Eye-opening images from 2012

By Jim Stanford on January 15, 2013

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Sunrise on the Snake in September, when a mixture of fog, smoke and autumn foliage made for a brilliant scene. Click to enlarge.

After devoting much of the fall to multimedia projects, travel and other assignments, photographer David Stubbs has restarted his blog, A Vivid Eye.

Rousing the site from slumber, Stubbs has compiled a selection of his favorite landscapes, sports action, portraits and newsy images from 2012, including a dramatic shot of the Little Horsethief Fire cresting the ridge atop Cache Creek.

The News&Guide, too, put together a reel of its best photographs of the year.

When not shooting the likes of Dick Cheney (for a documentary film) or hanging from a rope in the Apocalypse Couloir, Stubbs often focuses his lens on his own backyard and produces stunning beauty from scenes of everyday life. Glimpses of those moments should give readers plenty to look forward to in 2013.

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plan future of BLM parcels on Snake

By Jim Stanford on November 8, 2012

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The stretch of the Snake between Wilson and South Park contains several BLM parcels prized for recreation. Click to enlarge.

Tonight Jackson-Teton County Parks and Recreation and the Snake River Fund will host an open house to help plan the future of BLM parcels along the Snake.

The open house is from 5 to 7 p.m. at the 4-H building, 255 W. Deloney Ave., adjacent to Miller Park. The county will present results of its user survey, along with maps and projected timelines for improving the Wilson and South Park access points. Representatives from WyDOT, Wyoming Game and Fish, Bridger-Teton National Forest and outfitters also will participate.

The decision over how to manage the Snake between Wilson and South Park is likely to be contentious. Already, John Wasson and other river advocates have called for limiting commercial use on the 13-mile stretch, while outfitters have drafted their own management plan.

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

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taking care of Teton trash pile

By Jim Stanford on October 30, 2012

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Of all the choices facing voters in the Nov. 6 election, none is easier than Proposition #3, the proposal to clean up and cap the old landfill south of town and begin planning a new trash transfer station.

The price tag is steep — $14.5 million in sales tax revenue — but the county has to take action, facing a deadline from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. As this video illustrates, toxic chemicals are leaching from old trash into groundwater and eventually could contaminate the Snake River.

County residents either can pay for the cleanup via sales tax — with tourists bearing their share — or property tax.

The ballot measure also would pay for planning of an improved facility on the site for trash transfer, recycling and composting. Expanding these services can help the community save money in the long run. The more waste we divert, the less we will pay for trash hauling to the landfill near Idaho Falls.

The proposal is one of three for specific-purpose excise tax, or SPET, revenue. Also up for vote are the proposal to buy the 10-acre Forest Service property on North Cache for $13.5 million, which I do not support, and Proposition #2, finishing the pathway connection between West Broadway and Wilson for $4.4 million, which I do support.

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Posted under County Government, Environment, Politics, Town Government

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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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bureau to cut dam releases early

By Jim Stanford on September 13, 2012

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The Snake below Deadman’s Bar.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will reduce flows out of Jackson Lake Dam into the Snake River a week early, starting Sept. 24.

Water managers will make cuts incrementally, lowering the release from 2,100 cubic feet per second to 300 cfs by Sept. 29. Usually, the bureau begins cutting back water Oct. 1.

The change was not entirely unexpected, given the drought across the West and the bureau’s overarching goal of storing as much water as possible in the Jackson Lake reservoir, to safeguard against continued drought next season.

Scenic rafting operators likely will end their season a little earlier than planned. In 2011, after the third-highest runoff in the last 100 years, there was enough water in the Snake, even as releases were reduced, for rafting companies to run trips through the first week of October.

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