There are less then two weeks left in the Old Bill’s fundraising period. Wyoming Stargazing needs your support in order for us to continue our Save Our Night Skies Campaign to reduce light pollution, to launch our Science Speaker Series, and to offer all the FREE public astronomy programming we facilitate in Jackson Hole. If you’ve attended one of our events please consider making a contribution that will get matched through Old Bill’s. Click here to make a donation now!
Wyoming Stargazing was featured in a NY Times article today about stargazing in the western hemisphere. Astrotourism is a rapidly growing industry and Wyoming Stargazing is honored to be a big part of sharing the Cosmos with the public. Read more…
Jackson, WY, August 15, 2017 – Partial fire restrictions will be going into effect for Teton County tomorrow, August 16th. The restrictions are based in part on the current high fire danger and predictions of continued warm and dry weather. Other significant factors include increased visitation to the area during the upcoming total solar eclipse and current regional and national fire activity.
While portions of the valley have experienced recent rain, the prevalence of heavy grass growth this spring and summer, along with the predicted increase in human activity on private and public lands during the days before and after the August 21steclipse, have prompted Teton County to go into fire restrictions.
“Even with the recent rains,” noted Interim Chief Mike Moyer, “grasses dry quickly and ignite easily.” Parked cars with hot exhaust systems and the use of camp fires are two main concerns for wildland fire starts. “The combination of the dry grasses, increased eclipse visitation to the area, and the fact that regional and national fire resources are stretched thin, all make it necessary to exercise caution,” Moyer continued. Teton Interagency Dispatch Center has recorded over 73 unattended campfires so far this summer.
Fire officials ask the public to take the fire danger seriously and obey the restrictions in place. Fireworks are prohibited in Teton County at all times of the year. During this restriction, there can be no pile burning in Teton County. Camp fires are allowed only in established fire rings in established camp grounds. The use of listed home fire pits and bowls are permitted so long as used with a screen spark arrester having holes no larger than ¼ inch opening and with a hose with running water and/or hand tools. A cleared area of at least ten foot radius is required for branding activities and the use of acetylene or electric arc cutting torches. For a complete set of restriction rules, go to www.tetonwyo.org/fire.
Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, Bureau of Land Management High Desert District, the National Elk Refuge, and Sublette Counties will also begin fire restrictions this week.
By Kathryn Brackenridge
By Kathryn Brackenridge
Top of the mornin’ from the path of totality! Just days before the the moon totally takes over the land of the Teton sun, we will be rolling out a little local love profiling some of the people behind eclipse planning and prep.
Kicking off the first of five valued members of a vast collective team, one of the youngest and brightest stars in this small Wyoming galaxy.
Name: Ceejay Kilgore
Hometown: Dermott, Arkansas
Living Where In the Area: Moose, WY Park Housing
Job/Title: Public Affairs Intern 2017 Grand Teton National Park & Student Conservation Association
How Long: SCA for Four Years, Grand Teton NP – 3 months
When do you leave: August 25, 2017
Where to next: Back to school University of Arkansas at Pine Bluffs, Final Semester – Class of 2017
Best Pre-Eclipse Moment: Listening to elders sharing their previous eclipse experience
Worst Pre-Eclipse Moment: Don’t have one
Weirdest Pre-Eclipse Moment: I had someone call the eclipse line and they got upset that they were not allowed to claim a parking spot until 6:00 am.
Where will you watch totality: Gros Ventre Road at the Information Tent
If you could use one word to describe what you think the Total Solar Eclipse will be like, what would it be? Distinct
Thank you Ceejay. Your service since our May community-wide prep/celebration event with GTNP and agency partners, all the way to the finish (totality) line is truly valued. Teton County & the Town of Jackson are lucky to have you.
By Kathryn Brackenridge
MOOSE, WY-Grand Teton National Park managers expect August 21, 2017–the day of the Total Solar Eclipse Across America–to be the busiest single day in the history of the park. Visitors to the park on eclipse day can ensure a successful viewing experience by developing a plan and heeding a few simple guidelines. Complete eclipse viewing information can be found in a special edition newspaper available in park visitor centers and entrance stations, and by visiting www.nps.gov/grandteton and clicking the eclipse banner.
Visitors are invited to view the eclipse from the center path of totality along the Gros Ventre Road, which will be the largest eclipse viewing area in the park. The road will be one-way traffic eastbound from its junction with U.S. Highway 26/89/191 to the community of Kelly, with parking allowed in the left lane. Portable toilets will be located along the road, as well as park staff.
Rangers and astronomers will provide telescopes and interpretive programs at four designated eclipse viewing areas including the Gros Ventre Campground Amphitheater, Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center parking area, Jackson Lake Lodge back lawn, and behind the Colter Bay Visitor Center.
Due to limited parking available at the Gros Ventre Amphitheater, parking passes are required. One hundred free passes will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis Saturday, August 19 from the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose and the Colter Bay Visitor Center starting at 8:00 a.m. Campers at the Gros Ventre Campground and visitors parking along the Gros Ventre Road are invited to join the program by walking to the amphitheater.
The eclipse will be visible throughout the park with the duration of totality ranging from 2 minutes 19 seconds near the park’s southern boundary to just a few seconds along the park’s northern boundary. No matter where visitors view the eclipse, they should be prepared with ample food, water, eclipse glasses, sunscreen, and other necessary items for the day as little to no infrastructure exists in most locations. Visitors should pack out all trash and recyclables and heed the following guidelines as they make their eclipse day plans:
Expect heavy congestion, traffic gridlock, and long delays. Allow ample time to arrive at your eclipse viewing location and consider staying in place afterward until traffic thins,
Have water, food, and vehicle fuel for the day. Bring a minimum of 2 quarts of water per person,
No roadside parking will be allowed on U.S. Highway 26/89/191, Teton Park Road, or Moose-Wilson Road,
Eclipse parking begins at 6:00 a.m. park-wide. Overnight parking or camping in roadside pullouts, turnouts, or parking lots is not allowed,
Prevent human-caused wildfires. Charcoal burning and campfires are allowed only at designated campgrounds and picnic areas within metal fire grates. Stoves and grills that burn contained fuel sources such as liquid petroleum gasesare allowed on hardened surfaces if attended at all times, and
Additional portable toilets will be located throughout the park.
Several special eclipse and astronomy programs are planned in the park this weekend, Friday, August 18 through Sunday, August 20.
Please visit the park’s website or the special eclipse newspaper for more information.
By Kathryn Brackenridge
Via: Teton County Integrated Solid Waste & Recycling
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mari Allan Hanna, Teton County Integrated Solid Waste & Recycling
ISWR Eclipse Operations FINALHours of Operations
Eclipse Operating Hours: Teton County Integrated Solid Waste and Recycling Jackson, Wyo., July 20, 2017 – Please note that Teton County is advising community members to avoid unnecessary travel and use of County services on and around the August 21st solar eclipse event. Residents are advised to: 1. Fill the Tank by purchasing an adequate supply of gas and groceries in advance of the event; and, 2. Empty the Tank by emptying trash and recycling bins ahead of time at the proper facilities. This will ensure maximum capacity in your refuse and recycling bins so that you can delay the need for services until operations have returned to normal. The Teton County Trash Transfer Station and Recycling Center will offer alternate and extended hours of operation surrounding the August 21st eclipse event. In order to minimize traffic congestion, trash and recycling haulers may conduct night time collections during this time period. Please review the following schedule and contact us with any questions. For comprehensive information related to operations and plans for Teton County and other local agencies, please download or view the Teton Solar Eclipse Community Operations Manual available at www.tetoneclipse.com/locals/.
By Kathryn Brackenridge
Reminder for everyone prepping on this fine Sunday in the Tetons – one week in advance of the Total Solar Eclipse. The following schedule goes great with this handy checklist and other tips straight from the Survival Guide!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carrie Bell
Teton County Integrated Solid Waste & Recycling
Eclipse Operating Hours: Teton County Integrated Solid Waste and Recycling
Jackson, Wyo., August 4, 2017 – Please note that Teton County is advising community members to avoid unnecessary travel and use of County services on and around the August 21st solar eclipse event. Residents are advised to:
1. Fill the Tank by purchasing an adequate supply of gas and groceries in advance of the event; and,
2. Empty the Tank by emptying trash and recycling bins ahead of time at the proper facilities. This will ensure maximum capacity in your refuse and recycling bins so that you can delay the need for services until operations have returned to normal.
The Teton County Trash Transfer Station and Recycling Center will offer alternate and extended hours of operation surrounding the August 21st eclipse event. In order to minimize traffic congestion, trash and recycling haulers may conduct night time collections during this time period. Please review the following schedule and contact us with any questions.
For comprehensive information related to operations and plans for Teton County and other local agencies, please download or view the Teton Solar Eclipse Community Operations Manual available at www.tetoneclipse.com/locals/.
By Kathryn Brackenridge
As locals may already know, Teton Eclipse is dedicated to coordinating a safe and enjoyable time for residents and visitors during the days surrounding the eclipse. Civil duty and deliverance of the core mission to streamline emergency and community service functions for less impact from the anticipated surge of visitors means the focus really is on safety. Consult County/Town Eclipse Business Engagement Policy here.
Thankfully, the Town and County have a wonderful partner in servicing the business community during this once-in-a-lifetime circumstance. The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce has hosted several eclipse-focused events, supported via incredible staff and served as an integral partner in providing accurate and up-to-date lodging availability information.
Teton Eclipse and the core planning team is grateful for their categorical service and leadership. Check the great post Last Minute Tips for Businesses Before the Total Solar Eclipse.
BY Kathryn Brackenridge
“We are trying to encourage alternative modes of transportation during this unprecedented event in Jackson,” said Darren Brugmann, Start Bus Director. “We’d love to see more residents and visitors riding buses and taking advantage of the new START Bike program.”
In an effort to sway residents and visitors to utilize alternative modes of transportation during the eclipse, START Bus will be waiving all busfares for all routes on Monday, August 21.
START Bus will also be offering an additional morning commuter service for both Teton Valley and Star Valley as well as 5 extra bus runs from Jackson to Teton Village on August 21.
Heavy traffic is anticipated for the day of the eclipse as well as for the days surrounding the eclipse. Please be aware that traffic can affect the scheduled route times. START Bus encourages riders to utilize the “real time” map available at www.startbus.com, download the Route Shout application, or call the START administrative offices for information at 733-4521 ext. 1 for bus stop locations and potential delays.
Please allow ample extra time to get to your destination by taking an earlier bus. Scheduled travel times are not guaranteed with expected road congestion. Follow START on Facebook or Startbus.com for the most current information. To learn more about the START Bike program please visit www.startbike.com.
For more information on bus schedules please visit www.startbus.comor contact Anna White at (307) 733-4521 ext. 8.
BY KATHRYN BRACKENRIDGE
A brief shot of the cover of the Teton Total Solar Eclipse Survival Guide.
Who: Town of Jackson and Teton County, Wyoming with key agency partners in the eclipse planning effort.
What: A pocket-sized, quick reference resource covering the essentials for safely navigating the Jackson and Teton eclipse in accordance with official plans put forth by emergency planners, local elected officials and public land managers.
Where: Available at locations throughout the Town of Jackson and Town Hall including designated official eclipse information points in/around Jackson’s Town Square.
When: August 16-21 – or until they run out. But a full, downloadable, printable version will be available here in just a few days.
How: How you you get one? Make plans to pick up at one of four main distribution points in Town by August 17.
Why: Because we want people to get accurate information in the palm of their hand – the old fashioned way!
BY KATHRYN BRACKENRIDGE
Teton County’s resident population of approximately 23,000 is expected to swell well beyond even our typical busy tourist season numbers during the impact period. It is best to arrive early, come prepared, and have reasonable expectations, given the situation. Once the eclipse begins, you will forget all about the crowds and any small inconveniences it took for you to experience this wondrous event! Lodging accommodations are limited. Hotels, camping and RV camping are near capacity. Visitors may need to look outside of Jackson and Teton County for accommodations. Be sure to have you accommodations arranged prior to arrival. The mountains of Wyoming are beautiful, but keep local hazards in mind. Important hazards to be aware of:
• Wildfires – Mid-August is prime wildfire season in Teton County, Wy. Do not park vehicles with hot catalytic converters over grasses that can easily catch fire. If you have a campfire, follow these tips to do it safely https://smokeybear.com/en/prevention-how-tos/campfire-safety. If you see a suspected wildfire, report it to our wildfire dispatch center at 307-739-3630.
• Wildlife – One of the primary attractions of Teton County is our abundant wildlife, including deer, elk, moose, pronghorn, antelope, black bears, and grizzly bears. Keep your speeds down on our roads, especially at night. Keep a clean campsite. Jackson is in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, wildlife is abundant. Keep your food properly stored at all times to avoid wildlife encounters with bears, ravens, foxes, and other animals. We don’t want to make easy opportunities for wildlife to become accustom to people. Familiarize yourself with the proper food storage requirements for each area you are visiting (https://www.nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/bearsafety.htm). If you are going to hike in Teton County, be sure to carry bear spray and know how to use it.
• Elevation – Jackson, WY is at 6,200 feet, with many hiking routes and mountain passes well above 8,000 feet. Know your limitations, and do not overexert yourself. Be familiar with the signs of altitude sickness https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/travel-to-high-altitudes. Also, be aware that dehydration can set in quickly in our thin, dry air, so drink plenty of fluids even if you aren’t being active.
While Visiting During the Eclipse Impact Days:
• Do not think, “We’ll just pick up what we need when we get there.” Supplies, cash, fuel and restaurant meals may be limited or have long lines due to high demand.
• Think about your personal safety and security:
o Have an effective communication plan with your family members. Cell service may be limited due to the increased volume. Have an out of area friends or family member you can check in with if you get separated. Pick a landmark where you can reunite if you get separated in a crowd.
o Do not leave valuables in your vehicles. Think through your security plan and hot to keep important items secure, i.e., cell phones, telescopes, binoculars, wallets, etc.
• Make sure your vehicle/RV has been serviced and you are all fueled up and ready to go (gas, propane, etc.)
• RV dump stations will be limited and overtaxed in our area. Come empty and leave full.