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Rendezvous Parade. Photo by Pinedale Online!
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June 29, 2024
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Pinedale Local:

Graveside Funeral Service for Mary Ellen Schooley July 20 in Pinedale
Celebration of Life for Hap Gray July 20
Memorial Mass for Alberta Korfanta McAndrews July 27 in Pinedale
Hunter Education class offered in August
Boots and Scrubs August 7
Sublette County Health Foundation seeks new board member
Town of Pinedale Board vacancies

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Granite Falls Redesign Project begins July 15 (posted 7/15/2024)
Bridger-Teton National Forest
Granite Falls is a scenic stop for many people visiting the Granite Hot Springs area on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, and it is about to receive a long overdue upgrade.

The work to redesign the parking area and restore the surrounding natural environment will begin Monday, July 15, and is anticipated to last about four weeks.

During construction and restoration activities, visitors will still be able to access Granite Hot Springs, but parking at Granite Falls will not be possible. Signage will be in place to direct traffic around the construction.

Redesign and restoration of the Granite Falls area has been envisioned for many years, beginning in the mid-1990s. After public review and environmental analysis, District Ranger Todd Stiles made the decision in September 2022 to repair resource damage associated with the user-created parking area, design the area for day use only, separate trailer parking, restore eroded trails, construct a bypass trail to prevent conflicts between horses and hot springs visitors, and add interpretive signage.

Funding for the project is now available, thanks to a partnership with Friends of the Bridger-Teton and the Teton Conservation District, as well as funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Federal Land Recreation Enhancement Act.

Ranger Stiles acknowledged that the temporary closures in the Granite Falls area will impact some visitors, but the resulting improvements will create a much better experience for all.

Work continues on Monument Ridge Prescribed Fire (posted 7/15/2024)
Bridger-Teton National Forest
Firefighters from the Bridger-Teton National Forest are continuing to work on extinguishing hot spots within the 3500-acre Monument Ridge prescribed fire near Bondurant, Wyoming. Smoke will continue to be visible from the Monument Ridge prescribed fire for the foreseeable future.

The 3500-acre prescribed fire was initiated on June 7, 2024 and continued with active ignitions through June 17, 2024. The following 11-days saw firefighters occasionally lighting internal pockets of fuels to strengthen control lines and limit the potential for any unwanted growth. Firefighters remain on scene and engaged.

There have been no human ignitions on the prescribed fire since June 28, 2024. All smoke currently being seen is from remaining interior fuels, such as rotten logs, burning. Due to hazards from the recently burned trees, firefighters are not going interior in these areas to put the fire out. There is no threat to the prescribed fire’s containment lines. Fire managers may still use interior ignitions as a tool to best secure the burn in the future.

Smoke from the Monument Ridge prescribed fire will be visible, in varying amounts, for the weeks to come, but air quality in the area has been minimally impacted. Since active ignitions ceased on June 17, 2024 the sensors in the area have shown that the air quality is "Good" most days, with occasional climbs to "Moderate" for a few hours at a time. Smoke sensors are still set up and active for the public to see accurate air quality data. Please visit

More information on the Monument Ridge Prescribed Fire:
The prescribed fire currently ongoing near the town of Bondurant in Sublette County, Wyoming is part of the Monument Ridge Vegetation and Recreation Management Project. The project, proposed by the Sublette County Collaborative, is multifaceted and includes fuels reduction actions within the wildland urban interface (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. 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 prescribed fire.

The Forest Service implemented the prescribed fire with weather and conditions to meet project objectives. Forest personnel treated the area in a mosaic pattern, producing a complex mix of burned and unburned patches. These activities reduce hazardous fuels, 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.

Incident Management Team arrives to suppress Horse Creek Fire (posted 7/11/2024)
Bridger-Teton National Forest
The Bridger-Teton National Forest has ordered a Type 3 Incident Management Team to help fight the Horse Creek Fire.

The fire was discovered on July 1, 2024. The lightning-caused fire is 30-acres in size and burning in timber approximately two miles northeast of the Blind Bull warming hut on the Big Piney Ranger District.

The Forest has implemented an emergency closure order for several trails in the vicinity for public safety and to allow for firefighters and equipment to move throughout the area. The Type 3 Team will assume command of the fire at 6:00am on Friday July 12, 2024.

A Type 3 Incident Management Team is brought in for fires that exceed the firefighting resources a Forest has available. The Team utilizes the Incident Command System and is staffed with supervisory positions that can order resources to fight the fire and provide oversight for several operational periods. Currently on the Horse Creek Fire, there is a crew of 10 firefighters and 1 helicopter working on the fire. Because the fire is burning in a string of conifer trees on a steep slope, the plan is to confine and contain the fire and keep firefighters out of the snags while suppressing the fire.

"We are looking for the most viable option in terms of containing the fire and safety for the firefighters who are working on the steep slopes and in the dead weakened trees," said Lex Scanlan, Forest Prevention Officer for the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

The fire danger rating for the Bridger-Teton National Forest is listed as High. That means fires can start easily from most causes and small fuels such as grasses and needles will ignite readily.

"We have been in a relatively strong heat wave this week," said Scanlan "and our humidities have been very low, which makes fire more active," she said.

High Fire Danger
Fire Danger increased to High (posted 7/11/2024)
Bridger-Teton National Forest
Teton Interagency Fire managers have elevated the fire danger rating to high for Grand Teton National Park, the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the National Elk Refuge beginning Tuesday, July 9, 2024.

The forecast is for continued warmer and drier weather. Visitors should not be deceived by how green the landscape looks. Dead and down timber and fuels are carrying fire right now prompting fire managers to elevate the fire danger rating.

A high fire danger rating means fires can start easily and spread quickly. When determining fire danger, fire managers use several indicators such as the moisture content of grasses, shrubs, and trees; projected weather conditions including temperatures and possible wind events; the ability of fire to spread after ignition; and availability of firefighting resources across the country.

Public land users can help prevent wildfires by not having a fire at all and instead dressing for success with layers and warm clothes.

Fire managers advise recreationists to use caution if choosing to build and maintain a campfire. In areas where campfires are allowed, fires should never be left unattended and must be completely extinguished before leaving. Unattended or abandoned campfires and warming fires can quickly escalate into wildfires and recreationists can be held liable for suppression costs if their campfire becomes a wildfire.

All campers and day users should have a shovel on hand and a water bucket ready for use if choosing to have a fire. Soak, stir, feel, repeat. It is extremely important that all campfires are "dead out" and cold to the touch before leaving.

Visit the Teton Interagency Fire web site at to learn more about fire safety and what fire regulations may be in place. To report a fire or smoke in the immediate area, call the Teton Interagency Fire Dispatch Center at 307-739-3630.

Rockslide blocks North Piney OHV trail on Bridger-Teton National Forest (posted 7/5/2024)
Opening of trail may be delayed
Bridger-Teton National Forest
BIG PINEY, WYOMING – The Big Piney Ranger District on the Bridger-Teton National Forest is working on removing a rockslide that has obstructed the North Piney Lake Off Highway Vehicle trail (Trail #2059) at approximately the two-mile mark.

The trail is scheduled to open seasonally every year on July 16th, depending on snow drifts and weather conditions, but with the size of the boulders blocking the trail that opening date may be delayed.

"We are working on moving the boulders," said Big Piney District Ranger Cary Swain, "but the six-foot diameter size of some of them is making it quite challenging, so right now we have an unknown completion date," he said.

The North Piney Trailhead provides access to North Piney Lake and North Piney Meadows Off-Highway Vehicle trails and the Lunch Creek motorcycle trail. The North Piney Trailhead also provides access to foot and horse users to Roaring Fork Lakes, Box Canyon Pass and the Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail.

Motorized use is allowed seasonally from July 16 - October 14 each year to protect elk and big horn sheep winter range. Recreationists are asked to please plan accordingly if visiting North Piney Lake.

For updates, please contact the Big Piney Ranger station at 307-276-5800.

For other news, events and information, you can call 307-739-5500, or visit, or follow the Bridger-Teton National Forest on Facebook @BridgerTetonNF or on X (formerly Twitter) @BridgerTetonNF.

Wyoming initiates lawsuit over Biden Fuel Efficiency Standards (posted 7/5/2024)
Rules manipulate free market to require auto manufacturers to produce electric vehicles
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon
CHEYENNE, WYOMING – Wyoming has initiated a lawsuit along with 25 other states, challenging the Biden Administration’s latest attempt to force a consumer transition to electric vehicles (EVs). In a lawsuit filed in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the states are seeking to block a new rule issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That rule imposes unworkable standards that leverage the weight of the federal government to require auto manufacturers to produce EVs.

"Our federal government should not be issuing overreaching mandates that manipulate the free market," Governor Gordon said. "Wyoming residents drive thousands of miles each year through remote areas. They should be able to decide what vehicle technology is most suitable for their needs, not the Biden Administration."

In January, Governor Gordon joined 15 Republican Governors in signing a letter to President Biden opposing the proposed rule calling the mandates "unrealistic, costly and prescriptive solutions that harm American consumers."

There are approximately 1,000 EVs registered in Wyoming, which account for just over one-tenth of 1% of total vehicle registrations in the state.

The coalition is comprised of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

TerraPower begins construction on nuclear project in southwest Wyoming (posted 7/5/2024)
In mid-June, 2024, TerraPower celebrated the start of construction on the Natrium reactor1 demonstration project in Kemmerer, Wyoming.

The ceremony brought together TerraPower leaders, government officials, Natrium project partners, industry and community supporters, including TerraPower Chairman and founder, Bill Gates.

Approximately 1,600 workers will be needed for construction at the project’s peak. Construction is set to span five years. Once the plant is operational, the company estimates that 250 people will support day-to-day activities, including plant security. It will be a boon to the economy and employment opportunities for Kemmerer and Lincoln County, Wyoming.

Upon completion, the Natrium demonstration plant will be a fully functioning commercial power plant. It is being constructed near a retiring coal-fired power plant near Kemmerer, in southwest Wyoming. It is the only coal-to-nuclear project under development in the world.

The project features a 345 MW sodium-cooled fast reactor with a molten salt-based energy storage system. The storage technology can boost the system’s output to 500 MW of power when needed, which is equivalent to the energy required to power around 400,000 homes. The energy storage capability allows the plant to integrate seamlessly with renewable resources and is the only advanced reactor design with this unique feature.

Earlier this year, TerraPower submitted its construction permit application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the Natrium reactor. TerraPower is the first to submit its construction permit application for a commercial advanced reactor to the NRC. Due to its unique design, non-nuclear construction is beginning while nuclear construction will begin after this application is approved.

Through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP), a public-private partnership, this Natrium reactor demonstration project is intended to validate the design, construction and operational features of the Natrium technology.

TerraPower is a leading nuclear innovation company that strives to improve the world through nuclear energy and science. Since it was founded by Bill Gates and a group of like-minded individuals, TerraPower is an incubator and developer of ideas and technologies that offer energy independence, environmental sustainability, medical advancement, and other cutting-edge opportunities.

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Teton Pass reopens after massive landslide takes out highway (posted 7/2/2024)
A reduced speed limit and 60,000-pound vehicle weight restriction are in place
The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) reopened Wyoming Highway 22 over Teton Pass to vehicle traffic on June 28th, just three weeks after the catastrophic Big Fill landslide on June 8th. The fix is a temporary detour which reconnects the communities in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Idaho.

WYDOT wants to reassure highway users that the slide area will be continually monitored as engineers and other professionals now look to designing and planning the reconstruction of the section of highway impacted by the slide. The goal is to have Teton Pass completely rebuilt before the worst of winter arrives.

Evans Construction and its subcontractors worked around the clock, through Father’s Day weekend, to build the temporary detour. WYDOT commends Evans for their dedication, responsiveness and efficiency as their crews accomplished this massive undertaking.

Avail Valley Construction worked on the mudslide cleanup and culvert installation at mile marker 15. Understanding the need to relieve commuters from the strain of a nearly four-hour commute, Avail agreed to continue work with traffic to allow the detour to open. WYDOT thanks Avail for their flexibility and responsiveness.

The Wyoming Transportation Commission held two special meetings to quickly approve emergency funding in order for Avail and Evans to continue moving forward. WYDOT appreciates the extra time their Commissioners put in to support the repair process.

WYDOT would like to thank Governor Gordon for the quick emergency declaration, which sped up the emergency federal funding on this project. This vital funding helped WYDOT stay on track with the highway maintenance and construction work needed elsewhere in the state. The US Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration have also been extremely supportive with emergency funding assistance.

Congressional delegates of Idaho and Wyoming were also instrumental in WYDOT’s quick receipt of emergency federal funding thanks to letters to the USDOT and FHWA and other vocal support.

The Caribou-Targhee National Forest has been an essential partner as WYDOT engineers worked on the detour through the National Forest land, expediting permitting procedures and collaborating with engineers live onsite. WYDOT extended specific thanks to the work of District Ranger Jay Pence.

Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) crews assisted with the mudslide cleanup at mile marker 15, especially in the aftermath of the Big Fill slide on June 8th. ITD also provided WYDOT with concrete barriers for the detour, among other assistance.

WYDOT extended appreciation to the Teton Valley communities in both Idaho and Wyoming for acting quickly in assisting commuters and tourists with travel adjustments and other relief efforts in the wake of the extended highway closure.

New WSGS pamphlet shares geology of the South Pass area (posted 6/26/2024)
Wyoming State Geological Survey
The newest information pamphlet published by the Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) explores South Pass, an area known for its rich history of mining that dates back centuries and continues today. The pamphlet is the twelfth in a series that shares geology of Wyoming state parks; the South Pass publication is the first to focus on state historic site.

"This publication series continues to be popular, and after we finished with state parks, it made sense for us to expand the focus to geologically oriented historic sites in Wyoming," says Dr. Erin Campbell, WSGS Director and State Geologist. "The geology at South Pass is impressive, and our new pamphlet offers a glimpse at some of the uniqueness of the area."

South Pass is on the southeastern edge of the Wind River Range and south of Lander. It has a wide range of known and potential mineral resources, such as gold, copper, and iron. The Carissa mine in South Pass City opened in 1867 and was the largest gold-mining operation in the region. Today, visitors to the historic site can tour the Carissa.

"The South Pass area is fascinating for both its 3 billion years of geologic history and its potential for hosting gold and other metals in various types of mineral deposits," says WSGS geologist Dr. Chris Doorn. "The South Pass City State Historic Site provides the unique opportunity to learn about ancient geologic processes and to delve into Wyoming’s rich mining history."

The pamphlet includes a geologic map and provides an overview of South Pass’s geologic history, noting how the area looked much different billions of years ago compared to what is seen today. The publication also notes rocks and mineral resources.

Other pamphlets in the series highlight the geology of Bear River, Boysen, Buffalo Bill, Curt Gowdy, Edness K. Wilkins, Glendo, Guernsey, Hot Springs, Keyhole, Seminoe, and Sinks Canyon state parks.

Pamphlets are available at their respective state parks and historic sites, as well as at the WSGS office in Laramie and as free downloads.

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