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Weather Alert Wednesday, Feb. 28, 4:15PM: Winter Storm Watch in effect Thursday afternoon through Saturday evening for western Wyoming. Heavy snow expected: 8-16 inches with winds gusting as high as 50 mph. Travel could become very difficult to impossible in some places. Blowing snow can significantly reduce visibility for drivers. Lots of black ice warnings out. I-80 has restrictions for lightweight and high profile vehicles on the east side of the state as of the time of this report. Monitor road condition reports and allow more time to reach your destination – closures can last 24 hours or more at times due to winter conditions along the interstate. Daytime temperatures in the 20-30Fs around Pinedale this week, nighttime lows in the single digits. For current Wyoming road condition information, call WYDOT toll free at 1-888-996-7623 (or 511 in Wyoming), or go online to www.wyoroad.info for maps and info for specific routes.  
Boulder Basin structure fire. Photo courtesy Sublette County Unified Fire.
Boulder Basin fire Sublette County Unified Fire was busy with several structure fires over the past several weeks. This was a structure fire in the area of Boulder Basin Road near The Place. The reporting party saw 80-foot flames coming from a single-family home. No one appeared home at the time the fire was discovered. The initial fire involved structure was a total loss, but multiple buildings on the property were protected. Photo by Sublette County Unified Fire.
Orange winter sky. Photo by Dave Bell.
Orange winter sky Click on this link for more scenic photos of the area by Dave Bell: Dave Bell Photo Gallery Photo by Dave Bell.
Gas Prices
February 17, 2024
Pinedale2.899
Big Piney2.699
Wyoming2.822
USA3.282
Regular unleaded average.
WY & US provided by AAA.
Diesel Prices
February 17, 2024
Pinedale3.999
Big Piney3.659
Wyoming3.803
USA4.108
WY & US provided by AAA.
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Pinedale Local:

Wyoming Legislature update – Feb. 27, 2024
Wyoming Legislature update – Feb. 26, 2024
Nordic Ski Grooming Report – February 27, 2024
Memorial Service for Tom Kellen March 2
Public Health is offering Healthy U Classes
Celebration of Life for Janice Bernard March 1 in Pinedale
Rec Board Grant/Budget Request hearings in March
Friends of PAC announce endowment campaign

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March 2 & 3: Ice Fishing Derby on Fremont Lake - Two-Day ice fishing derby with over $7,000 in cash and prizes. Hosted by the Pinedale Lions Club. This event is based out of Lakeside Lodge, four miles north of Pinedale and is operating under a special use permit with the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Pinedale Ranger District. Visit the Pinedale Lions Club Facebook page for a link to rules and regulations.
March 8-10: The Drift 100 - Friday-Sunday. Run, fat bike, ski. The 100 starts on the 8th. The 28 and 13 are on the 10th. Challenging adventure races. See their website for more details www.thedrift100.com.
March 16: Hardhats & Stetsons - Fundraising event for the Green River Valley Museum in Big Piney. Starts at 6PM at the Southwest Sublette County Pioneers Senior Center in Marbleton. Live auction, silent auction, raffle, refreshments, cash bar. The museum is raising money for the restoration of the outside façade of the historic Texaco building. Everyone invited.
July 11-14: Green River Rendezvous - Always the second full weekend in July in Pinedale. Make your room reservations early! www.visitpinedale.org

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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.

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Senator Baldwin announces retirement from Legislature, thanks Senate District 14 (posted 2/28/2024)
Senator will not seek re-election to Wyoming Senate
Senator Baldwin media release
CHEYENNE, WYOMING – Today (Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024), Senator Fred Baldwin (SD-14) announced he will not seek another term in the Wyoming Legislature. Senator Baldwin was elected to the Wyoming Senate in 2017. He served in the Wyoming House of Representatives from 2015 – 2016.

Senator Baldwin has played a pivotal role in shaping health care policy in Wyoming. As longtime chair of the Senate Labor, Health & Social Services Committee, Baldwin notably led legislative efforts to modernize health care in the state, prevent opioid abuse, and promote mental health. He supported bills to advocate for emergency responders and protect newborn children.

"It has been the honor of my lifetime to serve my district and the people of Wyoming," said Senator Baldwin. "There are not many opportunities to work so closely with the people of your community and make such an impact together. I am grateful for and proud of the important work we have accomplished here in the Wyoming Legislature."

"Senator Baldwin has done Wyoming proud," said Senate President Ogden Driskill. "He is a dedicated public servant and his work in the health care policy realm has made a big impact for the better for people all across the state of Wyoming."

"It has been a privilege to serve with Senator Baldwin," said Senator Dan Dockstader. "His leadership has left a definitive mark on the lives of the Wyoming people. Wyoming is no doubt in a stronger place because of his efforts."

Baldwin has served in the Wyoming Legislature for nine years. A native of Afton, Wyoming, he first served in the Wyoming House of Representatives for one term. He was then elected to represent Senate District 14 in 2017. Baldwin has served on the Senate Labor, Health & Social Services Committee throughout his service in the Wyoming Senate. He is the Chairman of the Committee and a member of the Senate Travel, Recreation, Wildlife & Cultural Resources Committee. Further, Baldwin was recognized with the Milbank Fellowship for Health Equity and the National Conference of State Legislatures Opioid Abuse Fellowship


Yellowstone National Park’s winter season wraps up (posted 2/28/2024)
Most roads, entrances and visitor services will begin to close early March
National Park Service - Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park’s winter season wraps up early March as roads begin to close to snowmobile and snowcoach travel. By March 16, most visitor services and park roads will be closed including the South, West and East entrances. The park annually closes most roads at this time of year to prepare them for a spring opening for the public.

Road Closures
The last day these park roads and entrances will be open are:
• March 3: Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris
• March 5: Norris to Madison, Norris to Canyon Village, Canyon Village to Washburn Hot Springs Overlook
• March 10: Canyon Village to Fishing Bridge
• March 15: West, South and East entrances and all remaining groomed roads

Visitor Services Closures
The last day for services will be:

Mammoth Hot Springs
• March 3: Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel
• March 4: Dining Room, Gift Shop, Ski Shop and Map Room Barista/Bar

Old Faithful
• March 2: Old Faithful Snow Lodge
• March 3: Bear Den Gift Shop, Obsidian Dining Room and Ski Shop
• March 15: Geyser Grill and Visitor Education Center

Warming hut closure dates range between March 5 and March 15.

"As a result of limited snowfall in December and January, the 2023-2024 winter season was particularly challenging for the park and our oversnow operators," said Yellowstone National Park Chief Ranger Chris Flesch. "We would like to thank our operators and partners for working closely with us throughout the season and for providing our visitors the magical opportunity to experience winter in Yellowstone."

Open Year-round
The only roads open year-round are between the North Entrance in Gardiner, Montana, and the Northeast Entrance in Cooke City/Silver Gate, Montana (via Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Junction and Lamar Valley).

Visitors planning to drive in the park during late winter and spring should:

• Prepare for changing weather conditions.
• Have flexible travel plans.
• Expect limited services. Check Operating Dates for details.
• Anticipate possible road closures due to inclement weather and dangerous driving conditions. Temporary travel restrictions or closures can occur at any time without notice.
• Stay informed about up-to-date road conditions in Yellowstone:
o Visit Park Roads.
o Receive Yellowstone road alerts on your mobile phone by texting "82190" to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions).
o Call (307) 344-2117 for a recorded message.

At Mammoth Hot Springs, the Albright Visitor Center, General Store, post office, medical clinic and self-service fuel pumps stay open year-round. Self-service fuel pumps are also available at the Tower-Roosevelt Service Station year-round.

Spring Opening
Weather permitting, select park roads and entrances will open to the public on April 19. Learn more about spring opening dates for visitor services. To plan an upcoming trip to the park, visit the park website or download the National Park Service app for more information.


Youth invited to Wyoming 4-H free Virtual Career Fair March 19 (posted 2/28/2024)
High school and middle school students are encouraged to hop online Tuesday, March 19, for an interactive virtual career night organized by the University of Wyoming Extension.

Hosted on Zoom, the annual event offers an opportunity for young people to interact with professionals in fields ranging from agriculture, firefighting and wildlife management to video production, tourism and exercise physiology. Participants will also receive information on postsecondary education options and financial aid.

While the career fair is organized by Wyoming 4-H educators, it is free and open to any youth who are interested in attending.

This year’s event features speakers from across the country, including YouTube personality and agricultural professional Greg Peterson of the Peterson Farm Brothers and Teffany Fegler, an Educational Opportunity Center TRIO coordinator based in Riverton.

"Sometimes we don’t know what’s out there, especially as kids," says Washakie County 4-H educator Amber Armajo. "This gives a small glimpse of things that are out there and encourages them to explore."

After years of organizing in-person career fairs for local youth, Armajo pivoted to offer a virtual event in 2021. The new format was a success, attracting students from across Wyoming and beyond. Last year, more than 200 participants from 26 states registered for the annual event.

"When we first started, we wanted to show kids what’s available in Wyoming," Armajo comments. "Now we’ve broadened the scope and I think it’s fun for them."

The 2024 career fair begins at 6 p.m. Mountain time. To register and learn more about this year’s speakers, visit https://bit.ly/wy-4h-career-fair.

After Peterson and Fegler’s presentations, participants will have the opportunity to attend two additional presentations of their choice. The event concludes with a group wrap-up and Q&A session at 7:25 p.m.

All presentations, including those from previous years, are recorded and can be viewed at https://bit.ly/wy-4h-career-fair. Brief bios and contact information for each speaker are also provided.

Contact Amber Armajo at amwall@uwyo.edu or (307) 347-3431 with questions.


Bunkhouse fire in Bondurant
Bunkhouse fire in Bondurant
Sublette County Unified Fire crews battle multiple fires (posted 2/27/2024)
Sublette County Unified Fire
PINEDALE, WYOMING - At approximately 9:52 PM on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, Sublette County Unified Fire units were dispatched to a reported structure fire in the area of Boulder Basin Road near The Place. The reporting party saw 80-foot flames coming from a single-family home. No one appeared home at the time the fire was discovered. The initial fire involved structure was a total loss but multiple buildings on the property were protected.

At approximately 12:12 PM on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, Sublette County Unified Fire units were dispatched to a reported structure fire in the Jack Creek and Haley Draw area. A bunk house suffered a fire and resulting in partial collapse. There were no reported injuries.

At approximately 3:59 PM on Thursday, February 22, 2024, Sublette County Unified Fire units were dispatched to a fire involving dog kennels in the Daniel Merna area. Thirteen dogs were saved and one dog, unfortunately, did succumb to exposure to smoke from the fire.

Multiple fire units from Battalion 1 (Pinedale), Battalion 2 (Big Piney/Marbleton), Battalion 3 (Bondurant), Battalion 5 (Daniel), and Battalion 6 (Kendall Valley) responded to these incidents.

Fire fighters arriving on scene were challenged with limited access due to normal winter conditions. First arriving fire units made initial assessments and protected other buildings from the fires. Water shuttling operations were utilized to provide sufficient water for fireground operations. This included running close to 2000 feet of supply hose, temporarily closing the northbound lane on Hwy 352 for fire suppression operations near The Place. As other fire crews arrived, they assisted where needed in either the water shuttle operations or with fire suppression activities.

Thanks to the preparedness, training, quick response, and coordination of the responding firefighters, the fires were contained to the buildings of origin and extinguished. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters reported.

Once the scene of the fire(s) are stabilized, salvage and overhaul begin to ensure there is no re-ignition of materials once fire crews leave. Fire crews then rehab their equipment and apparatus back at their respective stations before being done with each response to be ready for the next incident. Responding to multiple fires involving structures require much manpower, resources and time from our local (mostly volunteer) fire fighters.

The fires are still currently under investigation.

Winter is still with us so please use caution when using any type of warming aids for animal water and food and home water piping. Extension cords, heat trace, heat lamps and etc. are a necessary part of our lives. Don’t overload outlets as the power required to run heating equipment can exceed the circuit(s) ratings and result in an excess buildup of heat. Check heating lamps often to make sure they are secured and clear of combustible material. Heated food and water feeders for animals also have a high-power need so ensure that the power is supplied from an appropriate source. Electric heat tracing should not be turned on for the winter and left without periodic inspection. Having an electrical professional inspect or install the correct equipment can make a significant improvement to the integrity of these essential power circuits and possibly prevent the start and loss incurred by a fire. Stay warm and stay safe, warmer weather should be around the corner.

Authority
Shad Cooper
Sublette County Unified Fire Chief


Flag Half Staff notice
Flag Half Staff Notice – for Sheridan Police Officer Sergeant Nevada Krinkee (posted 2/26/2024)
US & Wyoming flags lowered statewide on Friday, March 1, 2024
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon
CHEYENNE, WYOMING – Governor Gordon has ordered both the U.S and Wyoming flags to be lowered to half-staff statewide on Friday, March 1 from sunrise to sunset in honor and memory of Sergeant Nevada Krinkee of the Sheridan Police Department. Sergeant Krinkee was killed in the line of duty on February 13. He will be interred on March 1 in Sheridan.


Scan this QR code to register
Scan this QR code to register
Ice fishing derby on Fremont Lake March 2 & 3, 2024 (posted 2/26/2024)
Hosted by the Pinedale Lions Club
The Pinedale Lions Club will be hosting the 2024 Big Fish Winter Derby on Fremont Lake on Saturday and Sunday, March 2 & 3, 2024. The two-day ice fishing event will feature over $7,000 in cash and prizes. There is a $1,000 Grand Prize for the largest fish turned in each day. The tournament pays four places each day as well as $100 for the biggest fish each hour and $200 for the biggest rainbow and brown brought in each day. Entry fee is $40.

There will be a youth division for anglers under 14 years of age. Youth participants must be fishing with a licensed adult participant. Entries in the free Youth division are not eligible for prizes in the Big Fish division, but youths are welcome to enter the main tournament instead.

Online pre-registration is available; visit the Pinedale Lions Club Facebook page for a link or click here: https://form.jotform.com/240246145974156. In person pre- registration will take place at Mallard’s Restaurant at Rendezvous Meadows Golf Course in Pinedale on Friday, March 1 from 6:00 – 9:00pm and at Lakeside Lodge after 6am Saturday. IN PERSON CHECK IN IS NOT REQUIRED. No pets or passenger vehicles will be allowed on the ice. Parking is always a challenge, so carpooling is strongly encouraged.

This event is based out of Lakeside Lodge, four miles north of Pinedale and is operating under a special use permit with the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Pinedale Ranger District.


White Pine finds buyer to keep ski resort open and invest in its future (posted 2/22/2024)
White Pine Resort
PINEDALE, WYOMING - The longtime majority owners of White Pine Ski Resort, Alan and Robyn Blackburn, announced that Joe Ricketts will purchase the historic ski operation in April, at the end of the 2024 Ski season. Ricketts has committed to invest in and improve the Sublette County Ski Resort following the tragic 2019 fire that destroyed the main lodge. Ricketts is in the process of working with the Forest Service to explore opportunities to extend future ski seasons through snow making. The White Pine Ski Resort is a 363-acre parcel that sits roughly 10 miles north of Pinedale, Wyoming, which despite its storied history, has been on the market since 2020, following the devastating fire.

"Owning White Pine has been an honor for my wife and me," said Alan Blackburn. "This mountain offers outstanding recreational opportunities for our community. Faced with the prospect of shutting down the resort, we looked for a buyer who is capable and committed to restoring the lodge, enhancing the mountain’s amenities to their full potential, and investing in the vibrant communities of Sublette County. We are confident that Joe is deeply dedicated to this cause.

Joe Ricketts has assembled a Board of Advisors to strategically guide the business, ensuring its success in both the short-term and long-term. The Board of Advisors includes Roy DeWitt as Chairman, Derek Schupp as President, Dave Jensen as Vice President, Brad White as Secretary, Ryan Persinger as Treasurer and Robin Schamber, Kari DeWitt, Adam D’Illard, Marie McGuire, Alan Blackburn, Steve Christensen, Travis McNiven and Joe Ricketts as Advisory Members. Joe Ricketts said, "I feel good about keeping White Pine in our community and look forward to the recreational expertise the Board of Advisors and Officers will contribute. Their guidance will be instrumental in managing the mountain effectively in both the immediate future and over the long term. My hope is to add improvements that will ensure White Pine remains a cherished destination for all of Sublette to enjoy for years to come."

The White Pine Ski & Summer Resort is one of the oldest ski areas in Wyoming and sits on Forest Service land in the Wind River Mountain Range. The resort has two lifts, nearly 30 runs with 1,100 hundred foot vertical, a tubing hill, rustic accommodations, and miles of Nordic trails for winter activity and summer hiking. White Pine has been a mainstay for local Sublette County residents for years and it has been voted the #1 Resort in Wyoming for beginner skiers.


Wyoming gets a big win in Court for coal (posted 2/21/2024)
Governor Gordon media release
CHEYENNE, WYOMING–Wyoming’s coal industry’s earned a long-awaited legal win today (Feb. 21, 2024), as three Ninth Circuit judges unanimously sided with Wyoming’s arguments in support of the continuation of the federal coal-leasing program. The decision vacated a lower court order that reinstated Obama-era coal-leasing restrictions and required federal officials to perform duplicative National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis.

"This ruling is an unequivocal win for our coal industry and a reminder that the Biden Administration has to follow the law," Governor Mark Gordon said. "The Department of Interior now has one less excuse to thwart its federal coal leasing responsibilities. I appreciate the Attorney General and her staff for their excellent work on this case."

The complicated case spanned seven years and involved conflicting orders issued by former Interior Secretaries, in which Secretary Jewel issued an order to cease federal coal leasing and conduct a Programmatic Environmental Statement on the entire coal leasing program. Before that review was complete, Secretary Zinke rescinded the Jewel Order so coal leasing could resume; lastly Secretary Haaland rescinded the Zinke order. The district court ruled that the Department of the Interior needed to conduct additional NEPA analysis before resuming coal leasing under its existing authorities. Wyoming argued that the case was moot, because the Zinke order was rescinded by Secretary Haaland.

Litigation costs for Wyoming were covered by the Federal Natural Resource Policy Account as directed by Governor Gordon.


Sublette County man killed in crash near Jackson, Wyoming (posted 2/16/2024)
Wyoming Highway Patrol
A crash on Friday, February 16 has resulted in the death of 31-year-old Shane Copeland of Sublette County, Wyoming. The crash involved two vehicles, a Ford F-550 pickup truck and a Wyoming Department of Transportation 2014 Mack plow truck.

The crash occurred around 3:30 a.m. at milepost 151 on US Highway 89 a quarter of a mile south of the town of Jackson. The WYDOT plow was traveling southbound around 25 mph on US 89 conducting plowing operations when the F-550 traveled northbound into the southbound lane. The plow operator made an evasive turn trying to avoid the pickup truck, but the two vehicles collided.

A second WYDOT vehicle had just left the WYDOT yard moments before and was traveling northbound on US 89 and witnessed the collision. Fire and EMS personnel responded to extricate the driver of the F-550. Despite their best efforts, Copeland succumbed to his injuries at the scene.

The driver of the WYDOT plow was wearing their seatbelt and suffered minor injuries, and was treated at the scene and released. US 89 in both directions near the crash was closed for two hours while troopers conducted an investigation and cleaned up the wreckage.

Driver fatigue is being investigated as a contributing factor to the crash.


Barrasso in South Africa
Senator Barrasso visits Wyoming Troops in East Africa (posted 2/16/2024)
Senator John Barrasso media release
DJIBOUTI, AFRICA – This week, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) visited with members of the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing in Africa. They are assigned to the 75th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron (EAS) at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti.

The Wyoming Air National Guard has more than 100 service members currently serving with the 75th EAS in Djibouti. They help provide tactical airlift support to various units in East Africa using their C-130H Hercules aircraft, all under the operation of the Wyoming Air National Guard.

"Wyoming is proud of the sacrifice and service of our brave men and women in uniform around the world. We have Wyoming service members from all across our great state stationed ten time zones away from home in East Africa," said Senator Barrasso. "Every day, these men and women face increasing threats from our enemies abroad. Their dedication to protecting our freedoms, allies and national security does not go unnoticed. I made sure each and every one of them knows Wyoming is always thinking of them and how grateful we are for their service."

The service members Barrasso visited with are from Alpine, Carpenter, Casper, Cheyenne, Gillette, Laramie, and Lingle.

During his visit, Senator Barrasso toured the base and received a briefing from military officials on the security situation and challenges in the region.


Text-to-911 now available in Sublette County (posted 2/9/2024)
Sublette County Sheriff’s Office
The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office Communication Center is excited to announce the launch of Text to 911, Inbound non-emergency text, Text Language Translation, and Real-Time Text (RTT).

This addition to our technology suite will significantly improve our ability to respond to emergencies effectively and efficiently in the community when a traditional 911 call is not an option.

Text to 911 allows dispatch to receive inbound emergency text in the Prepared Live interface. This will allow someone who can’t make a voice call to text us in emergencies. This is exciting for the hearing-impaired, a person in unfortunate situations where making a phone call could put the caller in danger, and backcountry rescue, just to name a few. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to text 911, be prepared to describe the nature and location of your emergency and answer all the questions asked by the dispatcher.

Call if you can, text if you can’t.

Inbound non-emergency text allows dispatch to receive non-emergency text when a voice call is not optional. Again, call if you can, text if you can’t. The number to text in non-emergency situations is 307-448-6477.

Text Language Translation auto-detects and translates incoming foreign languages and allows us to respond in the same language.

Real-Time-Text (RTT) is a feature that instantaneously transmits the text of your typed messages to the recipient. It is frequently used by device users who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or have a speech-related disability, and can be crucial for these callers in an emergency.

TEXT-TO-911
NON-EMERGENCY TEXT 307-448-6477
CALL IF YOU CAN, TEXT IF YOU CAN’T


International Guitar Night Feb 16 in Pinedale - 2024
International Guitar Night Feb. 16 (posted 1/25/2024)
Pinedale Fine Arts Council
The Pinedale Fine Arts Council (PFAC) is proud to present International Guitar Night live at the Sheppard Auditorium on Friday, February 16, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now!

Join us for the 24th Annual North American Tour of International Guitar Night, a celebration of the world's most innovative and diverse guitar talents featuring:

Luca Stricagnoli: Mesmerizing Italian Guitarist
Luca Stricagnoli is a world-renowned guitarist known for his innovative fingerstyle techniques and genre-blending musical arrangements. Hailing from Italy, but now based in Nashville, Luca's mesmerizing performances have earned him a massive social media following and critical acclaim from fellow musicians and critics alike worldwide. He performs songs from contemporary rock, film scores and mind-bending originals with double and triple neck guitars he himself designed. His website is LucaStricagnoli.com.

Thu Le: Vietnamese Classical Guitarist
Thu Le, an internationally acclaimed classical guitarist, started her love affair with the guitar at the age of four. An award-winning artist, she became the youngest ever student admitted to the National Conservatory of Music, Hanoi, at the age of seven. Thu Le's passion for the guitar has taken her around the world, hosting successful master classes and performing solo. Regularly featured in prestigious festivals, she remains close to her cultural roots, performing regularly in her native Vietnam. Learn more at ThuLeGuitarist.com.

Marco Pereira: Brazilian Composer and Guitarist
Marco Pereira is a brilliant solo guitarist who has collaborated with top Brazilian singers and composers. Influenced by jazz, Latin-American, and Brazilian music, Marco's compositions have won international acclaim. His compositions, published globally, have been played and recorded by countless guitarists, including Yamandu Costa and the Assad Brothers. Marco is a professor emeritus at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. You can learn more about him at MarcoPereira.com.br.

Minnie Marks: Australian Blues Slide Guitarist & Singer
Minnie Marks is more than just an electrifying guitarist; she is a triple threat - singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Armed with an old Goldtop and a revolutionary Farmer Foot Drum, Marks consistently pushes musical limits with her mind-blowing guitar wizardry and a powerful voice. From winning prestigious competitions to creating bone-shaking grooves with her Foot Drum kit, Minnie Marks is a force to be reckoned with. Explore her world at MinnieMarks.com.

Tickets for International Guitar Night are available online at pinedalefinearts.com and locally at Nested West, The Cowboy Shop, Office Outlet, The Big Piney Office Outlet and at the door the night of the performance. Ticket prices are $20 adults / $7 students.

This event 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, Sublette BOCES #1, the Sublette County Recreation Board, Pinedale Travel & Tourism, the Wyoming Community Foundation - Sublette, Tegeler & Associates, Jonah Energy, Purewest, The Western States Arts Federation and The Rocky Mountain Power Foundation.

For more information please visit pinedalefinearts.com or call 307-367-7322. And be sure to find us on Facebook and Instagram!


Governor Gordon issues emergency relief order for heating fuel delivery (posted 1/22/2024)
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has signed an executive order to allow motor carriers delivering heating fuels – propane, natural gas and heating oil – to operate outside the regular operating daylight hours.

Under the emergency relief order issued by the Governor, a state of emergency exists in Wyoming for the prompt delivery of propane. This emergency requires that propane transportation and delivery within the State of Wyoming be exempt from 49 CFR 395.3.

However, nothing contained in this Order shall be construed as an exemption from the controlled substances, alcohol use, and testing requirements (49 CFR 382), the commercial driver's license requirements (49 CFR 383), the financial responsibility requirements (49 CFR 387), applicable size and weight requirements, or any other portion of the regulations not specifically identified in this Order.

While under this Order, heating fuel transportation or delivery companies shall not require or allow any fatigued driver to operate a delivery vehicle. A driver who informs a carrier that they need immediate rest shall be given adequate rest before the driver is required to return to service.

The executive order expires at the conclusion of the state of emergency or midnight Feb. 18, whichever occurs first.

Please contact WHP’s commercial carrier unit at 307-777-4301 if you have any questions about this Order.


Bridger-Teton releases Draft Decision for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (posted 1/13/2024)
Bridger-Teton National Forest
The Bridger-Teton National Forest, Jackson Ranger District has completed the Final Environmental Assessment and the Draft Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Recreation Enhancements Project – 2023 Project. Of the 35 projects originally proposed, two projects including Alta Chutes and North Hoback Woods were not carried forward in the analysis and one project was added for additional analysis of the Corbet’s Cabin utility line. District Ranger Todd Stiles has decided to approve these projects proposed by Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and to allow implementation over the next 6-years. The projects approved include items such as a lift replacement; ski run, traverse, and terrain park modifications; construction and modification of visitor-service facilities; development of new summer recreation opportunities; fuels reduction; avalanche control infrastructure; and utilities. The objection period will run for 45-days.

A 30-day public joint scoping and comment period began on July 1, 2023 and comments were received from two agencies, one organization, and 53 individuals. Additionally, the Forest hosted a public open house on the proposed projects on July 13, 2023.

The objection period will run for 45-days after the publication of the legal notice announcing this draft decision and is open through February 26, 2024. Objections are accepted from individuals and entities per the regulations at 36 CFR 218.5(a).

Objections must be postmarked (if sent via postal mail), faxed, or submitted electronically via the project webpage at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/btnf/?project=64355, Click on the "Comment/Object on Project" located in the right column, within 45 days following publication of the legal notice. Mailed objections should be sent to Objection Reviewing Officer, JHMR Recreation Enhancements Project – 2023, Forest Service Intermountain Regional Office, 324 25th Street, Ogden, UT 84401. Objections may be faxed to 801-625-5365.

The Final EA and Draft DN/FONSI are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/btnf/?project=64355. For additional information, contact Mariah Radue, Environmental Coordinator, mariah.radue@usda.gov.


WSGS publishes annual Uranium, Oil and Gas Summary Reports (posted 1/10/2024)
Wyoming State Geological Survey
Two Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) summary reports, released today, offer a snapshot of how the uranium and oil and natural gas industries fared in Wyoming last year. Overall, the news is positive, with growing optimism for uranium production at both the state and national levels, and a slight uptick in oil production. However, natural gas production in the state continued its several-years steady decline.

"Wyoming is at the forefront nationally in terms of uranium production and nuclear facility development, as well as implementation of legislation focusing on multiple uses of the subsurface," says Dr. Erin Campbell, State Geologist and director of the WSGS. "Wyoming’s geology makes it appealing to a variety of energy and mineral industries, and our state has been extremely proactive in advocating for these industries."

Uranium
Improved uranium prices, combined with growing support for nuclear energy as well as geopolitical events, boosted interest in U.S. uranium last year. This is good news for Wyoming, which holds the largest-known economic uranium ore reserves in the United States. It also comes after a period of negligible domestic production.

With the positive shift, uranium companies have refocused on Wyoming mines by increasing staff, expanding facilities, and investing in additional exploration. This has led to the resumption of commercial production at the Lost Creek ISR Mine in Carbon County, the first uranium mine in the country to ramp up operations in response to higher prices and increasing sales contracts.

Oil and natural gas
Oil production is growing nationwide. This includes production in Wyoming, albeit at a slower rate. Oil production in the state in 2023 is expected to total more than 93 million barrels, once numbers are finalized in the coming months. Also, despite Wyoming 2023 crude oil prices remaining lower than 2022, prices continue to show significant recovery from the pandemic lows.

Even though natural gas production is on the rise in the United States as a whole, production in Wyoming has steadily decreased since the height of the coalbed methane boom in 2009; last year was no exception due to few new gas wells being drilled. Natural gas production in 2023 is estimated to total about 1.2 trillion cubic feet, which is about 100 billion cubic feet less than 2022 production.

This year’s oil and gas summary also includes information on pore space and carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS). Pore space refers to the gap between particles in a rock that can hold oil, gas, water, or other fluids. The goal of CCUS is to permanently sequester carbon dioxide underground in these pore spaces—or to repurpose the gas for other uses—instead of adding it to the atmosphere.

The report explains why Wyoming is a prime location for CCUS, in addition to providing a brief overview of the geology of carbon capture and storage, the legal framework, planned CCUS projects in Wyoming, as well as several links for additional CCUS-related resources.

Both reports are available as free downloads from the WSGS website. Summary reports are published annually to highlight developments in Wyoming's mineral industries and other important geologic topics in the state. More in-depth information can be found in other WSGS publications, on the website, or by contacting the agency and its staff geologists.


Wildlife collisions
WYDOT receives $24.3 million federal grant for Kemmerer wildlife crossing project (posted 12/27/2023)
Funding will be used for an overpass, several underpasses and fencing along a 30-mile stretch of US 189 south of Kemmerer
Wyoming Department of Transportation
The Wyoming Department of Transportation will receive a $24.3 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to complete a wildlife crossing project south of Kemmerer, Wyoming.

The grant will be used for the Kemmerer Wildlife Crossing Project on U.S. Highway 189 in southwest Wyoming. The project will consist of five underpasses, one overpass and fencing improvements along a 30-mile stretch between Evanston and Kemmerer.

The project will provide motorists with a safer means of travel while ensuring wildlife can continue to migrate between seasonal ranges. Along U.S. 189, an average of 80 deer-vehicle collisions are reported annually — although this number is likely underreported. Traffic is expected to increase on this stretch of road in the coming years as a nuclear power facility will be constructed near Kemmerer. Once completed, this project is anticipated to eliminate 80-90% of wildlife-vehicle collisions.

The Kemmerer project will help the Wyoming Range and Uinta deer herds, as well the Carter Lease pronghorn herd.

The Federal Highway Administration award is part of the $350 million available through the federal wildlife crossing pilot program funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Approximately $112 million was allocated during this first round of awards, with WYDOT receiving more than 20% of the available funding for the Kemmerer project.

The total cost of this project is expected to be $37.4 million. In addition to the federal grant and $4.2 million in WYDOT formula funds, the Wyoming Transportation Commission, Game and Fish Commission, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust and partners contributed $8.8 million to fully fund the project. The project will go out to bid in early 2024 and is expected to take 2-3 construction seasons to complete.

This project would not be possible without the support from public, private and nonprofit partners including the WYldlife Fund, Transportation Commission, Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, the Wyoming Legislature and Wyoming’s Congressional delegation.

The following donors helped accrue nearly $1 million to help fund this project:

• Genesis Alkali Wyoming
• SOS Well Services
• Supporters of the annual Golf For Wildlife Outing
• Spire Storage
• TerraPower
• The WYldlife Fund
• Williams Energy
• Wyoming Wildlife Federation
• Knobloch Family Foundation
• Mule Deer Foundation
• Muley Fanatic Foundation Blue Ridge Chapter
• Muley Fanatic Foundation Headquarters
• NextEra Energy Foundation
• Project West
• Rocky Mountain Power Foundation

Early successes of wildlife crossings in Wyoming have made it clear that WYDOT, Game and Fish and partners could cooperatively address the issues of roads and wildlife. In 2017, stakeholders partnered to host a summit to find solutions to wildlife-vehicle collisions in Wyoming. During the summit, the group identified 240 locations statewide to reduce such collisions. Since then, momentum on wildlife crossing projects has continued to build. In 2018, the Wyoming Legislature approved a specialized conservation license plate. Proceeds from the license plates help fund wildlife crossing projects to prevent vehicle/animal collisions. Nearly 3,000 conservation license plates have been sold.

Source: https://wgfd.wyo.gov/News/WYDOT-receives-%2424-3-million-federal-grant-for-Kem, Wyoming Game & Fish, Dec. 4, 2023


Wyoming funds investment to expand high-speed internet access in the state (posted 12/13/2023)
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon media release
Governor Mark Gordon announced that Wyoming has recommended funding 32 applications totaling $70.5 million in federal funds to expand broadband to more than 11,000 locations across the state that do not currently have access to high-speed internet.

"This is the single-largest broadband investment in Wyoming history," Governor Gordon said. "These federal funds will ensure Wyoming communities and businesses that currently lack access to high-quality internet will be equipped with the modern infrastructure they need to access critical services."

The U.S. Treasury launched the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (CPF) in 2021, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) which provides $10 billion for eligible governments to carry out critical capital projects that directly enable work, education, and health monitoring, including remote options, in response to the COVID 19 public health emergency.

Governor Gordon designated $70 million of the ARPA/CPF funding for broadband infrastructure improvements across the state to ensure Wyomingites have the ability to telework, learn from home, and access telemedicine. The Wyoming Business Council Broadband Office is the administrator of the funds.

In February 2023, the US Treasury approved $70.5 million to expand broadband infrastructure in Wyoming through the CPF program. All projects must be completed by December 31, 2026.

The Connect Wyoming CPF program was designed to distribute this CPF funding, focusing on deploying broadband infrastructure to bring high-quality internet service to unserved or underserved homes, businesses, and communities.

Aligned with U.S. Treasury Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund guidance, fiber-optic infrastructure is the preferred solution, providing future-proof capital investment for bandwidth scalability as technology evolves with future bandwidth requirements. The program’s goal is to provide affordable universal access to reliable broadband services with a minimum of 100 Mbps upload and download speeds with low latency in the awarded areas, focusing on broadband access to unserved and underserved areas, with all infrastructure to be installed, owned, and operated by the applicant.

The Wyoming Business Council (WBC) received 116 applications totaling $413 million in project costs, with $88 million in provider contributions, for a total grant request of $325 million. The WBC retained CTC Technologies as an independent unbiased consultant to review the applications and make a recommendation to the council for the grant awards.

"We received a number of excellent applications from internet service providers across Wyoming and these awards enhance connectivity in all corners of the state," shared Josh Dorrell, CEO of the Wyoming Business Council. "These are big, complex projects that will help us build local capacity and create more opportunities for the people of Wyoming to learn, do business, and enjoy a higher quality of life."


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