PROPS & DISSES for June 11

By on June 10, 2014

Kowtowing in cowtown DISS

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – This is Chinese to me. Maybe Bruce Simon can explain it better. The Jackson Hole real estate agent created a popup welcome center catering to Mandarin-speaking Chinese visitors to Jackson Hole.

Really? Why?

The biggest thing wrong with the notion that the People’s Republic of China should get a dedicated sightseer shack plopped right there at Glenwood and Mercill is that it’s the first step in a slippery slope tumble to altering the valley to fit the visitor.

The Chinese come here to see the American West, not Shanghai. The same goes for Italians, Japanese, and, yes, even Texans. We are just one major forest fire from making a Beijing citizen feel like they are in their hometown, but we needn’t change Jackson Hole to suit international tourists.

What’s next? More Chinese restaurants, dual-immersion Mandarin classes, a Ming-Na museum and gallery, replacing our griz population with panda bears? Before we program our ATMs to spit out yuan on exchange, let’s get a grip. Second-home Californians have already turned the valley into Orange County. We will ultimately be cherished for our fierce and rugged independence.

I’m not saying the Chinese should only be invited to the West to build our railroads and wash our clothes. I’m not proposing to build a second Great Wall of China. We just don’t need to rewrite Jackson stop signs in Cantonese or swap apple pie for fortune cookies no matter how many Chinese might come here to buy ice cream and real estate. And we already have a Ming Dynasty. It’s called eight years under Mayor Barron’s reign.

Ancient Chinese secret: The Chinese aren’t visiting for our egg rolls. Give ‘em rodeo, Bar J Chuckwagon, and a whitewater trip down the Snake – all in English –and they’ll go home happy.

Stupidity danger today: Extreme DISS

Before the Teton Interagency Fire website is even up and running for the season, before firefighters from the Bridger-Teton National Forest and Sublette County have even held their first training of 2014, and even while the biggest threat in both the park and forest remains avalanche, some ding dong lit Shadow Mountain on fire.

It’s going to be another challenging fire season (we dodged a bullet last year) and the last thing hotshots need is collegiate whiz kids with negligible outdoor survival skills using our national forests as a Holiday Inn. Sure, housing is tough to pin down here in Shangri-La but it doesn’t have to mean renter/campers shut out by a tight housing market should be allowed to squat on public grounds and recklessly blaze campgrounds with nothing more than warm PBRs to put it out with.

B-T personnel in the Shadow Mountain area noted no less than 43 unextinguished campfires last season. These are not the work of recreational campers, here on vacation with their 2.1 kids and requisite maltese. RVers camp strictly in close proximity to toilets. People who start fires around Shadow Mountain are either partying high schoolers, partying hippies who act like they’re still in high school, and the 90-day wonders living in a two-man Coleman tent they bought yesterday at Sports Authority.

There’s an easy solution for the B-T. Reduce and actually enforce the 16-day max for camping during the summer months of June, July, and August. This will keep popular areas like Curtis Canyon and Shadow Mountain from turning into late-night communes, prone to sparking the Hole’s next nightmare. By fall, B-T can put the max back at 16 days for the camo crowd.


Coey Cabin on West Mercill Avenue JH HISTORICAL SOCIETY & MUSEUM

Digging up bones PROP

Congratulations to the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum. Its Mercill Archaeology Center received a $10,350 shot-in-the-arm from online donors at Indiegogo.

Jackson native Matt Stirn and his fiancé Rebecca Sgouros hope to open the informative center this summer in the Coey Cabin on West Mercill Avenue. The center will offer interactive displays showing how early humans eked out an existence in Jackson Hole before a town public works department and WyDot snowplows.

Stirn and Sgouros will staff the center with high school interns. Outside funding was also secured through grants and the cooperation of the Teton Literacy Center, the Center of Wonder and the Eastern Shoshone.

About Planet Jackson Hole


  1. jim wilson

    June 11, 2014 at 7:37 am

    KFC + McDonalds are all over china.

  2. kevin p.

    June 11, 2014 at 9:44 am

    While I agree with most of your comments on camping in JH…I do not agree with “reducing” the 16 day B-T camping limit. It’s already been reduced over the years…or areas have been shut down to camping at all…just don’t allow fires, and have stricter enforcements. Camping for the summer here in JH has become a necessity for some people…I did it for 10 summers in my van…it sure ain’t what it used to be because of people changing policies that have never had to experience having to live out of a car or tent:(

  3. Chris

    June 11, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Nicely done Jake, you managed to reduce an entire culture to its lowest common denominator all because a real estate agent is actively marketing a Chinese demo. Don’t be so afraid of those that don’t look just like you. Perhaps you should get out and see more of the world, or just get out.

  4. SheppyPooh

    June 12, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Clearly the Chinese issue is very frustrating for you, but I see not why? Is it bad for private businesses to do marketing campaigns with a focused segment of potential customers? Just as the old watering trough in front of Jan and Ann Bates restaurant need not have troubled non-cowboys, so should a specialized marketing campaign not worry those that do not seek Chinese clients.

    When I travel to places where the native language is not my own, I would welcome a small room with some folks that can give me info I can understand…

    Jake, your philosophic & economic inconsistency has me baffled, you have my cell, and from now on, when you have a concern like this, for the price of a beer or four at The Bird, I can give you the correct perspectives… lol Also, I can talk for hours on other topics as well. Here for you when you need me! 🙂

  5. k.b.

    June 14, 2014 at 5:54 am

    Why Chinese? Because more people on earth speak Chinese than English. Lots more. It is called communication. It helps understanding. It does not mean changing your way of life.

    I am from a small Scandinavian country. Most tourist attractions have explanatory signs in English. And, yes, we have adopted the international STOP sign even though that is not how it is spelled in our native language. The point is to help visitors understand. In fact, helping visitors understand helps preserving the culture. It gives visitors the opportunity to be respectful as they are given a chance to understand.

    Perhaps a sign in Chinese could prevent a forest fire. Is it worth having people understand how to behave? Or is the solution publish articles about the “stupid” tourist after the fact? How can a journalist be against communication and understanding?

  6. Kacy

    June 14, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    The camping has been limited! Sucks! Five days on the Jackson District within a 30 day period not 16.

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