fearing that they had been abandoned. (Great Pyrenees are a favorite breed of working sheep dog.)

The pups were reported to the Sheriff’s Office and it was determined that the pups’ mother was from one of the sheep camps operating in the area. County animal control officers worked with Eddie Lopez, the county range officer, to reunite them with their mother. (The pups are pictured here with ACO Thomas.)

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

Editor’s note: There are also working livestock guardian dogs in Sublette County. In November 2011, Cat Urbigkit experienced the same kind of incident when her now-famous sheep dog, ‘Rena’ went missing while tending her herd east of Marbleton. Someone had picked her up thinking she was wandering outside lost. Rena tends to sheep herds at the Urbigkit's Paradise Sheep Company, protecting them from predators. Fortunately, Rena was returned home safe and sound several days later. See the links below to read that story.

Related Links:
Livestock and sheep guard dogs aren’t ‘lost’ 2012
Rena is missing (Cat Urbigkit’s livestock guardian dog) 2011

WYDOT releases travel information app for smart phones (posted 2/5/16)
Wyoming Department of Transportation
A new smart phone app for road and travel information has been released by the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT).

The Wyoming 511 app provides pre-trip and en route travel information, and can be used to provide location information to friends, family or emergency responders. It is available for most Android and Apple phones.

A map-based feature of the app provides information intended for planning a trip. Users can choose between road conditions and highway cameras. When viewing road conditions, a color-coded system shows pavement conditions and traffic hazards. The highway cameras view provides images from WYDOT’s statewide network of Web cameras.

Future releases of the app will add information about road construction and weather sensors.

The app improves safety for travelers who are already on the road with a "hands free, eyes free" function that speaks incidents and condition reports. Users hear road condition information for the route they are traveling on, and traffic incidents within a user-defined radius.

The app also features a "Where Am I?" function that uses GPS technology to identify the user’s location by route and mile marker as well as latitude and longitude coordinates. The location information provides accuracy down to one-tenth of a mile.

No personally identifiable information is collected by WYDOT through the use of the app.

It is available for free download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Search for the Wyoming 511 app, and look for the blue icon with the WYDOT logo on it, or go to or

Wolf News Roundup (posted 2/5/16)
Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
Wolf Delisting
A U.S. senator from Wisconsin has introduced an amendment to delist wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming. The amendment to the Energy Policy Modernization Act is the second such amendment provided by congressional members in attempt to move delisting forward. Two congressional members from Wisconsin have written an opinion piece on the need for delisting. See the links below for more details.

Wisconsin Wolves
Wisconsin's effort to transplant elk in the west-central portion of the state has been hampered by predation from a local wolf pack. More elk will be brought in from Kentucky to boost the herd.

Washington Wolves
A northeastern Washington state wolf pack is being closely watched by wildlife officials after the pack of five surrounded a pair of dogs near a family's rural home. Residents fired shots to scare the wolves away.

For more details on these stories, check out the links below.

Related Links:
Wolf Delisting - Duluth News Tribune
Congressional member letter - Read the letter here.
Wisconsin wolves - Star Tribune
Washington wolf pack -
Wolf Watch By Cat Urbigkit

Senate bill would protect Second Amendment rights of Social Security beneficiaries (posted 2/5/16)
SSA use bureaucracy to strip away beneficiaries’ right to own a firearm
Senator Mike Enzi media release
Washington, D.C. – Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., cosponsored legislation introduced by Senator Mike Crapo, R-Idaho., today (Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016) that would protect Social Security beneficiaries from being stripped of their Second Amendment rights because of determinations used by the Social Security Administration about the management and payment of an individual’s benefits.

"It is completely outrageous to believe the Social Security Administration should have any role in determining whether a senior should have the right to own a firearm," Enzi said. "It is unfortunate that legislation is necessary to protect Americans, who happen to receive Social Security benefits, from having their 2nd Amendment rights suddenly stripped by their government without due process."

In January 2013, President Obama issued a memorandum directing federal agencies – including the Social Security Administration - to gather and submit information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) on individuals who may be determined to be what NICS refers to as "mentally deficient." In order for an individual to be deemed "mentally deficient," a court, board or other lawful authority is required to find that the person is a danger to themselves or others or is unable to contract or manage their own affairs.

For some beneficiaries, the Social Security Administration will appoint someone to act as representative payee for a beneficiary who may need assistance to manage their benefits. This appointment is not made through a court of law and is not a determination of a beneficiary’s mental capacity. Under the president’s memorandum, the Social Security Administration could be required to report individuals who have been appointed a representative payee to NICS. Crapo’s bill would prevent Social Security beneficiaries from being reported and protect their Second Amendment rights.

Text of the bill, S.2495, will be referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Companion legislation, H.R. 3516 has been introduced in the House by Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas.

BLM reschedules February Oil and Gas Lease Sale to May 3, 2016 (posted 2/4/16)
Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wyoming State Office has released its proposed list of parcels for the May 3, 2016 oil and gas lease sale. The BLM also announced that the parcels originally scheduled to be offered at the postponed February 2016 sale will be offered during the May sale.

The February sale was postponed due to a severe winter storm in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The February parcels, which are scheduled to be offered at the May sale, include 80 parcels totaling 77,385 acres.

The posted list for May identifies 32 parcels containing approximately 29,736 acres and include parcels located in Carbon, Sweetwater, Sublette, Lincoln, and Uinta counties in Wyoming.

Copies of the May 2016 competitive oil and gas lease sale notice will be available at the sale and may be purchased in advance for $5 from the State Office at 5353 Yellowstone Road in Cheyenne, or by writing: BLM, Attn: Copy Work, P.O. Box 1828, Cheyenne, Wyo. 82003. Copies are also available for purchase from each BLM field office in Wyoming.

Information for both the postponed February parcels and upcoming May parcels, including environmental assessments, public comments, and maps can be found at

WYDOT to hold webinar on Wyoming’s proposed Connected Vehicle Pilot Project (posted 2/4/16)
Webinar Feb. 5, 2016
Wyoming Department of Transportation
Wyoming is one of three sites chosen by the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) for pilot projects to deploy connected vehicle technology. WYDOT’s proposal focuses on improving safety and freight mobility along the I-80 corridor, with the intent to develop a program that can be applied in other rural states.

During the Feb. 5 webinar, the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) will hold a webinar on Friday, February 5th from 11AM to noon in which they will present to U.S. DOT officials its proposal for using connected vehicle technology to improve dissemination of road condition reports through in-vehicle advisories to support speed management, detours, parking and the presence of maintenance and emergency vehicles.

Interested persons can sign up for the webinar here:

ICF/Wyoming CV Pilot Site Concept of Operations Webinar
Date: Friday, February 5, 2016
Time: 1:00PM - 2:00PM EST
Presenter: Kate Hartman - Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program Manager - ITS JPO, USDOT
Presenter: Deepak Gopalakrishna - ICF/Wyoming Project Manager

Sponsored by USDOT Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO), the Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program seeks to combine connected vehicle and mobile device technologies in innovative and cost-effective ways. Ultimately, this program will improve traveler mobility and system productivity while reducing environmental impacts and enhancing safety. The USDOT has selected three pilot sites, where teams are in the process of conducting Phase 1 Concept Development activities leading to later phases (Phase 2 Design/Build/Test and Phase 3 Operations). The three selected pilot sites are ICF/Wyoming, Tampa (THEA) and New York City.

ICF/Wyoming Site Information:
The ICF/Wyoming Pilot Project is intended to develop a suite of applications that utilize vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication technology to reduce the number and severity of adverse weather-related incidents in the I-80 Corridor in order to improve safety and reduce incident-related delays. These applications support a flexible range of services from advisories, roadside alerts, parking notifications and dynamic travel guidance. Information from these applications are made available directly to the equipped fleets or through data connections to fleet management centers (who will then communicate it to their trucks using their own systems). The project is focused on the needs of commercial vehicle operators in the State of Wyoming.

Webinar Details:
During the Concept Development Phase, there will be three public webinars from each pilot site to provide all interested parties a sense of the key issues addressed in each deployment, the conceptual approach, and expected deployment impacts. This Concept of Operations webinar is the first of three webinars focusing on: issues to be addressed at the deployment site, the deployment concept, and insights gained from stakeholder engagement activities during concept development process. The next webinar will discuss how the sites plan to measure and monitor the success of the sites in meeting the performance goals of the deployment with respect to safety, mobility and environmental impacts. The last webinar will be on the comprehensive deployment plan prior to Phase 2, which brings together the deployment concept, the performance measurement plan, and other areas (e.g., safety management, privacy, security, participant training, and application development and integration). Stay tuned for more upcoming public webinars from the three pilot sites by visiting the program’s website at:

Negative interest rates could be coming soon to US (posted 2/4/16)
Banks charge customers to keep their money with the bank posted a story on Feb. 2 saying the Federal Reserve is considering going to negative interest rates as part of their annual stress test on banks. A negative interest rate means the central bank (and perhaps private banks) will charge negative interest. Instead of receiving money on deposits, depositors must pay regularly to keep their money with the bank. This is intended to incentivize banks to lend money more freely and businesses and individuals to invest, lend, and spend money rather than pay a fee to keep it safe. The countries of Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Japan have already done this.

Click on this link to read the story: The Fed Wants to Test How Banks Would Handle Negative Rates

Related Links:
Negative Interest Rate Policy (NIRP) Definition
Federal Reserve System Wikipedia
Famous quotations on banking
1913 Federal Reserve Act
Debt-based economy
Fractional Reserve Banking Wikipedia
How money is created YouTube
The Fed and Money Creation YouTube
History of US money
Explaining inflation

Questar sells to Dominion (posted 2/4/16)
Sale impacts customers in Sublette County, Wyoming
The Wyoming Business Report posted a story on Feb. 2 reporting that Questar company has been acquired by Dominion Resources, based out of Richmond, Virginia in a $4.4 billion deal announced on Feb. 1st. Dominion will take on Questar’s customers in southwest Wyoming, Utah and Idaho, as well as their gas gathering system in the state. Questar has gas service customers in Sublette, Lincoln, Uinta, Sweetwater and Carbon counties in Wyoming. Click on this link to read the full story: In $4.4B deal, Questar sells to Dominion

Letters Aloud
Letters Aloud
LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME: PFAC presents Letter’s Aloud Feb. 11 (posted 2/1/16)
Pinedale Fine Arts Council
The Pinedale Fine Arts Council is proud to present Letter’s Aloud on Thursday, February 11 at 7 p.m. in the Pinedale Auditorium. The Seattle-based Letters Aloud will be presenting a very special Valentine’s production of "LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME—Letters of Loving, Longing and Leaving."

Letters Aloud is a live reading series where great actors give voice to deeply personal letters written by famous people throughout history. Accompanied by live music and thoughtful imagery, it’s an entertaining and poignant reminder of how correspondence has changed over the years and how truly valuable a handwritten (or typewritten) letter can be.

At the Pinedale performance, Letters Aloud will be presenting "LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME—Letters of Loving, Longing and Leaving." What happens when a letter crafted uniquely for one reader is put on stage for all to see? Intimate thoughts laid bare, intended for one, are held up for us like a mirror, making us reflect on our own hearts, lives, and times. Letters Aloud embraces the theme of romantic love in the upcoming "Love Me Or Leave Me – letters of loving, longing and leaving". By turns steamy and sweet, this selection of personal letters from such luminaries as Ansel Adams, Henry Miller, Frida Kahlo, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Taylor, Henry VIII and Guns ‘n Roses guitarist Slash will inspire your passions—and maybe that Valentine’s Day card that you have yet to write.

"We had the opportunity to catch a Letters Aloud performance in Eugene, Oregon last year and were completely blown away," PFAC Marketing/Outreach Director Tim Ruland said. "We’re really excited to bring this unique and unforgettable experience to Pinedale."

Letters Aloud live in Pinedale is presented by the Pinedale Fine Arts Council with support in part from the Wyoming Arts Council through funding from the Wyoming Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts which believes a great nation deserves great art, the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), Sublette BOCES, SCSD #1, Western Sublette BOCES #9, the Sublette County Recreation Board, the Sublette Community Foundation, Jonah Energy, Linn Energy, QEP Resources, Tegelers & Associates, Wyoming Community Foundation, Ultra, 1st Bank and Denbury. For more information please visit or call 307-367-7322, and be sure to find us on Facebook.

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