PROPS & DISSES: Blowing money plowing roads
A town bailing out the federal government is bad precedent. Rushing to get a jump on that ‘lucrative’ May tourist travel is inane.
The notion that puny municipal organizations like a chamber of commerce or a Travel and Tourism Board should get in the habit of rescuing Washington from its financial fix is unsound thinking along the lines of providing a TARP bailout for a failing auto industry and imprudent lending institutions that put the country in this shape. The state of Wyoming passed on its chance to tap billions in its slush fund to pay its own transportation department to saddle up and show DC once more that the Equality State can balance a budget AND keep the lights on. Gov. Mead lent the keys to the plow trucks but said he wasn’t gassin’ ‘em up.
The Travel and Tourism Board’s pledge of $56,000, along with the Chamber’s $14,000, is a nice gesture but it’s wasted money and may give the ‘federales’ the idea we are ready to start funding the day-to-day expenses of running our nearby national parks. This act of kindness will only lead to future expectations that tony Jackson – and those other fools in Cody – are willing and able to cough up dough whenever Yellowstone officials want to save a buck. Wait ‘til next year; TTB will be paying to put in new glamping RVs at Grant Village.
Chamber ED Jeff Golightly said he’s excited about the PR potential. If PR stands for Painfully Rash, he might be on to something. When word gets out that a small community bordering a national park was so desperate for vacation revenue that it blew $70k to blow open roads because it couldn’t wait a measly two weeks, we will look like the biggest soft touch there ever was.
Playing the odds on Wyoming weather in April is really dicey, too. And where are these numbers coming from? No way 18,500 people move through that south gate in the first two weeks of May, and no way they drop a total of $2.5 million in Jackson in those two weeks.
Hold the fries, please (PROP)
Hot on the heels of last week’s ‘diss’ for Yellowstone’s campaign against lake trout comes the Game and Fish Department’s plan to cut back on trout stocking in some areas (good) and kill off brook trout in the Bighorn National Forest and then restock the streams with cutthroat (unnecessary and expensive meddling).
Concerned the native cutty doesn’t stand a chance against bigger brookies, the agency that just admitted it’s running at an unsustainable budget deficit and needs to trim 10 percent this year, wants to chemically poison brook trout over the next few years, then reestablish the natives with stocking. This same state agency just announced it didn’t have the money to stock Lake De Smet – prized for its fishing. Regional Fisheries Supervisor Paul Mavrakis said he usually dumps 150,000 fries in the lake. Plans are to cut that to 50,000.
Meanwhile, the waste continues. G&F was pouring money and fish into the Hoback for more than 20 years with little results. The pampered fries simply couldn’t make it through a winter once out of their heated incubators. Cutthroat numbers are up now in the Hoback only AFTER the agency quit stocking.
How to do it right? Remove Props to Grand Teton NP and Trout Unlimited for their efforts to assist trout by removing an old diversion dam on the Gros Ventre River. The watershed restoration project will get underway immediately by removing the Newbold Dam — a significant barrier to fish passage on the GV. It is expected to open up an additional 100 miles of stream for habitat and spawning.
Crash this stoplight party (DISS)
The light at 22 and 390 is FUBAR. Always has been. I think it receives its programming from Jerry Blann. It gives too much priority to southbound 390 traffic pouring out of the Village. It takes merely one lone ski bum in an Outback to trip the light fantastic and halt 20 or 30 hard-charging commuters trying to get to or from work.
I’ve seen it change with no one waiting on the Moose-Wilson Road. Twenty-two traffic should be green-lighted until the stoplight is tripped by the last guy in a long line that stretches back to the Aspens.