Energy news (posted 12/8/16)
Oil, Gas, Coal news
Top U.S. Oil and Gas Fields U.S. Department of Energy report, March, 2015, 17 page PDF
Five reasons the Permian Basin proves everything is bigger in Texas Exxonmobil.com
2008-2016 Texas Permian Basin Oil Production chart Railroad Commission of Texas
Natural Gas Prices Continue To Rise By Jude Clemente, Forbes.com, Dec. 6, 2016
Natural Gas Weekly Update EIA, U.S. Energy Information Administration
Natural Gas World News
www.marcellusdrilling.com Marcellus Drilling News
BYU demolishing smokestack, switching to natural gas By Madeline Phillips, BYU News, Dec. 7, 2016
Oil & Gas Journal
Hochstein outlines how world energy changed during Obama’s presidency By Nick Snow , Oil & Gas Journal, Dec. 6, 2016
Missing Rock Springs teenager safe (posted 12/7/16)
Taylar Haddock found and is safe
Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office
ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING December 7, 2016 - In a special bulletin issued Wednesday evening (Dec. 7, 2016), Sweetwater County Sheriff Mike Lowell said Taylar Rae Haddock, 16, has been located in Rock Springs and is safe.
The teen was reported missing by her family on December 3. Deputies and other law enforcement officers have been searching for her ever since, and following up on reported sightings.
Lowell expressed his special thanks to the media in Sweetwater and adjoining counties for getting the word out and circulating Taylar’s photograph and description. "Both mainstream media and social media were a big help," he said, "and we appreciate their efforts."
Sheriff’s Office seeking information on missing girl Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office, Dec. 6, 2016
Scam Alert (posted 12/7/16)
Sublette County Sheriff’s Office
PINEDALE, WYOMING Dec. 7, 2016 – The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office has started receiving calls about telephone scams in the community. The caller is stating that they work for Rocky Mountain Power and that the customer has an outstanding payment due on their power bill. The caller is stating that if the customer does not pay a specified amount immediately then their power will be shut off.
The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office has been in contact with the local Rocky Mountain Power Office. Rocky Mountain Power has confirmed that they would never ask their customers to make payment in this manner.
The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office wants to let the community know that this is a scam.
Undersheriff Lance Gehlhausen
Sublette County Sheriff’s Office
Beware utility bill phone scam (posted 12/7/16)
Don't be scammed! Crooks are calling people demanding payment for supposed overdue electric bills. This is a scam - don't be tricked!
Telling victims their electricity will be cut off immediately if don’t pay bill
Rocky Mountain Power
Editor’s note: We are reposting an earlier media release from Rocky Mountain Power regarding scam phone calls demanding payment for power bills. Scam phone calls of this nature have been reported going around again in Pinedale recently.
Rocky Mountain Power is warning the public of several recent phone and email scams targeting utility customers nationwide where crooks posing as company employees try to get money and steal personal information.
The thieves are using sophisticated deceptive tactics that make it appear to Caller ID systems that the scam call is coming from the utility when it is not.
Scammers are calling customers claiming to be from their local electric company. They tell the potential victim they have not paid for their service and are in jeopardy of being disconnected. In some cases, the callers say customers need to pay a special meter charge. The scam caller advises the customer to make a payment either immediately on the phone, by calling a special number or by going to a local store to purchase a pre-paid card and calling back with the code.
Utility customers should be aware this is not a legitimate request and Rocky Mountain Power does not follow this practice.
In another scam, fraudulent emails are being sent to customers claiming their utility bill is ready. If the recipient clicks on the link to view the bill, it takes them to a compromised website that harbors malware.
These scammers are in no way associated with our company and we take very seriously any efforts to defraud our customers, especially using our company's good customer relationships and reputation.
We offer the following suggestions to help ensure customers and their personal information, bank accounts and sense of security are kept safe:
Please be aware of our practices, identification and methods of contacting customers:
Rocky Mountain Power employees wear identification badges when performing work in the field. If the ID is not visible and you don't see any other Rocky Mountain Power logo, you should ask the individual to show you their badge.
All company vehicles are marked with the company's name or logo. If you are approached by someone claiming to be from Rocky Mountain Power, check to see if their vehicle is clearly marked and/or ask for ID.
Our employees will not demand immediate payment for damaged or broken electrical equipment or any other service. Be suspicious of anyone who approaches you and asks for on-the-spot payment.
If we contact a customer, the company representative will always have the customer's account number.
If you believe you have been contacted by a scammer, note any information – caller ID, phone numbers, addresses for making payments, etc. – and report it to your local police and the Federal Trade Commission at 877-FTC-HELP.
If you are in doubt that the caller or visitor represents Rocky Mountain Power, please call us at 1-888-221-7070 to confirm the person's identity and role with the company before proceeding with any transaction.
If you are not sure about the authenticity of a billing or other email that appears to come from us, you can log in to your account directly at rockymountainpower.net to review your statement. You can also call us anytime toll free at 1-888-221-7070.
Flag Half Staff notice – Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Dec. 7 (posted 12/6/16)
Governor Matthew H. Mead
Governor Matthew H. Mead, pursuant to President Barack Obama's Proclamation, has ordered the flag of the United States to be flown on all public buildings and grounds, at half staff on December 7, 2016, in honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
Gas leak causes explosion at compressor station (posted 12/5/16)
Photo courtesy Sublette County Emergency Management
Sublette County Sheriff’s Office media release
Update, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016: Sublette County Sheriff's Office correction to this press release: The call came in at 12:34PM.
(Pinedale, Wyo. – December 5, 2016) At 1423 hrs. Lower Valley Energy of Teton County experienced a gas leak at their Compressor Station on Hwy 191 just south of the Rim at mp 126.5. The gas found an ignition source in the dehy and part of that dehy protective structure was compromised. All gas valving has been shut down pending further thorough inspection.
As soon as proper equipment arrives, the debris will be moved and the inspection completed.
Per Lower Valley Representatives; Jackson has about a 2 day reserve of LNG to use in cases just as this when supply is interrupted.
Again no injuries sustained in this incident. Please drive carefully as roads in this area are snow packed and slick.
No Disruptions for Jackson Gas Service After Compressor Station Explosion SweetwaterNow.com, December 5, 2016
Explosion reported at dehy plant north of Daniel (posted 12/5/16)
Explosion incident update, Monday, Dec. 5, 2:40PM: There were no reported injuries in the explosion at the natural gas dehy plant located approximately 10 miles north of Daniel on US 189/191. All gas lines have been closed off. The fire was quickly extinguished. The road is open, but drivers are cautioned that the roads are very slippery and it is snowing, reducing visibility. Please drive with caution. No further information at this time on cause or damage.
TRAFFIC ADVISORY, Monday, Dec. 5, 1:09PM: The fire is out. No injuries reported. The incident is at milepost 128. Natural gas was released initially, but that has been shut down. Traffic is now being allowed to pass by. Roads are reported to be extremely slippery. Please drive with caution through the area.
TRAFFIC ADVISORY, Monday, Dec. 5, 1:00PM: An explosion has been reported at a dehy plant 10 miles north of Daniel Junction on US 189/191 south of the Rim. Natural gas is being released. Emergency services are enroute. Traffic is being stopped at Daniel Junction. Roads are reported to be extremely slippery.
Gas leak causes explosion at compressor station Sublette County Sheriff’s Office media release - December 5, 2016
No Disruptions for Jackson Gas Service After Compressor Station Explosion SweetwaterNow.com, December 5, 2016
Snow and Wind reports (posted 12/5/16)
Below are preliminary reports from the National Weather Service on snowfall totals and peak wind gusts for the winter storm that impacted western Wyoming Saturday night into Monday, Dec. 3-5, 2016.
Note: SnoTELS (Snow Telemetry) are remote sensing sites in high mountain watersheds. Snowfall data from SNOTELS are estimated based on snow water equivalent.
Blind Bull Summit Snotel, 15 inches
Commissary Ridge, 15 inches
Blind Bull Summit, 14 inches
Star Valley Ranch, 14 inches
Box Y Ranch, 13 inches
Indian Creek Snotel, 12 inches
Spring Creek Divide Snotel, 10 inches
5 SSE Smoot, 9 inches
Willow Creek Snotel, 9 inches
Cottonwood Creek Snotel, 8 inches
Kelley Ranger Station Snotel, 8 inches
2 SE Thayne, 7.9 inches
3 SE Bedford, 7 inches
Salt River Summit Snotel, 6 inches
Hams Fork Snotel, 4 inches
Afton, 3.6 inches
Kendall Ranger Station Snotel, 16 inches
Loomis Park Snotel, 15 inches
Triple Peak Snotel, 13 inches
Bondurant, 9.2 inches
Snider Basin Snotel, 9 inches
Gunsite Pass Snotel, 9 inches
New Fork Lake Snotel, 8 inches
East Rim Divide Snotel, 8 inches
Big Sandy Opening Snotel, 8 inches
Larsen Creek Snotel, 7 inches
Elkhart Park G.S. Snotel, 7 inches
14 NW Pinedale, 5.6 inches
Pocket Creek Snotel, 5 inches
Daniel Fish Hatchery, 3 inches
Pinedale, 1.8 inches
Boulder Rearing Station, 1 inch
Green River, 0.5 to 1 inch
7 SE Rock Springs, 0.5 inches
4 NNW Rock Springs, 0.4 inches
Rock Springs, 0.4 inches
5 N Farson, 0.3 inches
Jackson Hole – Raymer, 21 inches
Jackson Hole - Mid Mountain, 19 inches
Grassy Lake Snotel, 18 inches
Phillips Bench Snotel, 17 inches
Jackson Hole - Rendezvous Bowl, 17 inches
Snake River Stn Snotel, 16 inches
Grand Targhee Snotel, 15 inches
Base Camp Snotel, 14 inches
Grand Targhee - Chief Joseph, 14 inches
Granite Creek Snotel, 13 inches
Snow King, 11 inches
Gros Ventre Summit Snotel, 11 inches
Togwotee Mountain Lodge, 11 inches
Togwotee Pass Snotel, 10 inches
3 SSW Wilson, 9.5 inches
1 ENE Teton Village, 9.5 inches
Jackson, 8 inches
Jackson Hole – Base, 8 inches
12 NE Jackson, 7 inches
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
Two Ocean Plateau Snotel, 27 inches
Lewis Lake Divide Snotel, 16 inches
Thumb Divide Snotel, 11 inches
Parker Peak Snotel, 10 inches
Sylvan Road Snotel, 8 inches
Sylvan Lake Snotel, 6 inches
Lamar Ranger Station, 4.6 inches
Canyon Snotel, 4 inches
Tower Falls Ranger Station, 0.5 inches
Note: SnoTELS (Snow Telemetry) are remote sensing sites in high
mountain watersheds. Snowfall data from SNOTELS are estimated based
on snow water equivalent.
Location Speed Time/Date Elevation (ft.)
Mt Coffin, 96 MPH, 0400 AM, 12/05, 10870
3 NW Etna, 45 MPH, 0153 AM, 12/05, 5692
21 W Big Piney, 59 MPH, 0409 AM, 12/05, 8200
Big Piney Airport, 47 MPH, 0354 AM, 12/05, 6974
15 SE Rock Springs, 54 MPH, 1144 AM, 12/03, 7550
7 WSW Rock Springs, 54 MPH, 0505 AM, 12/05, 6238
I 80 - Mile Marker 142, 53 MPH, 0645 AM, 12/05, 7162
Rock Springs Airport, 53 MPH, 0618 AM, 12/05, 6760
23 W Wamsutter, 51 MPH, 0615 AM, 12/05, 6804
8 E Rock Springs, 50 MPH, 0600 AM, 12/05, 6339
5 E Rock Springs, 49 MPH, 0545 AM, 12/05, 6369
I 80 - Mile Marker 157, 48 MPH, 0545 AM, 12/05, 6965
20 ENE Opal, 47 MPH, 0441 AM, 12/05, 6556
I 80 - Mile Marker 184, 45 MPH, 0836 AM, 12/05, 7112
5 SSE Point Of Rocks, 45 MPH, 0615 AM, 12/05, 6568
I 80 - Mile Marker 124, 45 MPH, 0626 AM, 12/05, 6475
Summit - Jackson Resort, 58 MPH, 1230 AM, 12/05, 10318
5 ENE Alta - Freds Mtn, 55 MPH, 0915 PM, 12/04, 9840
2 WNW Teton Village, 48 MPH, 0730 PM, 12/04, 7913
Observations are collected from a variety of sources with varying equipment and exposures. Not all data listed are considered official.
Wyoming Cowboys to play BYU in Poinsettia Bowl Dec. 21 (posted 12/5/16)
The Wyoming Cowboys will play the BYU Cougars in the Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California on Wednesday, Dec. 21, vs the BYU Cougars. Game time is 7PM Mountain time.
Copies of ‘The Drift’ video available to order (posted 12/3/16)
'The Drift' - The true story of a 100 year, 100-mile long cattle drive in western Wyoming.
The true story of a 100 year, 100-mile long cattle drive in western Wyoming
Those who would like to get a personal copy of the new video "The Drift" can now order them now and get them in time for Christmas. DVDs are $19.99 each plus shipping. Click on this link to get to the order page: http://www.contentlabmedia.com/the-drift.html
"The Drift" is a documentary from The Content Lab, LLC out of Lander, Wyoming. It is described as "A true story of the Old West in the modern world." From the pasture and mesas along the Green River to the alpine meadows near the Continental Divide, "The Drift" tells a story embedded in the history and culture of Wyoming: a cattle drive, and the people who ride it. For over a century, ranchers along the Green River have driven their cattle long distances to high pastures in the mountains of Wyoming. Now they must find their way past drilling rigs, vacation homes, grizzly bears... and an uncertain future.
In the midst of a monumental landscape, the documentary focuses in on authentic, unforgettable characters: Bob Beard and his grand-daughter Sara riding among the snorting, pluming cattle in the Counting Gate chute, shouting out and counting brands; grizzly bears picking off straggling calves at "the Bend" as biologist Zach Turnbull tries to trap and collar the bad actors; old Bobby Gilbank riding out in a lightning storm along Fish Creek to doctor a sick calf. Our cameras capture the grit and grime, the calving and winter storms, the personal stories of loss and love. And hovering over the extraordinary mountain landscapes, a foreboding cloud: the Drift itself is endangered by the encroaching modern world.
The documentary will air again on Wyoming PBS on Wednesday, December 7th at 7:00PM (Pinedale Online Editor’s comment: note new date and time from our earlier postings).
There will be an additional screening at the Wyoming Stock Growers meeting on Monday, December 5th at 7:45PM at the Parkway Plaza, American Room in Casper, Wyoming.
For more information about the documentary, contact:
The Content Lab
PO Box 973
Lander, WY 82520
EPA proposes financial responsibility requirements for hardrock mining industry (posted 12/2/16)
Companies must prove financial ability to pay for response and cleanup of environment around mineral mining sites – EPA proposes similar rules for chemical manufacturing; electric power generation, transmission and distribution, and petroleum and coal products manufacturing industries
Environmental Protection Agency
WASHINGTON – Following a court order and Congressional directive under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today (Friday, Dec. 2, 2016) is taking action to protect American taxpayers by proposing financial responsibility requirements for the hardrock mining industry.
This proposal would require that owners and operators of certain classes of hardrock mines and mineral processing facilities show financial ability to address risks from hazardous substances. Since the 1980s, EPA has spent considerable resources cleaning up contamination from hardrock mines. The most recent analysis, from 2010 to 2014, shows that the Agency spent nearly $1.1 billion on response and cleanup actions on hardrock mining and mineral processing sites.
"Far too often the American people bear the costs of expensive environmental cleanups stemming from hardrock mining and mineral processing," said Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for the agency’s Office of Land and Emergency Management. "This proposed rule, once finalized, would move the financial burden from taxpayers, and ensure that industry assumes responsibility for these cleanups. The proposed rule would also give companies an economic incentive to use environmentally protective practices that can help prevent future releases."
This proposal is the result of many years of incremental steps since the Agency identified hard rock mining as the first sector for development of these regulations. The Agency extensively consulted with stakeholders, including small businesses, industry groups, environmental groups, and state and tribal governments.
These proposed requirements complement existing financial responsibility requirements. Facilities that apply environmentally protective practices—including those required by other regulations—may be able to reduce their required amount of financial responsibility under the proposed rule.
In addition, as requested by Congress, EPA published a market capacity study to examine the availability of financial responsibility instruments for this proposal. The study illustrated the likely probability of sufficient providers and capacity to meet requirements of a future CERCLA 108(b) regulation for hardrock mining.
In a separate action, the EPA Administrator also signed a Regulatory Determination Notice stating the agency’s determination to issue notices of proposed rulemaking on similar financial responsibility requirements for three additional industries: chemical manufacturing; electric power generation, transmission and distribution; and petroleum and coal products manufacturing.
This notice is not a determination that regulatory financial assurance requirements are necessary for any of these three industries. The notice explains that EPA intends to move forward with the regulatory process, which will determine what, if any, financial responsibility requirements are necessary for these industries.
The hardrock mining proposal and the notice on determination for additional classes of industries will be published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks. The proposal will be available for public comment for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. EPA invites stakeholders and the public to share their expertise by providing comments on the proposed rule for the hard rock mining industry during the public comment period. EPA is not establishing a public comment period on the Regulatory Determination Notice.
A pre-publication version of the rule is available for review at: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-financial-responsibility.
A pre-publication version of the Regulatory Determination Notice for additional industries may be viewed at: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-financial-responsibility.
White Pine Ski Area opens Dec. 2 (posted 12/1/16)
White Pine Ski Area trail map
White Pine Ski Area near Pinedale will have their opening day on Friday, December 2nd. They will begin the season with opening Little Spirit lift first, Great Spirit lift will open as soon as snow conditions allow. Updates will be posted on their website, www.whitepineski.com, and via social media.
White Pine will operate Friday through Monday this winter with lifts running from 9AM to 4PM. White Pine will be open for all the Federal holidays as well as Teacher Training days which mostly occur on Mondays. White Pine will open daily through the school Christmas break, including Christmas Day, from Friday December 16 to Monday January 2. For more information call 307-367-6606.
Energy Share of Wyoming kicks off for 2016-17 (posted 12/1/16)
Funding is available to pay energy bills when all other resources and assistance have been exhausted
Rocky Mountain Power
Raising more than $100,000 and assisting more than 350 families statewide are among goals of Energy Share of Wyoming, which kicks-off its 2016-17 season Thursday, December 1.
Numerous Wyoming businesses, organizations and communities sponsor the program that assists individuals with energy-related emergencies when unusual circumstances create financial needs not met through existing assistance programs. Funding comes from voluntary contributions for the program that runs through spring 2017.
During its 28th season last year, Energy Share raised nearly $64,000 in private and corporate donations to assist 191 households throughout the state. Recipients of funding resided in 13 of Wyoming’s counties, with an average bill being paid of $268.
According to Leslie Blythe, Energy Share past president from Rocky Mountain Power, "We are very fortunate in Wyoming to have so many generous people who want to help their neighbors through the rough times. Over the years, our program has been very successful and been able to assist thousands of families in need."
A nonprofit organization, Energy Share of Wyoming is a partnership of numerous organizations, utilities and businesses. Sponsoring groups include The Salvation Army; Montana-Dakota Utilities; Rocky Mountain Power and Rocky Mountain Power Foundation; Black Hills Energy and Black Hills Corporation Foundation; Townsquare Media Group; City of Gillette; Wyoming Rural Electric Association; Town of Lusk; Dominion-Questar; City of Powell; Powder River Energy Corp.; Kelly Rizley Advertising & PR; and Align.
Energy Share funding is available to pay energy bills when all other resources and assistance have been exhausted. First priority goes to individuals and families at or above 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Special consideration is given to senior citizens and the disabled. Energy Share provides for a one-time expenditure of up to $400 per household, and all applicants must be Wyoming residents.
Funding decisions are made by The Salvation Army, which reviews applications and assesses eligibility based on need, lack of other resources and available Energy Share funds. Individuals interested in applying for funds should contact their local Salvation Army, or call toll-free 1-877-461-5719, to determine your local Salvation Army field representative.
For those wishing to make a tax-deductible contribution, sponsoring utilities include instructions in their fall and winter billing statements. In areas without a sponsoring utility, individuals may send their tax-deductible donations to Energy Share of Wyoming, c/o Align, 1401 Airport Parkway Suite 300, Cheyenne, WY 82001-1543.
Wyoming will host Mountain West Football Championship Dec. 3 (posted 12/1/16)
Play against San Diego State
University of Wyoming
For the first time in school history, the Wyoming Cowboys will host the Mountain West Football Championship Saturday, Dec. 3 at War Memorial Stadium. The Cowboys will face the San Diego State Aztecs in the first ever postseason game at the War. Kick-off is at 5:45 p.m. Gates to the stadium will open at 3:30 p.m.
Wyoming earned hosting rights based upon its higher composite computer average. It’s the first conference championship game appearance for UW since the inaugural Western Athletic Conference title game in 1996. San Diego State won the 2015 MW Championship with a victory over Air Force, 27-24, last December. Both teams finished 6-2 in league play. The Cowboys are 8-4 on the season, while the Aztecs are 9-3.
Tickets went on sale at noon on Sunday, Nov. 27 and are available through the University of Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office. You can visit gowyo.com/tickets or stop by the ticket office in-person, open noon-to-6 p.m. Sunday or by calling 307-766-7220.
Ticket prices range from $21 to $38 for adults. Youth tickets are $17. Since the Championship is operated by the Mountain West, parking must be purchased. Cowboy Joe Club members can purchase in their regular-season designated lots for $15 by Friday, Dec. 2. Non-members can buy a parking pass in select lots for $20. A limited number of game day passes will be available for $20.
The University of Wyoming will also host a men’s basketball game against Northern Iowa Saturday, Dec. 3. The start time for the game was already moved to 1 p.m. in an effort to avoid a conflict with MW Championship football game.
BTNF roads to close Dec. 1 for winter season (posted 11/28/16)
Most become impassable by conventional vehicles due to snow
Bridger-Teton National Forest
JACKSON, Wyo., November 28, 2016 – The Jackson Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest announced that the Granite Creek road and the Mosquito Creek road, south of Jackson, and the Shadow Mountain road, north of Jackson have been intermittently passable by vehicle over the last several days. With more snow predicted this week, the Forest is cautioning visitors to check conditions before heading out, especially those who might be tempted to drive these roads in search of Christmas trees.
All forest roads will be closed on Thursday, December 1, 2016 when the winter travel restrictions go into effect on the Forest. "Oftentimes, visitors forget that there is no snow removal on forest roadways," said Public Affairs Officer Mary Cernicek. "As winter progresses, the mountain roads become drifted with snow and unpassable. If not careful, an unsuspecting motorist could get caught on a drifted road or slide off into a ditch and the vehicle cold be stuck there until snowmelt in the spring," she said.
Winter weather conditions may change rapidly on the forest, especially with forest roads and highways. "Visitors are encouraged to contact their forest district office for the most up-to-date information," she said. Most Forest Service roads are impassable to conventional vehicles during the winter due to deep snow. Forest Service roads are not maintained or plowed for winter travel by conventional vehicles.
"We ask our visitors to take all precautions as weather and road conditions can change," Cernicek said. "Be prepared for winter driving, limited sight distance and bumpy driving on all Forest Service roads." Bring extra clothing, food, water, blankets, first aid kit, shovel, tire chains and let someone know your destination and expected day/time of return.
It is a good idea to check the Bridger-Teton National Forest avalanche forecast at www.jhavalanche.org. Road and trail condition reports are updated regularly with help from forest visitors, trail crews and engineering reports. Please call the Bridger-Teton National Forest at 307-739-5500 or send an email to email@example.com to give a report after your hike of the conditions during your visit. "We can’t be everywhere at once and appreciate your help."
2016 / 2017 Winter Programs to begin on the National Elk Refuge (posted 11/28/16)
Elk feedground sleigh rides begin Dec. 17
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
The National Elk Refuge is pleased to announce the 2016 / 2017 winter program schedule for the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center. The visitor center, located at 532 N. Cache Street in Jackson, is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily this season, except for Christmas Day.
The Refuge’s most popular educational program takes place from the unique setting of a horse-drawn sleigh. Sleigh rides begin for the season on Saturday, December 17 and operate daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, except for Christmas Day. The rides are an exciting way to observe and photograph wildlife on the Refuge. In addition to elk, passengers routinely see coyotes, bald eagles, trumpeter swans, ravens, and other wildlife.
Participants purchase sleigh ride tickets at the visitor center and are transported on a free shuttle bus to the sleigh boarding area three miles north of Jackson. Sleighs depart three to four times each hour throughout the day, with rides typically lasting an hour. The sleigh rides are operated under contract by Double H Bar, Inc. Rates are $21 for adults and $15 for children ages 5 through 12, with children under age 5 riding for free. Reservations are required for private tours and groups of 20 people or more; smaller groups or families may make reservations, but advanced booking is not necessary. Additional information on sleigh rides, including group rates, reservations, and gift certificate purchases, is available by visiting http://1.usa.gov/1hwpEXj or by calling (307) 733-0277.
The National Elk Refuge is again partnering with the Teton Raptor Center this winter to present a series of "Feathered Fridays" visits this season at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center. The programs, offered each Friday from 12:00-2:00 pm, will run weekly from December 23, 2016 through March 31, 2017. The "Feathered Fridays" series was implemented last season as a pilot program and quickly became a popular success. Over 2,000 people attended one of the free programs, prompting the partnering organizations to continue the raptor program at the visitor center this winter. New this year is the opportunity for school and non-profit groups to sign up for a private Friday group raptor lesson from 11:30 am-12:00 pm. To schedule an educational program, please call (307) 739-9322.
Please visit the National Elk Refuge’s web site at www.fws.gov/refuge/National_Elk_Refuge throughout the winter season for announcements on special events, including wildlife tours, full moon walks, craft days, guest speakers, and other programming.
Elk hunting opportunities remain at National Elk Refuge (posted 11/23/16)
Wyoming Game & Fish
Hunters who have not yet filled their 2016 Wyoming elk license still have an opportunity to hunt elk on the National Elk Refuge (Hunt Area 77). Three additional hunt periods remain through the end of the season, which is scheduled to conclude on December 16.
The application process for National Elk Refuge elk hunting permits is conducted in cooperation with the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. Applications are made through the Wyoming Game & Fish Department’s Access Yes Program web site at http://bit.ly/1jjpFQL.
Many hunters receive a Refuge elk hunt permit via a computerized drawing in September. However, once the season is underway, alternate permits also become available to hunters on a weekly basis. The alternate permits are issued online on Mondays. In order to disperse hunters over the hunt period, half of the alternate permits issued are valid for Tuesday-Friday of the respective week, with the remaining half valid for Saturday-Tuesday of the same hunt period.
Hunters apply for an alternate permit between Friday at 9:00 am and Sunday at 11:59 pm MST for the upcoming hunt period. During the application process, hunters designate if they want to be considered for the Tuesday-Friday or the Saturday-Tuesday option for the upcoming hunt period. The results of the weekly computerized random draw are then posted on the application web site by 11:00 am on the following Monday. Currently, three alternate draws remain for the 2016 Refuge elk hunting season: November 28, December 5, and December 12.
The number of alternate permits issued will vary, depending on hunter harvest rates and participation. Individuals who were already successful in obtaining an elk permit for another hunt period may still apply for an alternate permit.
Beginning in late November, Refuge daily field permits may also be available on a first-come, first-served basis. This allows wildlife managers from both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Wyoming Game & Fish Department to provide additional late season hunting opportunities to achieve population objectives. Hunters can call a recorded message at (307) 201-5437 to be notified if field permits are available. The daily field permits are the only permits issued on location; when available, they are distributed on the Refuge Road near the 90° turn at Twin Creek, approximately 3.5 miles on the Refuge Road. Daily field permits are valid for the day of issuance only and give licensed hunters immediate access to the Refuge hunt once their permit is signed.
Daily field permits will be based on the number of current hunters and the safe dispersal of hunters and animals. There is no guarantee these permits will be available.
Refuge hunting regulations, including access, a map, retrieval of harvested animals, and other information, can be found on the National Elk Refuge web site at http://bit.ly/2gexVFl.
Printed copies of the regulations are also available at the following locations:
Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, 532 N. Cache Street
Wyoming Game & Fish Department Jackson office, 420 N. Cache Street
National Elk Refuge Administrative Offices, 675 E. Broadway Avenue
Forest Service seeks public comment on two Elk feedground permits (posted 11/23/16)
Bridger-Teton National Forest
Greys River and Big Piney Ranger Districts are seeking comments on issuing permits for two elk feedgrounds on National Forest System lands. The proposed two special use permits, one each for the use of Forest Park feedground and Dell Creek feedground, would be issued to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission for the purpose of continuing their elk management activities and associated facilities for one year period. The permits would expire on December 31, 2017.
These feedgrounds are two of 22 state operated feedgrounds located in Wyoming. The current 20-year permits authorizing use of the Forest Park and Dell Creek feedgrounds will expire on December 31, 2016. The one-year re-authorization of the existing special use permits allows for the continued management of the elk feedgrounds on a temporary basis while the Forest Service and Commission conduct environmental analyses for longer term use. "We intend to complete an environmental assessment to provide sufficient analysis for determining whether to prepare an environmental impact statement or a finding of no significant pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act," said Anita Delong, Environmental Coordinator for the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Information Is available at http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=50622. Comments are due by December 5, 2016. Written comments should be submitted to: District Ranger Richard Raione, Greys River Ranger District, 671 N. Washington, Afton, WY 83110 or to District Ranger Don Kranendonk, Big Piney Ranger District, P.O. Box 218, Pig Piney, WY 83113. Electronic comments can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com. For more information or to be added to the mailing list for this project, please contact Environmental Coordinator Anita DeLong at firstname.lastname@example.org or (307) 886-5329.