‘effective’ population now 60,000

By Jim Stanford on August 30, 2013

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Crowd at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. During the peak of summer, Teton County draws 24,000 visitors per day. Total annual visitation is closer to 1 million people, rather than the 3 million often touted.

A few months ago, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk raised eyebrows when, at a joint meeting of town and county leaders, he said the park does not have 3 million visitors per year, as often touted. Rather, Wenk said, the park attracts more like 1.5 million people, some of whom visit multiple times.

A study released by the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance this month further calls into question the widely held notion that Teton County hosts 3 million — sometimes stretched to 4 million — visitors per year.

The study gives a snapshot of the county’s “effective population,” or the total number of people found here at a given time. The tally combines permanent residents, second home owners, seasonal workers, commuters and tourists.

At the peak of summer (July 15), that total is more than 60,000. In winter (Feb. 15), the effective population is 40,000, and even in the shoulder seasons (April and November) the tally is 30,000.

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Posted under County Government, Economy, Politics, Town Government

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know you the river near to Moose

By Jim Stanford on August 14, 2013

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View below Deadman’s Bar on Sunday evening. Click to enlarge.

Know you the river near to Grez,
A river deep and clear?
Among the lilies all the way,
That ancient river runs to-day
From snowy weir to weir.

Old as the Rhine of great renown,
She hurries clear and fast,
She runs amain by field and town
From south to north, from up to down,
To present on from past.

The love I hold was borne by her;
And now, though far away,
My lonely spirit hears the stir
Of water round the starling spur
Beside the bridge at Grez.

So may that love forever hold
In life an equal pace;
So may that love grow never old,
But, clear and pure and fountain-cold,
Go on from grace to grace.

— “Know You the River Near to Grez,” by Robert Louis Stevenson

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classic Barker-Ewing logo revived

By Jim Stanford on August 13, 2013

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Vintage cap from Dick Barker’s collection. With help from Rachel Stevens and Dedicate, we have managed to replicate the artwork and bring it back to life.

How cool were scenic rafting trips in the late 1970s and early ’80s?

Wayyy cool.

And they still are — when floating the Snake in Grand Teton National Park.

After the passing of co-founder Dick Barker last summer, his family unearthed a few gems while cleaning out some 50 years of rafting memorabilia in his office. Among the salvaged treasures were a pair of caps bearing the above logo.

The graphic is so eye catching that it begged to be brought back. And thanks to the help of designer Rachel Stevens and Dedicate hatmaker Tommie Williams, the crew at Barker-Ewing Scenic Trips in Moose has done just that.

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thankful for lower speed limit in park

By Jim Stanford on July 14, 2013

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Highway 26/89/191 through Grand Teton National Park carries a scary volume of traffic traveling at high speeds, with drivers often paying more attention to scenery than the road.

The lights deviated from the line of cars heading my way. OK, someone is swerving into my lane, I thought. It’s time for them to swerve back.

Instead, the lights came at me at a sharper and sharper angle. I jammed on the brakes, swerved hard into the shoulder and sagebrush, skidded and eventually straightened out on the road surface. My pack, phone, all sorts of gear inside my car were thrown about. I looked in the rearview mirror, expecting to see brake lights, skidding, a cloud of dust, but saw nothing.

Driving home from Fort Moose this week turned into a nightmare I long feared. It took a Dukes of Hazzard driving maneuver to avoid a head-on collision. The other driver must have nodded off, been drunk or perhaps been texting.

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June winds make for dramatic skies

By Jim Stanford on June 23, 2013

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The June 12 thunderstorm generated a flurry of stunning images, as well as marble- to golf ball-sized hail. Click to enlarge.

This morning on the Snake.

June has been a breezy month, as anyone pushing boats down the Snake River can attest. Even mornings and evenings, typically the calmest times of day, have been brisk.

The upside is the skies have been turned into works of art, with cirrus clouds framing the Tetons and spectacular formations kindling the imagination. Last Sunday, Father’s Day, a chorus of dancers seemed to glide above the peaks, while today a flourish poured forth from the Grand like a trumpet blast.

The June 12 hailstorm produced the most dramatic photographs, like the one above shot by Chris Owen atop Snow King Mountain. He was doing some trail work for the Bridger-Teton National Forest and just dodged the storm. Sarah Tollison captured a similarly apocalyptic image from her office at DeFazio Law. Meteorologist Jim Woodmencey has a roundup of photos on his blog.

It has been fun the past few weeks to follow the #jacksonhole hashtag on Instagram and watch as shooters like Tristan Greszko and Sue Cedarholm capture different vantage points of the sky. The hailstorm made for particularly compelling crowd-sourced reporting.

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