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Pinedale Online!
Pinedale, Wyoming  •  www.PinedaleOnline.com
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Road collapse. WYDOT photo.
Road gone A portion of WY22 over Teton Pass collapsed and destroyed the road at milepost 12.8. The road is closed indefinitely. Travelers and commuters will need to find an alternate route between Victor, Idaho and Jackson. There is no estimate for when the road will be repaired and reopened. Click on this link for more information: Teton Pass closed indefinitely due to catastrophic road failure Photo by WYDOT.
Mudslide on Teton Pass. WYDOT photo.
Mudslide Several mudslides were reported on WY22 over Teton Pass in recent days. One slide fortunately caused the road to be closed prior to the catastrophic road failure that destroyed a segment of the road a couple miles away. The road will be closed indefinitely with no estimate of when it will reopen. Travelers and commuters will need to use alternate routes to get between Victor, Idaho and Jackson, Wyoming. Photo by WYDOT.
Gas Prices
May 25, 2024
Pinedale3.599
Big Piney3.449
Wyoming3.385
USA3.599
Regular unleaded average.
WY & US provided by AAA.
Diesel Prices
May 25, 2024
Pinedale3.799
Big Piney3.749
Wyoming3.714
USA3.893
WY & US provided by AAA.
Headlines:

Pinedale Local:

Memorial Service for Janice Kanski June 16
Thin Air Shakespeare presents Selections from ‘Romeo & Juliet’ June 29 in Pinedale
SCUF Annual Catfish Fry June 15
Sublette BOCES looking for a pottery instructor
Pucker & Pluck summer concert July 1
Obituary - Harold Kelley
Sublette County Free Dump Day transformed into a free dump voucher opportunity

Front Page Story Archive

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WYDOT Web Cam on US 191 at Hoback Rim between Pinedale and Bondurant - view looking south
US 191 at the Rim

WYDOT Web Cam on US 191 at the Rim between Daniel and Bondurant  - view of road surface
US 191 at Bondurant

WYDOT Web Cam at Farson
Road view at Farson

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Events: Click for event information
June 14-16: 8th Annual Gem & Mineral Show - Sponsored by Sublette County Rock Hounds. Sublette
County Fairgrounds event center, Big Piney. Friday
and Saturday from 9AM to 5PM. Sunday from 9AM to
3PM.

June 30: 82nd Annual Bondurant BBQ - Sunday Church service at noon. BBQ to follow.
Everyone invited. Meal is beef, fixins, dessert.
There will be face painting for kids. Live music
during lunch. All are welcome - bring your friends
and family! Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for kids 12
and under. More info at www.bondurantwyoming.org.

July 3 & 4: Big Piney/Marbleton Chuckwagon Days - Parade in Big Piney, Community BBQ lunch, Little Buckaroo rodeo, fireworks, street dance. More info TBA.
July 11-14: Green River Rendezvous - Always the second full weekend in July in Pinedale. Make your room reservations early! www.visitpinedale.org
September 14: Wind River Brew Fest in Pinedale - Hosted by Wind River Brewing Co. Events at the American Legion Park. More info at www.windriverbrewingco.com.

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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.

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Wolf Watch, by Cat Urbigkit

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Road closure
Teton Pass closed indefinitely due to catastrophic road failure (posted 6/8/2024)
Pinedale Online!
The Wyoming Department of Transportation reported that WY22 over Teton Pass suffered a catastrophic failure that completely destroyed a section of the road and underlying fill material. A "long-term closure is expected," they said.

Fortunately, WYDOT personnel had some warning of road issues and had closed the road earlier, so no one was on the road or injured when the roadway collapsed. A crack had been observed in the road surface at milepost 12.8 on Thursday, June 6th. Multiple mudslides were reported along the route recently. A large mudslide occurred early Friday morning at milepost 15 near the scale house, flowing across both lanes of traffic. The road was closed as construction crews were onsite working to clean up the mudslide. The growing crack at milepost 12.8 was an increased concern as it indicated movement of the underlying fill material. Crews were in the process of attempting to create a detour around the road damage area when the slide occurred early Saturday morning, June 8th. No one was injured and no equipment was lost when the road collapsed.

There is no estimate for when WY22 over Teton Pass will reopen. WYDOT said, "a long-term closure is expected." Repair will require major engineering work since the entire road surface and underlying fill material collapsed and slid into the ravine below.

This closure significantly impacts travelers and commuters driving between Jackson and Victor, Idaho. Drivers will need to find an alternative route and plan for additional travel time. The shortest detour is to travel through Alpine, Wyoming and go through the Snake River Canyon on US 26/89. This route takes an hour and 45 minutes compared to the 35 minutes to travel over Teton Pass. Teton Pass will be unusable for the foreseeable future, likely weeks, possibly months to repair.

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon issued an Executive Order on Saturday, June 8th, declaring an emergency in response to the catastrophic failure of Wyoming Highway 22, Teton Pass. The declaration will help the State access additional resources from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to begin the substantial repairs required.

Recreationists and curious residents are being asked to avoid the area until it can be stabilized. WYDOT will share any updates on the status of Teton Pass through its website and social media channels, in addition to the WYDOT 511 app.


Next phase of Monument Ridge Vegetation and Recreation Management Project to begin (posted 5/21/2024)
Bridger-Teton National Forest
BIG PINEY, WYOMING — The Big Piney Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest plans to initiate the next phase of the Monument Ridge Vegetation and Recreation Management Project during the month of June. The project area is located near the town of Bondurant in Sublette County. The habitat/fuels treatment area is situated within the wildland urban interface (WUI), an area where human development meets with undeveloped, natural areas like forests and wildland vegetation, creating a zone that is at risk for wildfires. Monument Ridge borders the western edge of the treatment area, and the residential area along the Hoback River borders the eastern edge.

The project, proposed by the Sublette County Collaborative, is multifaceted and includes fuels reduction actions within the WUI, wildlife habitat enhancement activities, and safety and access improvements for recreation. These activities will improve forest health; promote wildlife populations for elk, mule deer, and sage grouse; and provide sustainable recreation opportunities well into the future.

Fire managers plan for implementation of the project to occur in June on 2,150-acres north of the Monument Ridge Lookout and Hoback Guard Station. The Forest Service prepared this area in 2020 by felling trees and allowing the fuels to cure during the subsequent time, preparing an adequate fuel bed for the planned prescribed fire.

The Forest Service will implement the prescribed fire with weather and conditions to meet project objectives. Forest personnel plan to treat the area in a mosaic pattern, producing a complex mix of burned and unburned patches. These activities will enhance wildlife habitat by increasing forage (i.e., grass, forbs, and shrubs) and will stimulate aspen growth in areas where stands have declined due to the lack of wildfire.

During operations, smoke may be visible from the communities of Bondurant, Jackson, Pinedale, and Big Piney. Resources will implement ignitions over the course of three to five days. A Closure Order will be in effect for the impacted area, roads, and trails, during the prescribed burn.

For more information, call Big Piney Ranger District at (307) 267-3375 or visit https://gacc.nifc.gov/gbcc/dispatch/wy-tdc/home/information/prescribed-fires.


BLM proposes No Future Coal Leasing for Buffalo Field Office Management plan (posted 5/17/2024)
30-day comment period open until June 17, 2024
Bureau of Land Management
BUFFALO, WYOMING – The Bureau of Land Management has issued a final supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) and proposed amendment to its Buffalo Field Office land use plan. Release of the final SEIS and proposed amendment opens a 30-day public protest period.

The BLM developed the SEIS and plan amendment in response to a 2022 order from the United States District Court for the District of Montana. The BLM’s proposed alternative, Alternative A, would amend the 2015 Buffalo Field Office resource management plan and make BLM-managed coal resources in the planning areas unavailable for future leasing. Federal coal production is anticipated to continue through 2041 under existing leases.

As required by the court’s order, the supplemental analysis evaluates alternatives for federal coal leasing in the Buffalo Field Office and includes updated information and analysis regarding the health impacts, both climate and non-climate, of developing fossil fuels in the area.

The 12 active surface coal mines within the Buffalo Field Office produced approximately 220 million short tons of federal coal in 2022, down from roughly 400 million tons in 2008.

Both U.S. total coal production and Powder River Basin coal production peaked in 2008 and have since declined steeply, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Written protests must be received by June 17, 2024. Please visit the BLM Filing a Plan Protest page for instructions.

To review the proposed resource management plan amendment and associated analysis, visit the BLM National NEPA Register. For more information, contact project manager Tom Bills at 307-684-1133.


WY Delegation blasts BLM Wyoming coal ban (posted 5/17/2024)
Wyoming Delegation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today (May 16, 2024), U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis and Rep. Harriet Hageman, all R-Wyo., blasted the Bureau of Land Management’s final supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) and proposed amendment to its Buffalo Field Office land use plan.

In the plan, the BLM bans future coal leasing in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. This impacts 12 of Wyoming’s active coal mines and will put 48 billion short-tons of BLM-administered federal coal off limits for mining.

"President Biden continues to wage war on Wyoming’s coal communities and families," said Senator Barrasso. "This short-sighted plan will kill future coal leases in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin – the most energy-rich area in the country. This will kill jobs and could cost Wyoming hundreds of millions of dollars used to pay for public schools, roads, and other essential services in our communities. Cutting off access to our strongest resources surrenders America's greatest economic advantages – to continue producing affordable, abundant, and reliable American energy."

"I am horrified to see the Biden administration’s latest assault on our nation’s domestic energy production," said Senator Lummis. "Wyoming has been targeted left and right by rule after rule handed down by this administration as it works to cater to the extremists within the Democratic Party. The Cowboy State produces some of the cleanest and best coal in the world. This RMP will push our country to rely on foreign adversaries for energy needs at a time when our grid is pushed to the brim and Wyoming coal is needed now more than ever to power our nation and the world. I will work with my colleagues every step of the way to prevent this RMP from going into effect."

"Joe Biden’s war on the West continues, this time by enacting an RMP that will destroy the Wyoming coal industry," said Representative Hageman. "This decision to eviscerate Wyoming’s coal production will impact every American's access to affordable and reliable energy, and only benefits the despots and dictators that this administration now relies on to meet our energy needs, while further weakening our economy and national security. At the same time, it will result in the need to increase coal production in countries with poor environmental and labor standards, thereby causing even more world-wide pollution – the total opposite of what this failed administration claims to be trying to accomplish. The Biden Administration’s war on affordable and reliable energy won’t end until we end his presidency."


Wyoming sues Biden Administration over Title IX rule changes (posted 5/17/2024)
CHEYENNE, WYOMING. – The State of Wyoming, alongside a coalition of states and private parties, has taken legal action by filing a lawsuit opposing President Biden’s new rules interpreting Title IX. Title IX is a law designed to create educational and athletic opportunities, particularly for female students. The lawsuit argues the new rules are contrary to the core principles of Title IX, compromising safety and privacy, ultimately depriving female athletes of opportunities.

Governor Gordon voiced Wyoming’s firm stance, stating, "Wyoming will fight the Biden Administration’s attempt to rewrite Title IX. The state adamantly upholds its core principles of fairness, privacy and the sanctity of women’s sports, opposing any imposition of ambiguous standards that threaten these ideals. This is yet another instance of federal overreach, seeking to impose a new interpretation on a longstanding law."

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder applauded the lawsuit, stating, "in Wyoming, we protect our girls. We will never allow outrageous political agendas to get in the way of that. Not in bathrooms, not in education, not in sports. Period."

Biden’s new Title IX rule eliminates privacy protections to all students, replaces "sex" with "gender identity" and broadens the definition of what constitutes "discrimination on the basis of sex", which directly contradicts the very purpose of Title IX.

The lawsuit further alleges the rule violates the First Amendment rights of educators, school employees and fellow students, as well as private organizations, who have sincerely held religious beliefs that would prevent them from complying with the rule. The rule also raises due processes concerns on college campuses related to sexual harassment accusations.

The coalition is led by Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach. The lawsuit also includes the states of Alaska and Utah as well as private parties. A copy of the full complaint may be found here.


Wyoming files two lawsuits challenging Biden Administration’s EPA Rules that target Wyoming’s coal industry (posted 5/10/2024)
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon
CHEYENNE, WYOMING. – Governor Mark Gordon announced that Wyoming has filed two lawsuits challenging new rules from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that target Wyoming’s coal and natural-gas fired power plants.

Today (Friday, May 10, 2024), Wyoming joined a coalition of 24 states challenging the Biden Administration’s recently released power plant regulations. The states argue that the new rule exceeds EPA’s authority and ignores the United States Supreme Court’s 2022 decision vacating Obama-era greenhouse gas limits for power plants. The suit asks the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review and declare the regulations unlawful.

On May 8, Wyoming and 22 other states filed a lawsuit challenging another EPA rule that would require certain air emissions from coal-fired plants to be reduced drastically, with no corresponding health benefits and with great costs to Wyoming and its industries.

"The Biden Administration’s EPA seems determined to use unlawful rulemaking to continue its attacks on Wyoming’s core industries," Governor Gordon said. "The only goal appears to be destroying Wyoming’s fossil fuel industry by further burdening our power plants, increasing costs to consumers, and threatening the stability of our nation's electrical grid."


Forever stamp
First Class Stamp price to increase to $.73 cents in July 2024 (posted 5/10/2024)
Pinedale Online!
The United States Postal Service (USPS) will again increase the price for mailing services that will take effect on July 14, 2024. The price of a first-class mail Forever stamp will increase five cents, from 68 cents to 73 cents. There will be no price increase for Post Office Box rental fees, and the Postal Service will apply a price reduction of 10 percent for postal insurance when mailing an item. The proposed adjustments, if approved by the governors of the Postal Service, would raise mailing services product prices approximately 7.8 percent.

This is the sixth price increase since January 2021,
incrementally increasing the cost of a first class Forever stamp from $.55 cents to $.73 cents. And the Postal Service has indicated there will be more regular increases in the near future. In their December 29, 2023 report to the Postal Regulatory Commission, the US Postal Service said they anticipate to implement price changes for all of their market dominant classes in January and July in each subsequent year after this upcoming increase in July 2024. The price increases, along with their legal obligation to be financially self-sufficient, will help them achieve financial sustainability while improving customer service.

USPS Forever Stamp Historical Prices
(Requested: July 14, 2024: $0.73)
January 21, 2024: $0.68
July 9, 2023: $0.66
January 22, 2023: $0.63
July 10, 2022: $0.60
August 29, 2021: $0.58
January 24, 2021: $0.55
January 26, 2020: $0.55
January 27, 2019: $0.55
January 21, 2018: $0.50
January 22, 2017: $0.49
April 10, 2016: $0.47
January 26, 2014: $0.49
January 27, 2013: $0.46
January 22, 2012: $0.45
May 11, 2009: $0.44
May 12, 2008: $0.42
April 12, 2007: $0.41
Source: https://foreverstampprice.com/

As the name suggests, Forever stamps can be used at any time after purchase, regardless of whether the postage rate goes up in the future. So if you stock up on Forever stamps at the current price before the July increase, the stamps will still be good after this new and any future price increases.

New Prices for July 2024):
Letters (1 oz.) 68 cents (Current Price) 73 cents (Planned Price)
Letters (metered 1 oz.) 64 cents (Current Price) 69 cents (Planned Price)
Domestic Postcards 53 cents (Current Price) 56 cents (Planned Price)
International Postcards $1.55 (Current Price) $1.65 (Planned Price)
International Letter (1 oz.) $1.55 (Current Price) $1.65 (Planned Price)

The additional-ounce price for single-piece letters increases from 24 cents to 28 cents. The Postal Service is also seeking price adjustments for Special Services products, including Certified Mail and money order fees.


Wyoming joins 21-State coalition in lawsuit in defending Second Amendment rights from Federal overreach (posted 5/6/2024)
Infringing on Americans’ Second Amendment right to privately buy and sell firearms
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon media release
CHEYENNE, WYOMING – The State of Wyoming joined 20 other states in a lawsuit arguing that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is overstepping its authority and infringing on Americans’ Second Amendment right to privately buy and sell firearms.

In the lawsuit, the coalition of states argue that the ATF’s regulatory restrictions exceed the authority granted to the agency by Congress and are a violation of the Second Amendment.

"Yet again this administration has demonstrated its contempt for the Constitution and the separation of powers," Governor Gordon said.

According to the complaint, "The right to keep and bear arms is central to our country's history and traditions, so Congress must be careful when addressing that right through federal legislation." Under the final rule, the defendants "would put innocent firearms sales between law-abiding friends and family members within the reach of federal regulation," the complaint continues.

"The Biden Administration is attempting to treat every legal gun owner as a commercial gun dealer, and every gun sale or trade as a commercial transaction," Governor Gordon noted. "The Biden administration is exceeding its authority and targeting our Second Amendment rights without going through Congress.

In December, Wyoming joined 25 other states in signing comment letter opposing the new rule. The states have asked the Court to vacate the rule as contrary to law. A copy of the filing may be found here.
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States joining in the lawsuit filing: Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming, and four other plaintiffs.


PureWest Energy donates $200,000+ to Sublette County Health Foundation towards CAH (posted 4/18/2024)
Sublette County Health Foundation media release
In an effort to address the urgent healthcare needs of Sublette County, Wyoming, PureWest Energy, in partnership with the PureWest leadership team, announced a donation of more than $200,000 towards the construction of the planned medical facility in Pinedale to provide efficient, high-quality and patient-centered care.

Sublette County is currently the only county in Wyoming without a hospital. With the nearest facility more than 80 miles away, the community often faces challenges accessing essential care – challenges that are exacerbated during times of emergency. In 2020, the community voted to approve the formation of the Sublette County Hospital District. With construction already underway, the hospital is expected to open in March 2025; however, additional financing is required to improve emergency room equipment and ensure the community is able to benefit from comprehensive health services at the medical center.

To help Sublette County build a better future and because this is where so many of us call home, PureWest and its leadership team have donated more than $200,000 towards the buildout of this much needed hospital. This collective effort underscores a shared commitment to the well-being and betterment of the community.

"We are honored to be able to support the communities where we live and work. This donation represents PureWest’s unwavering commitment to Sublette County and the importance of comprehensive access to quality healthcare," said Kelly Bott, SVP, Corporate Affairs of PureWest. "Safety is nonnegotiable at PureWest, and the construction of this facility provides essential services – not just for our employees, but for entire community."

The Sublette County Health Foundation will serve a wide variety of needs, including providing blood transfusions, nursing services, memory care units, mental health support for those in crisis, and dietary and maintenance facilities. "The establishment of the hospital will be transformative for the community, providing essential healthcare services and saving the lives of residents," explained Sid Stanfill, Board Chair of the SC Health Foundation. "PureWest Energy’s generous donation is truly commendable and highlights their continued dedication to the well-being of our community. Together, we are building a better future for Sublette County."

This donation will provide timely access to lifesaving healthcare services for residents, reduce the burden on families who currently have had to travel long distances for medical care, and ensure that senior citizens are able to continue living within their community.

To learn more about the Sublette County Health Foundation please visit www.sublettecountyhealthfoundation.org.

About PureWest
PureWest Energy, LLC is a private energy company focused on developing its long-life gas reserves in Wyoming’s Green River Basin where the Company operates more than 108,000 net acres in and around the prolific Pinedale Field. For more information about PureWest, which was recently honored with the "Best Place to Work" distinction by the Denver Business Journal, please visit https://purewest.com/about-us/.


Rocky Mountain Power requests rate increase for Wyoming customers (posted 4/17/2024)
Rocky Mountain Power media release
Rocky Mountain Power’s costs for fuel and purchased power increased in 2023, because of higher wholesale market prices and coal supply disruptions, which made purchasing power to serve its customers more expensive. As part of an annual review of these costs, the company requested an average 12.3% price increase for Wyoming customers. A typical residential customer using 700 kilowatt-hours per month would see a 9.3% increase, or $12 per month on their electricity bill. The increase will take effect July 1, 2024, subject to review and approval by the Wyoming Public Service Commission.

"We recognize that in difficult economic conditions, a price increase is not good news," said Joelle Steward, Rocky Mountain Power senior vice president for regulation and customer and community solutions. "Despite these difficulties, we remain committed to bringing the best value to our customers for their hard-earned dollars. We’ve worked diligently to control the costs we can control. We are strict with our budgets and continue our work to steadily improve our system to enhance reliability for our 144,511 customers in Wyoming."

"The company is working hard to maintain our position as a low-cost energy provider," Steward added. "The annual adjustment process makes sure Rocky Mountain Power customers always pay a fair price for the energy they need."

The most significant driver in this year’s energy cost adjustment involves coal supply and inventory restrictions that began in late 2022 and continued into 2023. Historically low coal inventories, prompted many utilities, including Rocky Mountain Power, to increase natural gas generation and purchase more wholesale electricity while restocking depleted coal inventories. In many coal basins nationally, coal pricing more than doubled in 2022 and remained high into 2023. This effect on coal pricing was made worse by the war in Ukraine, when many U.S. mines, including mines in Utah and Colorado, rushed to take advantage of high coal prices by exporting coal to Europe.

"Due to overall lower coal resource output, the company had to adjust its overall system operations through increased natural gas power plant output, reduced market sales and increased market purchases," said Jack Painter, net power cost specialist for the utility. "In 2023, all of PacifiCorp’s Utah coal suppliers and one major Wyoming coal supplier made emergency contract declarations that resulted in significant delivery shortfalls of PacifiCorp’s contracted coal supply. Consequently, the Utah coal mines experienced a 35% decrease in coal production."

These challenges included a coal mine fire that occurred at American Consolidated Natural Resources’ Lila Canyon mine in central Utah. The mine had produced more than 25% of Utah’s coal production in recent years. The mine first stopped production in September 2022 and the owners announced the permanent closure of the Lila Canyon mine in November 2023 after determining that it was not possible to safely remediate and operate the mine. In response, the company explored the purchase of reasonably priced coal from a variety of other sources, as well as using surplus coal reserves held by the company.

The annual energy cost adjustment mechanism is designed to track the difference between the company’s actual expenses for fuel and electricity purchased from the wholesale market, against the amount being collected from customers through current rates. Pending commission approval, the changes would take effect July 1, 2024.


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Pinedale Online! is designed and maintained by Wind River Web Services LLC in Pinedale, Wyoming to offer a "slice of life" view of happenings in and around Pinedale, Wyoming. Webmaster for this site is Dawn Ballou. Although we try to cover as many local events as possible, we have a very limited staff and much of this site is done in our volunteer time. We welcome community volunteers who can provide pictures or event information. Photos by Pinedale Online unless otherwise credited. Please see our companion site Pinedale OFFline, www.PinedaleOFFline.com, updated annually on April Fool's Day. All site content is copyright 2022. No photos, stories or content may be used or reproduced without permission for commercial or non-commerical purposes. Please contact Pinedale Online for more information or permission about using pictures or content found on our site, or advertising on this website. If you find any broken links on our site, please let us know. Privacy Policy: E-mail inquiries may be forwarded to the local Chamber of Commerce, businesses or others who can best respond to questions asked. We use website server visitation statistics to compile web traffic analysis to refine our site content to better serve our visitors. Server statistics do not gather e-mail addresses or personally-identifiable information. Pinedale Online does not sell, trade or rent our opt-in lists or any personally-identifiable information to third parties. Thanks for visiting Pinedale, Wyoming on the Web!

We remember September 11, 2001.

Historic Moondance Diner Click here for the Wyoming Tourism video about the Moondance Diner Polaris Factory-Authorized Clearance Bucky's Outdoors in Pinedale, Wyoming