Jackson Hole building 3-story tall vertical harvest greenhouse (posted 12/21/14)
Photo courtesy Vertical Harvest.
Will supply fresh vegetables to local community
Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
We’ve been intrigued by the concept of the space-saving, indoor vertical gardening techniques as a way for Wyomingites to have gardens in our high-elevation, short-growing season climate.
It recently came to our attention that a company in Jackson Hole, north of Pinedale, is taking the vertical gardening concept to a whole new level. A company called Vertical Harvest has teamed up with the Town of Jackson in a public/private partnership and are in the process of building a three-story tall vertical hydroponic greenhouse. They have acquired a 30 foot wide x 150 foot long, 1/10th of an acre empty lot belonging to the Town of Jackson adjacent to the Town’s downtown municipal parking garage on the corner of Millward and Simpson Streets.
They plan to grow tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce, herbs, specialty and microgreens, and more which will be purchased by local area restaurants, local grocery stores and businesses, and directly to consumers. Approximately 95% of their anticipated harvest is already contracted for local delivery.
The 13,500 square foot greenhouse will have three floors and grow produce year-round. By going vertical (up), they can maximize space and create basically three horizontal greenhouses stacked on top of each other and have about the equivalent of 5 acres of conventional agriculture growing space. The growing trays will be on a revolving carousel and on a timer that fully maximizes each plant’s exposure to available natural south-facing sunlight (kind of like a dry cleaning moving rack) – a rotating living wall. Plants are suspended in an organic base in a system of circulating water rather than soil. The company expects to grow 100,000 pounds of vegetables a year in the greenhouse. Click here to view a video explaining more about the project.
The women who own the company have been working on this project for the past five years. They plan to provide jobs for people in the community who have development disabilities. Workers will be trained on seeding, caring for the plants, and harvesting, as well as work in the retail store and assisting with deliveries.
The company has received approval for a $1.5 million loan from the State of Wyoming for the project, in addition to a $300,000 grant from the Town of Jackson, funding from 1% for the Tetons, as well as numerous private donations from supporters.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the project was held on Friday, December 19, 2014. The greenhouse is planned to open in the fall of 2015.
Click on the related links below for more on this story.
Penny McBride – Project Administrator, 307-413-6797
PO Box 7290
Jackson, WY 83002
Jackson Hole’s Vertical Harvest greenhouse By Allen Best, mountaintownnews.net, January 16, 2014
www.verticalharvestjackson.com Vertical Harvest of Jackson
Vertical Harvest – Facebook page
Vertical Harvest Kickstarter Conversation Jan. 3, 2013
Larrssen Ltd. Greenhouse Engineering (Danish company)
Vertical vegetable gardening
Pocket planters, indoor/outdoor vertical gardens, green walls
USDA plant hardiness zone map
Pulling water out of the air (posted 12/21/14)
In some arid countries, obtaining water is a significant challenge. The Smithsonian website has an article about a device being tested in Ethiopia, Africa, that collects condensation created from differences between day and nighttime temperatures to gather as much as 25 gallons of clean drinkable water per day from the air. The 30-foot tall device is called Warka Water, created by Arturo Vittori, an industrial designer, and his colleague Andreas Vogler.
Click on this link to read the article by the Smithsonian: This Tower Pulls Drinking Water Out of Thin Air By Tuan C. Nguyen, Smithsonian.com, April 8, 2014
Click on this link to read more about www.water.org
Clear solar windows may be a next-generation energy source (posted 12/21/14)
Researchers at Michigan State University are working on developing transparent solar collectors that let sunlight in while turning ultraviolet and near-infrared light into electricity. The clear plastic solar collectors can be placed on windows without obstructing the view or on car windows to collect energy.
At first, commercial applications are likely to appear on small energy requiring applications such as adhered to the screens of mobile devices. In cities, where space is limited to install solar panels, but buildings have a lot of window space already built in, the technology has the potential to supplement the building’s current energy use. Just like today’s solar panels, the technology still isn’t very energy efficient. But if researchers can figure out how to maximize the energy recovery, it could help reduce reliance on outside energy sources and provide buildings with an independent backup energy source.
Read the article on the Smithsonian website here: This Clear Plastic Material Harvests Solar Energy Without You Even Knowing It's There By Matt Safford, Smithsonian.com, September 30, 2014
Click on this link to read more about a company founded by the researchers working on commercializing this light harvesting technology: www.ubiquitous-energy.com.
Solar CME may sideswipe Earth in next several days (posted 12/20/14)
Photo taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory
Solar flare electromagnetic pulses can impact your electronics or telecommunications equipment
There was an X-class eruption from the Sun today (Saturday, December 20th) that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasters say may have ejected a large solar cloud CME whose trajectory may cross the Earth’s path in two or three days and may cause some minor geomagnetic storms this weekend.
This is a natural event, but one that anyone with electronics or dependent on telecommunications equipment should be aware of and may want to monitor updates. Most people are unprepared for CME events, some of which, whether natural or man-caused terrorism events, can damage or destroy electronic equipment, blackout telecommunications, and even disable electronic controls in vehicles.
When sunspots erupt from our Sun they can create solar flares or coronal mass ejection (CME) plumes of particle material that fly away from the eruption site on the surface of the Sun into space. These eruptions can produce bursts of radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to x-rays and gamma-rays. Some of that ejected material can reach the earth within hours or may take days. If that ejected plume traveling into space from the Sun crosses the path of the Earth, it can cause minor to major impacts and disruptions to electronic communication systems, depending on the size and intensity of the eruption from the Sun. Government and private entities watch and track these incidents and alerts are issued if there appears to be a possibility of a brush with our atmosphere that might impact telecommunications, air traffic, or other national interests.
Scientists classify solar flares according to their x-ray brightness in the wavelength range 1 to 8 Angstroms. There are 3 categories: X-class flares are big and are major events that can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms. M-class flares are medium-sized that can cause brief radio blackouts that affect Earth's polar regions. Minor radiation storms sometimes follow an M-class flare. Compared to X- and M-class events, C-class flares are small with few noticeable consequences here on Earth.
According to information posted on spaceweather.com for Dec. 20th, radio emissions from shock waves rippling through the sun's atmosphere suggest that a CME is en route from today’s solar eruption. However, they are still waiting for data from the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) coronagraphs to confirm the existence and trajectory of a massive storm cloud. If a CME is coming, it will probably take 2 to 3 days to reach Earth.
For those interested in more information, how to receive space weather alerts, and what you can do to protect your electronics, check out the links below. Much more information is available by doing a keyword search on the interenet.
Coronal mass ejection (CME) Wikipedia
Solar Flare vs. CME - What's The Difference? Video - Space.com
SOHO Solar & Heliospheric Observatory
Can We Predict Solar Flares—And Protect Our Satellites? Popular Mechanics, Oct. 22, 2014
Protecting Your Electrical Equipment from Solar Flares. By Mike Bertone, Mastersconnection.com
Electromagnetic Pulse Protection Futurescience.com
DOI proposes tighter regulation and costs for coal industry (posted 12/19/14)
Bureau of Land Management media release
Interior Department Announces Initial Steps to Strengthen Federal Energy Valuation Rules, Expand Guidance on Federal Coal Program
Initiatives provide certainty, additional clarity for energy industry, and help ensure the collection of every dollar due to the American public
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of the Interior today announced the release of a draft proposed federal regulation by the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) governing the valuation of federal oil and gas, and federal and American Indian coal resources, as well as expanded guidance on the production of coal on public lands issued by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Both initiatives seek to provide greater clarity and certainty for the energy industry and are part of the Department’s larger effort to help ensure the American public receives every dollar due for domestic energy resources.
The current oil, gas and coal valuation regulations – originally put in place for natural gas and coal in the late 1980s – have not kept pace with the significant market changes that have occurred in the domestic natural gas and coal markets since that time. The existing federal oil valuation regulations are a decade old. The proposed draft regulation being released by ONRR today will update the regulations to help keep pace with modern technology and practices.
"Coal produced on public lands is an important part of our domestic energy portfolio, but we have an obligation – and we are fully committed – to ensure that the American taxpayer receives a fair return for the production of domestic energy resources," said Deputy Secretary of the Interior Mike Connor. "The initial steps we are taking are part of the larger effort to strengthen the management of coal production on public lands by providing greater certainty and predictability to the industry and helping to protect American taxpayers. We look forward to receiving public comment on the draft proposal."
Existing gas and coal valuation regulations may require an energy company to follow benchmarks when it sells its product to an affiliated company. The benchmarks for coal are applied sequentially and include such factors as comparable arm’s-length sales, prices reported to public utility commissions and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, other relevant matters and a netback calculation.
These benchmarks can be administratively burdensome to industry trying to report and pay proper royalties, and to regulators reviewing royalty payments for audit and compliance purposes. The proposed regulation aims to remedy this and other issues caused by outdated rules with more clear regulations that better reflect the changing energy industry, while protecting taxpayer and American Indian assets.
The BLM today is also sending updated guidance to the field that will help ensure a consistent and efficient coal lease sale process, increase clarity in determining fair market value and provide guidance on independent review of appraisal reports. The guidance will enable the Bureau to account for export potential through analysis of comparable sales and income.
The BLM coal program’s revised manuals and handbooks are part of a suite of actions that the BLM has undertaken following the recommendations of a June 2013 audit by the Department of the Interior Office of Inspector General and a February 2014 Government Accountability Office report. Previous guidance has been issued regarding publicly available information such as the accepted fair market value and historical lease sale data, and not accepting coal lease bids below the pre-sale fair market value. Over the past two years, the BLM has developed new training programs for coal specialists and completed the first phase of a bureau-wide tracking system for coal inspections. The handbooks can be viewed here (http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/regulations/Instruction_Memos_and_Bulletins/blm_handbooks.html). The manuals can be viewed here (http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/regulations/Instruction_Memos_and_Bulletins/blm_manual.html).
The BLM has also released safety, inspection and enforcement guidance to promote more responsible development of coal resources on the nation’s public lands, including: improved documentation for coal operation inspections on coal exploration licenses, licenses to mine, leases, and logical mining units; and increased Mineral Mine Inspector training and certification requirements.
The Consolidated Federal Oil & Gas and Federal & Indian Coal Valuation Reform rule will be published in the Federal Register on January 6, 2015, which initiates a 60-day public comment period. The notice will be available on the web at: www.regulations.gov.
Comments can be made on-line, by mail, or by hand-carrying documents:
• Electronically go to www.regulations.gov. In the entry titled "Enter Keyword or ID," enter "ONRR-2012-0004," then click "Search." Follow the instructions to submit public comments. ONRR will post all comments.
• Mail comments to Armand Southall, Regulatory Specialist, P.O. Box 25165, MS 61030A, Denver, CO 80225.
• Hand-carry comments, or use an overnight courier service, to the Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Building 85, Room A-614, Denver Federal Center, West 6th Ave. and Kipling St., Denver, Colorado 80225.
Average national price of ground beef rises to $4.20/pound (posted 12/17/14)
Price of ground beef. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Over $4 per pound for last four months, highest prices in 10 years
According to statistics released today (Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price nationally for ground beef rose to $4.201 per pound in November 2014. In October it was $4.15/pound. In January 2014 it was $3.467/pound. The price of beef has been on a steady rise since January 2011.
Statistics for national average prices for ground beef per pound 2004-2014:
Nov. 2004: $2.216
Nov. 2005: $2.302
Nov. 2006: $2.206
Nov. 2007: $2.289
Nov. 2008: $2.357
Nov. 2009: $2.062
Nov. 2010: $2.394
Nov. 2011: $2.899
Nov. 2012: $3.175
Nov. 2013: $3.477
Nov. 2014: $4.201
The explanation for the high prices include a shortage of cattle on the market, drought conditions causing ranchers to reduce herd numbers, harsher winter conditions that kept animals from gaining as much weight on feedlots, and high feed prices.
Source: United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/APU0000703112
Over 20,000 cattle perish in South Dakota/Nebraska blizzard Pinedale Online, Oct. 21, 2013
Yellowstone geyser eruption free app available for smartphone and tablet (posted 12/16/14)
New geyser app now available
Yellowstone National Park
The largest concentration of active geysers in the world—approximately half of the world’s total— is found in Yellowstone National Park.
You can now discover the natural wonder of the most famous geyser of all, Old Faithful, and other geysers with a free app that you can use during your visit to the park and at home. The new app will help you find out when Old Faithful and five other predictable geysers could erupt.
The app also features a link to a webcam so that you can view live eruptions of Old Faithful and other nearby geysers. The FAQ section provides answers to several of the frequently asked questions that explain how a few geysers can be predicted and other fascinating details about Yellowstone’s geysers.
You can follow the Social Media Feed and see what’s happening in Yellowstone by browsing the park’s Twitter, YouTube and Flickr sites. Because every eruption is different, the app’s Photo Gallery contains an array of geyser eruption photos.
The NPS Geysers app was developed in partnership with Dr. Brett Oppegaard, Washington State University (Vancouver) and University of Hawaii, and the National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park and Harpers Ferry Center. The app was made possible, in part, by a donation from Canon USA, Inc., through the Yellowstone Park Foundation.
The NPS Geysers app is now available in the Google Play Store and in the Apple App Store.
Encana invester update for 2015 (posted 12/16/14)
Focusing on high margin oil and liquids production growth plays
Encana issued a media release today (Tuesday, December 16, 2015) advising of their plans for 2015. Encana expects to generate approximately 75 percent of its 2015 cash flow from oil and liquids production. Encana was a major natural gas operator in the Jonah field of the Upper Green River Basin for years. They sold their assets there in mid-2014 to the private equity firm TPG Capital which created a new subsidiary to run operations called Jonah Energy.
According to the release, they will be focusing approximately 80 percent of their 2015 capital program directed to four of its highest margin growth plays; the Montney, Duvernay, Eagle Ford and Permian.
Click on this link to read their complete announcement: Encana focuses 2015 capital program on four strategic growth assets
Encana to sell its Jonah field operations in Wyoming Pinedale Online, March 31, 2014
NEW OWNER EYES REBOUND - With Shell and Encana gone, what does the future hold for the Jonah Field? By Benjamin Storrow, Casper Star-Tribune, September 15, 2014
Big game hunting application information for 2015 available on WGFD website Dec. 17 (posted 12/15/14)
Wyoming Game & Fish
Even though the big game license application period doesn’t begin until Jan.1, hunters can start planning now for 2015 hunts.
Beginning Dec. 17, big game hunting application information for both residents and nonresidents will be on the Game and Fish website wgfd.wyo.gov. A major change in this year’s application deadline extends the time period when nonresidents can apply for deer and antelope licenses. The previous deadline was March 15 and this year will be June 1 – the same as the resident deadline. The deadline has been moved to June 1 this year because the normal deadline of May 31 is on a weekend. All other application deadlines for residents and nonresidents are the same as in previous years and are as follows: Feb. 2 – Nonresident elk (extended from Jan. 31 because of weekend); March 2 – Resident and nonresident bighorn sheep, moose, mountain goat and wild bison (extended from Feb. 28 due to weekend).
Hunters are reminded that all big game applications must now be made online. License manager Jennifer Doering said the expanded application period for nonresident deer and antelope is a direct result of the online application process.
"Applying online allows us to process applications much quicker and greatly reduces the number of errors hunters made on applications," Doering said. "It has resulted in tremendous savings in money and manpower and allows us to get ready for the drawings in a matter of days after the deadline instead of the multiple weeks of preparation when paper applications were the method for applying for licenses."
Hunters with questions on the big game application process or needing help to apply can contact the Game and Fish at 307-777-4600. The Game and Fish will begin accepting applications for 2015 hunts beginning Jan. 1, 2015.
BLM seeks comments on proposed rules for Killpecker Sand Dunes (posted 12/14/14)
Safety flags on vehicles, no glass containers, slower speed limits some of the proposed rules
Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rock Springs Field Office is seeking public comments on proposed supplementary safety rules for the Killpecker Sand Dunes Recreation Site 23 miles northeast of Rock Springs, Wyoming.
The proposed supplementary rules would increase safety and maintain a high quality and unique experience for visitors to the Killpecker Sand Dunes by allowing the BLM to more effectively manage the area. The rules would require safety flags on all vehicles for better visibility in the 10,500-acre off-highway vehicle (OHV) open area, prohibit glass containers to decrease hazards in the OHV recreation area and limit speeds to 15 miles per hour or less within 500 feet of access roads to reduce traffic accidents.
More information on the Killpecker Sand Dunes Recreation Site is available at www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/field_offices/Rock_Springs/rec/dunes.html.
More information on the proposed rules and the 2013 Killpecker Sand Dunes Recreation Site Facility Improvement Environmental Assessment are available at www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/rsfo/Killpecker.html.
Public participation is a key component of the rule making process. The public is encouraged to identify and submit issues, concerns or ideas to help ensure clear and understandable final rules. Written substantive comments will be accepted until Feb. 9, 2015 and may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Supplemental Rules" in the subject line; faxed to 307-352-0329; or mailed or delivered to the BLM Rock Springs Field Office, Attn: Supplemental Rules, 280 Highway 191 N., Rock Springs, WY 82901.
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 made 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 Georgia Foster at 307-352-0327.
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 below individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.
United Nations wants world to commit to global climate change deals (posted 12/14/14)
United Nations politicians from around the world are meeting in Lima, Peru to negotiate a deal that would commit every nation on the globe to reduce its rate of greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement creates a framework for what is being called the Lima Accord which would require every nation to put forward, over the next six months, a detailed domestic policy plan to limit its emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases from burning coal, gas and oil. Those plans, which would be published on a United Nations website, would form the basis of the accord to be signed next December in Paris, France and enacted by 2020.
The political goal of the United Nations is to use the doomsday scenario of climate change and global warming to convince the world humans are the cause of, and have to pay the price of, the earth’s warming. This is effectively a giant mechanism to switch to globalization, world control of individual nations over to the communal decision-making of the United Nations, eliminate individual sovereignty of nations deciding their own destiny and use of resources, and a transfer of wealth from richer nations to poorer ones in the way of penalty payments for industrialization for the use and development of oil, gas and coal hydrocarbon resources. The United Nations argues this must be done in order to slow the rate of global emissions enough to prevent the atmosphere from continued warming of more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit over the preindustrial average, which is the point at which some scientists say the planet will tip into dangerous and irreversible effects of melting sea ice, rising sea levels, increased flooding and droughts, food and water shortages, and more extreme storms.
The United States is participating in these talks.
Read the story in the New York Times here: Climate Deal Would Commit Every Nation to Limiting Emissions By Coral Davenport, Dec. 14, 2014
Read the United Nations Lima, Peru climate change conference agenda and objectives here: Conference of the Parties United Nations, Framework on Convention of Climate Change, Lima, Peru, Dec. 13, 2014 (PDF)
New Reports: There Is No Global Warming Newsmax, Dec. 14, 2014
Climate Activists Tout Effectiveness Of School Brainwashing globalclimatescam.com, Nov. 1, 2014
Global Cooling is Here By Prof. Don J. Easterbrook, Global Research, Center for Research on Globalization, Canada, June 28, 2014
Global Cooling: Arctic Ice Cap Grows 60 Percent In A Year By Danny Choy, International Science Times, Sept. 11, 2014
The Coming Revelation Of The 'Global Warming' Fraud Resembles The Obamacare Lie By Peter Farrara, Forbes.com, Nov. 12, 2013
PAPO seeks public comments on wildlife reports (posted 12/10/14)
Bureau of Land Management
The Pinedale Anticline Project Office (PAPO) is seeking public comments on the white-tailed prairie dog and pygmy rabbit annual reports for 2014.
The reports are available for review at www.wy.blm.gov/jio-papo/papo/index.htm.
Written comments identifying specific issues, concerns or ideas should be emailed to email@example.com with "Wildlife Report Comment" in the subject line; faxed to 307-367-5329; or mailed or delivered to the PAPO, Attn: Eric Decker, P.O. Box 768, 1625 W. Pine St., Pinedale WY 82941 by Dec. 23. The PAPO will not respond directly to comments but will take them into consideration for the final reports.
Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
For more information, please contact Eric Decker at 307-367-5386.
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.