redneck refuse leads to poaching bust

By Jim Stanford on November 4, 2013

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Game Warden Jordan Kraft shows the antlers taken by the poachers.

In a plot that could have been lifted from The Legend of Colton H. Bryant, two gas field workers are facing fines, jail time and loss of hunting privileges for poaching two mule deer bucks near Pinedale last fall.

The men were undone by their redneck lifestyle, leaving behind a tin of Copenhagen chew and can of Monster energy drink they apparently littered at the scene of the crime. Wyoming Game and Fish Department investigators were able to trace the men through surveillance video at the convenience store where they purchased the items.

The Game and Fish press release, after the jump, reads like a horror story of gas field culture. There’s no telling what acts of depravity humans may commit when amped up on Monster energy drink.

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griz shooters won’t face charges

By Jim Stanford on March 7, 2013

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The shooting was the first ever of a grizzly inside the park, but the third conflict in little over a year between hunters and grizzlies near the Snake.

Following a three-month investigation by Grand Teton National Park, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has decided not to press charges against three hunters who shot and killed a grizzly bear on Thanksgiving morning.

The investigation found that the hunters — David Trembly, 48, of Dubois, and his two sons, ages 20 and 17 — hit the bear with bullets and pepper spray “at nearly the same instant,” according to a park release. The report, made in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, concludes the three acted in self-defense, and the encounter lasted fewer than 10 seconds.

The bear was a male, estimated to be 18 to 20 years old, and weighed 534 pounds. It had been feeding on an elk carcass nearby and likely was defending its food, biologists said.

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Trust seals Hoback deal

By Jim Stanford on January 2, 2013

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The deal ensures that the Hoback headwaters will be saved.

The Trust for Public Land announced today it has raised the $8.75 million needed to buy drilling leases and protect 58,000 acres of the Wyoming Range south of Jackson from oil and gas development.

The deal ensures that fracking will not occur in some of the headwaters of the Hoback River, and up to 136 wells will not be drilled in a pristine area prized for hunting, fishing, hiking and horseback riding.

The trust had been racing a Dec. 31 deadline to raise the necessary funding, which will be paid to Plains Exploration and Production of Houston, the company that owned the drilling rights.

“I can’t think of a better way to start off the New Year. This solution honors the wishes of the people of Wyoming and protects a vital corner of Greater Yellowstone for generations to come,” said Will Rogers, TPL president and CEO.

The largest donation came from Hansjörg Wyss, a Wilson homeowner who contributed $4.25 million through his charitable foundation. Joe Ricketts, the TD Ameritrade founder and part owner of the Chicago Cubs who owns a home near Bondurant, gave $1.75 million, including an eleventh-hour gift of $750,000 that pushed the campaign across the finish line, the trust said in a release.

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griz killing renews call to end park hunt

By Jim Stanford on November 24, 2012

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Grizzly No. 399. How long before one of the park’s famous bruins has a run-in with hunters?

The killing of a grizzly bear in Grand Teton National Park on Thanksgiving morning has federal officials under fire for continuing to allow the controversial elk hunt.

The incident was the third conflict in little over a year between hunters and grizzly bears in the Snake River bottom near Schwabacher’s Landing. In October 2011, a Jackson hunter was mauled by a griz but survived, and in October of this year a hunter from Cody lost his elk carcass to a family of four bears.

The killing, which came after the bear charged a man and his two sons, is the first ever by a hunter inside the park. Grand Teton is one of only a few national parks to allow hunting; known by the euphemism “elk reduction program,” the hunt was part of a compromise worked out to expand the preserve in 1950.

As grizzlies, protected under the Endangered Species Act, have pushed farther and farther south from Yellowstone in recent years, critics have called on the park to end the program, especially in the river bottom. Jackson resident Aaron Feuerstein has started a petition at change.org asking the federal government to stop the hunt. The petition had 81 signatures as of this morning.

(Photo by Sue Cedarholm)

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Wyo. Range, Hoback saved from drilling threat

By Jim Stanford on October 5, 2012

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Members of the Jackson Hole Kayak Club display their opposition to the drilling proposal for the Hoback headwaters last year. American Rivers included the Hoback on its list of America’s most endangered waterways.

Hunters, hikers, kayakers and anglers are about to celebrate, as a conservation group has reached a deal to buy the last remaining oil and gas leases in the Wyoming Range south of Jackson.

A source last night said the drilling company finally agreed to sell the leases, ensuring that the pristine mountain range and headwaters of the Hoback River will be spared fracking and other development. The Associated Press confirmed the deal this morning. A full press release appears after the jump.

The Trust for Public Land will purchase the leases from Houston-based Plains Exploration and Production Co. for $8.75 million, AP reported. The group still must raise half the money by the end of the year.

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