stimulus for sorcerers

By Jim Stanford on November 9, 2011

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Wyoming lawmakers could do just as well paying Shoshones for a raindance.

It seems any enterprising engineer or dreamer looking for an easy handout from state government could hit up the Wyoming Water Development Commission.

On the heels of recommending $300,000 for a Green River watershed study — possibly an end run for yet another ill-advised dam proposal — water managers are seeking $2.4 million for more cloud seeding.

Yes, cloud seeding. The latest request comes on top of nearly $12 million the Wyoming Legislature has given the agency to pump silver iodide into the clouds above the Wind River, Medicine Bow and Sierra Madre mountains, with no measurable results and in violation of wilderness protections.

The goal is to boost snowpack and increase runoff in the Green and Wind rivers, presumably to graze more cattle in the desert. Barry Lawrence, project manager for the Wyoming Water Development Office, calls cloud seeding a “long-term water management strategy,” the News&Guide reported.

Lawmakers might as well be wandering the desert with a forked stick.

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Posted under Economy, Environment, Politics, Republican Party, Weather, Wyoming, Wyoming Legislature

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last day for Hoback drilling comments

By David Stubbs on March 11, 2011

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Drilling rigs on the New Fork River near Pinedale.

Drilling rig on the New Fork River near Pinedale. Is the Hoback next?

Today is the day to speak up to preserve our future air and water quality.

The Bridger-Teton National Forest will accept comments until 5 p.m. on a proposal for natural gas drilling in Noble Basin, in the headwaters of the Hoback River near Bondurant.

Already three times this month — March 1, 2 and 5, according to AP reports — ozone pollution from the nearby Jonah and Pinedale Anticline gas fields was more poisonous than standing above the freeway in Los Angeles on that city’s worst smog day of the year.

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Posted under Economy, Environment, Politics, Wyoming

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giving solitude a voice

By Jim Stanford on November 8, 2010

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Winter is back in the Tetons, and it won’t be long before everyone’s fired up to ski the backcountry.

On Tuesday night, Winter Wildlands Alliance feeds the stoke with its signature event, the sixth annual Backcountry Film Festival, at Snow King Resort. The festival promotes the work of grassroots filmmakers who tell compelling and entertaining stories of backcountry, nonmotorized recreation and environmental preservation. All proceeds will benefit the Teton Pass Ambassador Program (via Friends of Pathways) and the Ski Cabin (via the Jackson Hole Ski Club).

Among the films to be shown are TreeFight‘s “Whitebark Warriors,” chosen as best environmental film, and “Deeper,” the latest from snowboarder Jeremy Jones and Teton Gravity Research, for which no lifts, helicopters and snowmobiles were used. “Deeper” was honored as best of festival.

The festival runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is $10. Snake River Brewing will serve beverages, and there will be raffle prizes.

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Posted under Environment, Sports

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celebrating the human-powered experience

By Jim Stanford on November 19, 2009

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Tonight Winter Wildlands Alliance presents the Backcountry Film Festival at Snow King, a fund-raiser for Friends of Pathways and the Jackson Hole Ski Club.

The festival aims for less bro-bra stoke and more art, as films were selected by Wildlands Alliance board members with an eye on conservation. The lineup celebrates human-powered recreation in the backcountry.

Besides a short from the soulful Sweetgrass Productions and the all-telemark “Flakes” from Powderwhore, also screening is the premiere of Teton Gravity Research‘s “Generations,” a call to action on climate change. From TGR:

Presented by The North Face in partnership with the nonprofit group Protect Our Winters, “Generations” discusses climate change through the perspectives of those for whom snowy winters have a deeper personal significance. Going beyond charts and numbers, “Generations” humanizes the debate on climate change by exploring the delicateness of winter and the intrinsic value of snow to people across generations and cultures. …

The film poignantly captures cultural and personal reactions from those to whom mountains and snow represent an irreplaceable way of life.

While the possible consequences of climate change go well beyond recreation — say, 150 million people displaced, and not just in New York, New Orleans and Venice — props to TGR and the outdoor industry for trying to get the attention of adrenaline junkies.

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Dems set to slam dunk lands bill

By Jim Stanford on March 19, 2009

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The majestic Snake in Grand Teton National Park is among 387 miles of river in Wyoming to be protected.

The majestic Snake in Grand Teton National Park would be among nearly 400 miles of the river and its tributaries protected in Wyoming.

The U.S. Senate just voted to pass the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, again.

Only this time it’s cleverly disguised as the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act.

Congressional Democrats, in a bit of legislative legerdemain, stripped the battlefield bill and inserted the bundle of public lands provisions, which among other conservation measures would give Wild and Scenic designation to the Snake headwaters and protect the Wyoming Range from oil and gas drilling.

The new bill, H.R. 146, is not subject to amendment and needs only a simple majority for approval in the House.

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Posted under Democratic Party, Environment, Politics

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