PROPS & DISSES: 2.12.14
JACKSON, WYO – IPSSSDR 2014: Why let the dogs out? PROPS
Buddy Streeper won the 19th running of the International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race, his fifth title, but the real winners were the communities along the way that depend on the annual event for a shot-in-arm to their winter economies.
The “dog-friendly race” conceived by local musher Frank Teasley in 1996 has become a major winter event drawing hundreds of fans to each of the eight towns it overnights in. The race has highlighted the sport of dog sledding as well as spotlighting much of what western Wyoming has to offer visitors. Pedigree Food for Dogs has helped fund the event and market it on a nationwide scale since its involvement 13 years ago.
The 2014 running of the IPSSSDR was not without a few noteworthy oddities and firsts. The race had one leg shortened due to lack of snow (Stage 4, Lander) and another cancelled altogether for too much of the white stuff (Stage 7, Kemmerer). Jackson’s own Stacey Teasley, Frank’s wife, also managed to win her first leg ever – the stage-shortened Lander run. She finished a respectable 7th overall, and less than three minutes away from a fifth place spot.
None of the 16 mushers pulled out and the event saw some strong outings by newcomers like Bondurant transplant and former Teasley employee Alix Crittenden, who finished sixth overall.
Showdown in the 83002 PROPS
It was nothing short of David versus Goliath and the little guy won one. With the tiny town of Jackson, WY, up against Washington, DC, and a legacy of red tape and boggy bureaucracy, it was the feds that blinked first.
Town electeds made enough noise concerning the Post Office’s “return to sender” debacle over the holidays that they actually corralled Jackson Postmaster Jennifer Grutzmacher at a Town Council meeting and grilled her over everything from “Why don’t we have a mailman in Jackson?” to “Whose leg do we have to hump to get a PO Box lookup on a package we thought was coming FedEx?”
Grutzmacher did her best to defer the tougher questions to higher-ups above her payscale. Low and behold, those USPS illuminati showed up in Jackson recently to answer to Mayor Barron and Jim Stanford, who led the charge against the rash of undelivered parcels plaguing the 83002.
Mafioso bosses from Casper and Denver dropped in to hear the complaints. USPS manager John Hite agreed the Post Office could do a better job of looking up Post Office boxes and matching them to street addresses even though that wasn’t really their problem.
It was an impressive coup for town officials considering USPS is waist-deep in letters and losses.
USPS has lost $21 billion in the past two years, and the Jackson Post Office receives more than 1,000 packages a day, on average, with more than 10 percent of those addressed incorrectly.
Notices have already been distributed to local boxholders informing customers of the new policy.
Just to test the waters, I’m having mommy send my customary box of V-Day Sweethearts via General Delivery. We’ll see where they end up.
Yellowstone search-and-destroy policy DISS
GUEST DISS: Peter Moyer’s letter to Yellowstone superintendent Dan Wenk:
Yes, there is obviously concern and caring for Yellowstone cutthroat trout. All of us feel that. A number of us have been trying – unsuccessfully – to see the Park implement positive measures to help cutthroat spawning success, which is of critical importance. And on to the need to objectively and professionally monitor the impacts of warming trends, whirling disease, avian predation (pelican resurgence), fires, siltation and habitat loss on cutthroat spawning. And the need to consider the long-term coexistence of the species in numerous regional lakes, which obviously is an important factor.
Yet the focus of the Park and its allies instead remains obsessively focused on fundraising to kill wild trout by netting, poisoning and catch-and-kill regulations.
Beyond all the fundraising hype about “invasive,” “non-native,” and “voracious” trout species, please remember that brown trout are a wonderful and popular gamefish which are native only to Scotland and Germany. Rainbows, cutts, browns, brookies and lakers have been introduced far beyond their native haunts. Should these wild trout be killed when “non-native?” We are not dealing with Burmese pythons in the Everglades, or rock snot algae, or zebra mussels. We are dealing with wild trout stocked in Yellowstone by the federal government over 120 years ago.
It would be nice to see a more positive direction, Dan.