South Park wolves to be exterminated

By Jim Stanford on February 27, 2012

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This photo of wolves in Indian Trails by Tim McClure, shared on Facebook and published in the Jackson Hole Daily in January, first sounded the alarm among South Park residents and prompted a flood of calls to authorities.

After being inundated with complaints, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to kill the small group of wolves roaming the South Park area.

Mike Jimenez, the service’s wolf recovery coordinator for Wyoming, plans to dart three or four wolves by helicopter in the coming days, once the predators move into a suitable area away from a residential neighborhood.

The decision follows standard practice, Jimenez said today in a phone interview. The agency has had to take similar action in other towns around the region, although this is the first time in Jackson, he said. With wolves inside the city limit, passing through the Indian Trails neighborhood and even using streets, conflicts are inevitable, he explained.

“At some point, there’s a line where we’ve gotten an unbelievable amount of calls,” Jimenez said.

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Posted under Environment, Politics, Wyoming, Wyoming Legislature

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in memoriam: Factory Studios

By Jim Stanford on February 10, 2012

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Travis Walker of Teton Artlab took to Facebook earlier this week to announce that Factory Studios will be closing at the end of the month.

Situated in the old Huckleberry Mountain Candy factory on Gregory Lane, the artists’ enclave had become a hive of creative activity and occasional social hub. The run-down, industrial feel and labyrinthine layout were part of the charm but also caught the attention of the fire marshal, who flagged the building for numerous violations, including lack of fire exit signs.

The space housed the Artlab, painters Wendell Field and Peggy Prugh, designer Abbie Miller, The Deadlocks band and Dedicate clothing, among others.

Photographer David Stubbs made this short video when Factory Studios celebrated its first birthday last month. In a town still dominated by traditional Western art (read: animal portraits, cowboys and Indians) Stubbs was drawn to a contemporary scene tucked out of sight, reminiscent of New York City warehouses in the 1980s, he said.

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Posted under Art, Economy, Music

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open range for open space

By Jim Stanford on October 12, 2011

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Chase Lockhart confronts one of his bulls on a summer pasture in Buffalo Valley, as Mount Moran looms in the distance. Click to enlarge.

While working on a story recently for the new Jackson Hole food magazine, Dishing, I learned that agriculture is making a comeback in Teton Valley, Idaho. As the real estate market has imploded, landowners are turning to raising pigs, beef and even goats to help feed their families and earn a few extra bucks.

Groups such as Slow Food in the Tetons, which hosts its SlowToberFest beer and appetizer tasting tonight at Q Roadhouse, have nurtured this movement, which holds promise for any semblance of a “sustainable” lifestyle in these parts.

On his blog A Vivid Eye, photographer David Stubbs has posted a photo essay from a summer spent documenting brothers Chase and Cody Lockhart on their Jackson Hole Hereford Ranch. Once a stream monitor for the Forest Service, Stubbs re-evaluated some of his perceptions about ranching and its impact.

“Here was a small family business conserving open space and wildlife habitat by producing local food on some of the most valuable rural real estate on earth,” he writes, “a unique piece of Jackson history evolving from its roots with two fifth-generation ranching brothers — legitimate, local cowboys.”

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Posted under Economy, Environment, Food

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as long as there’s water …

By Jim Stanford on July 1, 2011

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Lo and behold, the Snake River is back up, and today flows are the highest yet of the season: nearly 12,000 cubic feet per second at Moose and 26,000 cfs in the canyon. With Jackson Lake reservoir approaching 90 percent of capacity, the Snake is likely to keep rising.

Photographer David Stubbs captures some of the excitement from Saturday’s whitewater run in this short video. David has been working more with motion pictures and building his new blog, A Vivid Eye.

As readers may have noted, I updated the earlier post about the newly enhanced Double Draw rapid, after consulting with the dean of the canyon, Tom Kemper. Tom calls the changes caused by the mudslide the most significant he has seen in 38 years of running whitewater on the Snake.

The muddy Buffalo Fork is bathing the upper stretches in silt, rejuvenating the floodplain and nurturing the next generation of cottonwood forest. Elk calves are nursing on islands. Eaglets are stretching their wings.

Now’s the time to see the river at its ripest. Get ye some of that chilly water!

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Posted under Environment, Sports

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‘bump and tickle’ at the track

By Jim Stanford on March 4, 2011

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David Stubbs spent an afternoon at the Shrine Club Cutter Races last month and put together this video that captures some of the hoof-pounding excitement.

The horse-drawn chariot races are the scene of a huge tailgate party and are one of the most cherished winter traditions. This was the 40th running of the Cutters, a benefit that raised nearly $50,000 for the Shriners Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. A total of about 4,000 spectators turned out for the two days of racing at Melody Ranch, making it one of the biggest events of Winterfest.

The steeds reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour on the track of packed snow, and as Stubbs depicts, sometimes the action gets a little chaotic.

Click on the arrow icons and “HD” to watch the video in full-screen high-def.

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Posted under Entertainment, Sports, Wyoming

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