PROPS & DISSES 8.16.13

By on October 15, 2013


On the seventh day, God created the Park Service DISS

What does it cost the federal government to have people stop and look at the Tetons from a highway pullout? What did it cost to send a ranger to erect barricades at several turnouts so people would be deprived of parking and taking a couple of photographs? The few park employees that remain on public land have been told they are not allowed to walk or bike anywhere but directly to and from work, else they might be accused of “recreating,” which has been discontinued for lack of funds.

Pantywaists in Washington, and to some degree federal employees at Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, are under the impression that they not only oversee the land but own it as well. Worse, I think they think the land and its features that draw millions of visitors cannot exist without perpetual funding, as if they were amusement park attractions in need of regular maintenance and repairs.

Do government bureaucrats believe the Tetons will fall down if federal money doesn’t pour in every season? Will the Snake River stop flowing? The partial government shutdown is providing valuable insight into how Washington and its green-clad army think: This land is our land. It’s expensive to “operate” this land, so we charge a hefty admission to see it and walk on it. If you want to use it (fishing, boating, camping) we need to charge more.

I can just picture the few park rangers that are left in Grand Teton trying to drain Jenny, Leigh, and String lakes because there just isn’t the money anymore to keep them filled with water. It’s absurd.

Utah has it right. It has taken ownership of the parks within its state boundaries through bold moves just short of civil disobedience. I’m not sure that lending the feds $1.7 million to operate Moab, Canyonlands, Bryce, and Zion for 10 days is a wise investment at this point, but this is Utah’s peak season and it was losing revenue.

Gov. Matt Mead should also be applauded for not caving in to pressure to draw up a similar arrangement for Wyoming. Yellowstone in October is hardly big bank.

 God hates Idaho ranchers DISS

If the sheep slaughter at the teeth of a couple wolves back in August wasn’t enough, lightning wiped out 15 cows in Tetonia on Sunday. What does God have against ranching in the Gem State?

Teton Valley News reported that Ron Hansen lost 15 of his 100-head herd of beef cows when a bolt of lightning struck a tree that was connected to a barbed-wire fence near where the unfortunate bovines were standing. Ron is the brother of Rex, former Jackson Hole rodeo announcer.

The Hansens immediately called in a couple of local butchers – Gary Rammel and Craig Hillman – and as much meat as could be salvaged was dressed onsite within an hour of the strike. Hansen said his cows were not insured for lightning. He is out an estimated $15,000 to $20,000.

On August 20, a pair of wolves created a panic that killed 176 sheep belonging to the Siddoway Sheep Company – the largest death toll in state history. That incident took place just south of Victor.

 Walk softly, carry a big carrot  DISS 

Local economist Jonathan Schechter is behind what the JH News&Guide is boldly proclaiming as a “movement” to tax transportation in Jackson Hole to help offset our carbon footprint. The movement, as far as we can tell, consists solely of Schechter’s desire to keep the Charture Institute relevant and a website,, he registered less than two months ago.

Affixing a tax to valley transportation – airline travel, rental cars, taxis, and buses – is a wet blanket on the Jackson Hole tourism industry. If we’re going to make it even more financially painful for a family of four to vacation in JH, why not just have the Travel and Tourism Board dole out lodging tax revenue to advertise Aspen over our quaint little carbon-neutral city, because that’s where travelers will be headed.

Schechter says his travel tax would be the first of its kind in the nation, possibly the world, so it would be an incredible opportunity to be the industry patsy. Uh, that should read “leader.”

“Somebody’s going to grab it,” he told the paper that hired him to bludgeon readers with endless graphs and charts that explain how expensive it is to live in Teton County. That’s right near the top of preposterous reasons to tax the people along with its polar opposite: “Everyone else is doing it.”

This idea comes from the far left … coast, that is. And the idea is ahead of its time – we haven’t gone completely “California” yet, but we are admittedly getting there with each and every trifling tax and ordinance.

About Jake Nichols

You must be logged in to post a comment Login