At 10AM Mountain Time on Tuesday, October 21, Wyoming began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The U.S. Supreme Court had announced its decision to "let stand appeals court rulings allowing same-sex marriage in five states," including Wyoming, on October 6—16 years since gay college student Matthew Shepard was abducted, tortured, and left to die outside Laramie, WY, in a homophobic attack that galvanized LGBT activism across the country. The Matthew Shepard Foundation posted today: "Congratulations, Wyoming. Thirty-two down, 18 to go." [Previously: The 10-year anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death.]
Wolves in Wyoming are once again being protected under the Endangered Species Act, just two years after those protections were taken away. A federal judge’s ruling last week found the state’s management plan for the animal “inadequate and un-enforceable.” In February, NPR’s Nate Rott took a comprehensive look at the wolf situation in the Western U.S. [more inside]
Wyoming Indian High is located in Ethete, a tiny town of about 1,500 residents, in central Wyoming. The school itself is composed of approximately 200 students, mainly from the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes on the Wind River Reservation. Given the hoops mania, though, the gym is the largest in the state, capable of holding 3,000-plus rabid fans. That’s right. A bunch of Native American kids from the rez are the basketball kings of Wyoming. If you haven’t heard of this dominant team, you might know the area itself—the subject of consistently negative, reductive and often false representation(s) in the media, where life on the reservation is depicted as nothing but a sad, grim blight; and has served to reinforce all of the old prejudices about Native Americans."
The secretive business havens of Cyprus and the Cayman Islands face a potent rival: Cheyenne, Wyoming. At a single address in this sleepy city of 60,000 people, more than 2,000 companies are registered. The building, 2710 Thomes Avenue, isn't a shimmering skyscraper filled with A-list corporations. It's a 1,700-square-foot brick house with a manicured lawn, a few blocks from the State Capitol.[more inside]
Team Remington has won the 70th Annual One Shot Antelope Hunt in Lander, Wyoming. Team Remington defeated several other teams including Team Wyoming which lost after former Vice President Dick Cheney missed both his chosen Antelope and his fellow hunters. The annual day long hunt consists of three man teams who take turns attempting to kill a buck pronghorn antelope with a single shot. The winning team is the first to return with all three having made a successful single shot kill. The pronghorn, although not actually an antelope, is a small ruminant approximately 3 feet tall, and holds the distinction as the world's second fastest land animal, capable of running for extended distances at speeds over 50mph. [more inside]
This escalator takes people both up and down. Megan Lee of the Casper Star Tribune updated her earlier report on escalators in Wyoming with a trip to the Hilltop National Bank (and Amusement Park.) Watch her escalate with abandon in the video.
On July 1, 1913, a group of automobile enthusiasts and industry officials established the Lincoln Highway Association "to procure the establishment of a continuous improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific, open to lawful traffic of all description without toll charges," and to be a lasting memorial to Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Highway efforts started about three years before the first federal road act would provide funding to states to improve the broad network of roads. Never officially finished, the first transcontinental highway eventually became renumbered as various interstate and US routes. To celebrate its centennial, there was a cross-country tour in June. [more inside]
Randy Udall was the son the late Mo Udall brother of Colorado Senator Mark Udall and cousin of New Mexico Senator Tom Udall. He died of natural causes while hiking to Titcomb Basin in Wyoming. [more inside]
A Tale of Transhumance: Herding Sheep with Livestock Guardian Dogs (print) in the Upper Green River Basin. [more inside]
The best wind in America is in Wyoming. It is a door-snapping, heart-pounding wind that barrels in from the west, chasing the truckers along Interstate 80 as they race to make Omaha by nightfall. It is sometimes described with words ordinarily associated with dark chocolate or exceptional pinot noir. It has been called dense, world-class, consistently extraordinary, special, and fabulous.. Advocates of wind power though are faced with a conundrum. [more inside]
The ever-lower cost of motion control technology is allowing amateurs to create increasingly spectacular films of timelapse astrophotography: the latest work from Randy Halverson, Eric Hines and Ágúst Ingvarsson. (Full-screen viewing is highly recommended). [more inside]
Nearly seventy years ago, 10,000 Japanse Americans were forcibly relocated to Heart Mountain, just outside Cody, Wyoming; they were part of a larger group of more than 120,000 men, women, and children incarcerated in War Relocation Authority (WRA) camps due solely to their ancestry. This past weekend, about 100 survivors of the camp -- led by the delightfully named Bacon Sakatini -- returned to this remote corner of Wyoming to celebrate the grand opening of the Heart Mountain Interpretive Learning Center. Of the ten WRA camps, Heart Mountain had the only organized resisters movement, which was started in 1944 by seven men who formed the Fair Play Committee to protest the drafting of Japanse American men while their families remained imprisoned -- leading to the largest draft resistance trial in U.S. history.
A short and sweet video to get your juices flowing this morning: Mike Speed cycles down from the Western Summit of the Beartooth Highway. Here's some info if you want to give it a shot yourself.
Large elk antler arches in Jackson Hole & Afton, WY. (Btw, it seems that that antlers fall off naturally, so most of them are collected by Boy Scouts, not shot by hunters) [more inside]
Ten years ago today gay college student Matthew Shepard died after having been savagely beaten, left alone for 18-hours and found tied to a fence five days prior on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. America was stunned by the vicious hate crime. As his mother, Judy, pushes for passage of the Matthew Shepard Act, advocating for federal hate crimes legislation, and directs the Matthew Shepard Foundation, folks in Laramie ask: "...how has the town changed since 1998? ...how do we measure that change?" And yet 10 years after Matthew's death the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law has not been expanded to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability due to a veto threat by President Bush. [more inside]
September 2, 1885, Rock Springs, Wyoming (horrible music warning). A mining town on the frontier, the Rock Springs of 1885 was consumed with race and labor tensions, and witnessed an unparalleled event during the history of Chinese-Americans in the U.S. west. The little known Rock Springs Massacre, was perpetuated by white miners on Chinese miners and left at least 28 of the latter dead and dismembered. [more inside]
The Daily Coyote: "Charlie came into my life when he was just ten days old, orphaned after both his parents were killed. He lives with me and a tomcat in a one-room log cabin in Wyoming."
During the 70s and 80s a new phenomenon appeared. Television Hijacking. It started in 1977 when a man in England hijacked the sound broadcast of a newscast. In 1986, a hijacker known as Captain Midnight hijacked HBO in response to their scrambling of television signals. The year after (20 years ago as of today), a character disguised as Max Headroom (a television character) infiltrated two Chicago television studios in one night. First the man infiltrated Channel 9 (WGN) for a few seconds with no sound, and then moved on to attack another Chicago station, this time with sound. After the Max Headroom incident, television hacking incidents were rare in the United States except for this one in Wyoming.
Bush out of favor in 47 out of 50 states. The SurveyUSA 50-state-poll shows some interesting details on Bush's approval rating, which has fallen to just 35% in North (and South) Carolina, 29% in Missouri, and 42% in Texas. He remains popular in only three states: Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. Could the Democrats have a shot even in Utah in the not-too-distant future? A lot of Utahns think so.
Tracks of Swimming Dinosaur found in Wyoming The tracks of a previously unknown, two-legged swimming dinosaur have been identified along the shoreline of an ancient inland sea that covered Wyoming 165 million years ago, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder graduate student.
Real-Time Biological Natural Gas Generation. A research lab has discovered that microbes living in Wyoming's Powder River Basin are generating methane (natural gas) through their natural metabolism of local coal beds. In relation to the many Peak Oil discussions here, could be way to get more energy for the future. (via SpaceDaily.com)
Natural gas provides a quarter of our nation's energy. Most of it is produced domestically as well. One arid region of Wyoming finds itself in the middle of this boom.
How We Got Homeland Security Wrong -- If all the federal homeland-security grants from last year are added together, Wyoming received $61 a person while California got just $14, according to data gathered at TIME's request by the Public Policy Institute of California, an independent, nonprofit research organization. Alaska received an impressive $58 a resident, while New York got less than $25. On and on goes the upside-down math of the new homeland-security funding. The TIME article uses AIR Worldwide Corp.'s Terrorism Loss Estimation Model.
Phelps to erect anti-Matthew Shepard monument. Anti-gay crusader Fred Phelps' planned monument (PDF, from Phelps' site), to be installed in City Park in downtown Casper, Wyo. (Shepard's home town), would contain the inscription, "Matthew Shepard, Entered Hell October 12, 1998, in Defiance of God's Warning: 'Thou shalt not lie with mankind as womankind; it is an abomination.' Leviticus 18:22." (More inside...)
model rocketry woes. the article mentions a wyoming senator who wants to amend the bill, but the homeland security act is/would put the squeeze on model rocketry, as the fuel of some engines will/would be classified as an explosive. whoa. wonder if the NHRA is gonna follow this. hate to see 'em stop the top fuelers.