new kids on the block

By Jim Stanford on February 23, 2012

Comments: 25 Comments

We’ve seen some dramatic photos of wolves of late, as the predators have pushed closer to town in pursuit of game herds. In January, three wolves made news by ambling through the Indian Trails neighborhood in west Jackson.

Well, they’re back, and this time a resident captured excellent video footage. James Peck, owner of Lewis and Clark Expeditions, shot this clip of two wolves traipsing through his backyard today. Otis, the family dog, fortunately was inside the house. But you can hear him growling at the sight. Peck wrote:

This video is of two wolves descending the hill behind our house, crossing the creek and walking past 30 feet from our house. This pack has moved into the South Park area near Jackson, Wyoming this winter. Our house is in the town limits. The white wolf has a radio collar on it.

Otis, a golden retriever, started barking and alerted the family to the wolves’ approach. “Usually, it’s a moose,” Peck said. Last year he filmed his cat fighting off a fox, but dropped the camera.

Probably not reason to panic, but residents might want to be on guard and keep the pets inside tonight.


Posted under Environment, Politics, Wyoming Legislature

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in memoriam: Wister

By Jim Stanford on April 26, 2011

Comments: 5 Comments

Wister on the summit of Table Mountain.

Wister, the canine mountaineer whose exploits in the Wind River Range garnered him widespread fame and a Facebook following, has died following a battle with illness. He was 13 years old.

Adopted as a pup off the streets of Logan, Utah, Wister went on to reach the summit of more than 50 peaks in the Winds and other ranges around Jackson Hole. He was listed among the guides at Exum and was featured in a 2009 profile in the News&Guide. An action shot of him descending Gannett Peak, Wyoming’s highest mountain, graced the cover of Mountain Gazette.

The black and gray mixed breed was particularly fond of the Winds, where he climbed his first peak in 2000, a moonlight ascent of Mount Mitchell with his original dad, Storms Reback. As recently as 2008, he barked encouragement to the slower members of his party on a grueling ski trek to Gros Peak.

Wister largely had retired from mountaineering in recent years. He had been receiving treatment at a veterinary hospital in Fort Collins, Colo., this week. He is survived by his parents, Amy and Forrest McCarthy of Jackson.


Posted under Deaths, Environment, Sports

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dogs kill elk up Cache Creek

By Jim Stanford on January 21, 2011

Comments: 26 Comments

Dogs feed on an elk carcass along Cache Creek on Tuesday night.

Bridger-Teton National Forest managers are reminding pet owners to keep their dogs leashed and under control, after an elk calf was found dead along Cache Creek this week. Wyoming Game and Fish staff determined the elk was killed by domestic dogs, and a camera placed at the site revealed dogs — thought to be roaming from a nearby neighborhood — feeding on the carcass at night.

“We have put considerable effort into educational efforts to promote responsible dog ownership to protect wintering wildlife in cooperation with community partners,” said District Ranger Dale Deiter. “An incident like this is a stark reminder that much more needs to be done.”

The carcass was found about a half-mile up Cache Creek, between the trailhead and Bar-T-Five cookout site. It was reported Monday, and the Forest Service issued a notice advising trail users to be alert in case predators were in the area.

Read More…


Posted under Crime, Environment, Sports

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bring back the beach!

By Jim Stanford on March 22, 2010

Comments: 26 Comments

The Wilson Beach near the height of its popularity. A SPET proposal envisions a public park at the site, connected to the pathway bridge.

In the summer of 2001, I was learning to roll a kayak on the Snake River while the Green Knoll Fire raged south of Wilson. A friend and I were at the Wilson Bridge, where gravel excavation had created a new eddy.

As he sat in a chair on the bank reading a book and I paddled around the eddy, helicopters buzzed overhead ferrying buckets of water from the river to fight the fire. The air was thick with smoke, and ash was landing on the water.

It was like a scene out of Apocalypse Now. We laughed at the words of Robert Duvall: “If I say it’s safe to surf this beach, it’s safe to surf this beach!”

Over the next few summers, the “Wilson Beach,” as it became known, grew into one of the most popular recreation spots in Teton County. By 2005, the site reached its zenith as Redneck Riviera, with pickup trucks backed to the water’s edge for tailgating and a group of Georgia girls floating on an air mattress.

Alas, high water eventually filled in the swimming hole, and the river shifted eastward. The Georgia girls moved away. A community treasure was lost.

Now there’s an opportunity to bring back the beach, better than ever, as Teton County is considering a public park at the site.

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Posted under County Government, Economy, Environment, Politics, Sports, Town Government

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your guide to avoid being turtled

By Jim Stanford on February 11, 2010

Comments: 7 Comments

The 2008 turtling on Teton Pass continues to be felt ’round the outdoor world.

A draft of a Mountain Sports and Living story recently passed around elicited a collective gag from backcountry skiers. The writer, fascinated by the idea of conflict on the pass, completely missed the experience.

Even in the midst of a frenzied powder morning, the Glory bootpack is not a WWF smackdown.

Steve Casimiro of The Adventure Life, himself a Teton Pass enthusiast, shares a few points of etiquette for backcountry hikers. From his blog:

You’d think the wild winter spaces would offer room for all of us, but that’s not always true. In high traffic backcountry spots like Teton Pass, Wyoming, where this was shot, there have been numerous conflicts and near fistfights over misunderstandings and a disparity of attitudes. A few simple guidelines can make it better for everyone.

True enough, but as evidenced by the MS+L article, with its close-up photo of a skier wearing a brass-knuckle belt buckle, people have a strangely distorted view of what goes on up on the pass.


Posted under Environment, Media, Sports

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