THEM ON US

By on October 11, 2016

How rich is rich?

161012tou-1_richJACKSON HOLE, WY – When it comes to the “1 percent,” Teton County is in a class all its own. A recent New York Times story headlined, “Your Local 1-Percenters May Not Be as Rich as You Think,” highlighted the difficulties in identifying who exactly are the elite and where do they live?

“But defining America’s 1 percent—and finding out “where the money is”—has become an increasingly subjective endeavor. As wealth becomes more concentrated in certain states and even counties, the gap between the national 1 percent and the local 1 percent is growing, creating wealth clusters that are pulling away from the rest of the country,” wrote Robert Frank and Karl Russell for the Times.

A nationwide map provided by the newspaper showed Teton County far eclipsing traditional ‘moneybags’ burbs like Stamford, Conn. By a lot.

“Why Jackson? Billionaires have been flocking to Wyoming, attracted by its outdoor lifestyle and low taxes,” the paper stated. “Teton County, Wyo., is the richest in America when it comes to 1 percent incomes, with 1-percenters earning more than $2.2 million.”

Bet the ranch

161012tou-2_waltonranchJackson Hole’s iconic Walton Ranch has finally sold. A deal was announced last week by Ranch Marketing Associates. Details were few, including the identity of the buyer (rumored to be a CEO of a large company headquartered in Pennsylvania) and the final price (the property was last listed at $39 million).

The 1,848-acres working ranch had been in the Walton family for 50 years and on the market for the last five. When first listed, the property was offered at $100 million. That figure was slashed in half in 2014 to $48.7M, prompting local and national media sources to call it a “steal” at that price.

RMA’s marketing material boasted the largest privately owned tract in Jackson Hole as “available to the buyer who desires a legacy property in one of the most enchanting places on earth and in the most tax-favorable state in the country. Opportunities like this do not come around very often.”

State unemployment stable

161012tou-3_workforceservicesUnemployment claims in Wyoming were down for the first time since December 2014 because layoffs in the energy sector are declining.

As oil prices slowly creep up, the mining industry in Wyoming has begun to hire back on a limited basis, according to the Casper Star Tribune. The state paper reported Wyoming Department of Workforce Services saying September saw the largest decrease (64 percent from same month last year) in monthly claims in the mining industry.

The stabilization has been mixed, though. Campbell, Natrona and Fremont counties reported increases in new unemployment claims. Carbon, Johnson and Laramie counties reported decreases.

Annie Oakleys

161012tou-4_womenshuntThe fourth annual Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt wrapped up last week at the Ucross Ranch in northeastern Wyoming. The three-day event drew huntresses from all over the state as 38 of the 45 participants harvested their pronghorn.

Jackson’s Gloria Courser and Wilson’s Jo Gathercole both received Annie Oakley awards for bringing down their antelope with only one shot during the two-day hunt.

Mia Anstine, the first American woman to be featured on the cover of Field & Stream magazine, was a media guest at the 2016 hunt. Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow handed out awards.

KGWN-TV, a CBS affiliate in Cheyenne ran the news story.

Griz love from Cali

161012tou-5_caliThe feds received more than 107,000 responses about grizzly bear delisting as the comment period ended October 7. The Sacremento Bee was particularly interested in how Californians weighed in.

The story featured SoCal resident Leigh Clark, who sees the grizzly bear on the state’s flag as a poignant reminder for wildlife managers around Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

“Californians wastefully, foolishly and irrevocably exterminated the last wild grizzly sometime in the middle of the third decade of the preceding century,” Clark advised the Fish and Wildlife Service on Oct. 3. “This kind of tragic shortsightedness cannot be allowed to pass for responsible conservation practice.”

San Francisco resident Vincent Hoenigman wrote in on September 30, stating, “We live in California, where our grizzlies are extinct. I hope that you act to ensure that the same does not happen to the Yellowstone grizzlies.” PJH

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