By on April 7, 2015

Seeing red at Yellowstone

It was the day before April Fools’ Day, so it’s hard to believe anything you read. But March 31 headlines read that one Russian geopolitical analyst called for his country to nuke Yellowstone National Park – a scenario that could lead to a catastrophic event that would “disappear” the United States.

It’s not the first time Wyoming would find itself a potential target from Russian rockets. During the Cold War and beyond, one has to assume Cheyenne would be high on the Ruskies’ list of targets because of Minute Man missile bases in that area. But for maximum destruction and to get more for their ruble, the Red Army might be better off blasting a supervolcano into life and letting magma do the dirty work.

Pissed about U.S. sanctions on Russia for its bullying of Ukraine, Konstantin Sivkov suggested Yellowstone and maybe the San Andreas Fault would be juicy targets for a nuclear attack. Sivkov’s comments to VPK News were translated and picked up by the Sydney Morning Herald late last month.

“Geologists believe that the Yellowstone supervolcano could explode at any moment,” Sivkov told VPK News. “There are signs of growing activity there. Therefore it suffices to push the relatively small, for example the impact of the munition megaton class, to initiate an eruption. The consequences will be catastrophic for the United States – a country just disappears.”

Photo credit: Business Insider

Photo credit: Business Insider

JH: Too cool

Ho-hum, Jackson Hole made another “coolest town” list. Matador’s catalog of “America’s 20 Coolest Outdoor Towns” had the valley slotted into the No. 6 spot right behind San Luis Obispo, Calif., but ahead of Moab, Utah (which is where half our readership will be checking out this news from online).

The website’s “perfect day” suggestion: “Option 1 — Morning mountain bike laps on Teton Pass, lunch at Elevated Grounds Coffee House, hike up to Phelps Lake in Grand Teton National Park and session the jump-rock on the north side of the lake, sushi and drinks at Sudachi to close out the day.”

Those are kind words but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The Las Vegas Review-Journal recently reported that California-based Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar opened its sixteenth in the chain of dog eateries that also welcome well-behaved humans.

The new dog diner was “designed to be reminiscent of a lodge in Jackson Hole, Wyo.,” said founder Chris Simms, who apparently vacations here a lot.

ND joins WY fracking fraternity

Welcome aboard, North Dakota. The new oil boom in N.D. has state officials agreeing to join Wyoming in a lawsuit against a new federal ruling requiring oil companies to share more information when fracking on U.S. government lands. ABC News carried the story.

At the heart of the issue is proprietary chemicals used in the fluid injected underground to fracture open fissures bloated with oil and gas deposits. Fracking has been blamed in some places, like Pavillion, for polluting ground water. Fracking has also been tied to increased seismic activity.

An April 1 editorial in the Casper Star-Tribune opened as follows: “People ought to know what’s being pumped into the ground near their water supply. The Obama administration is right to require companies to disclose the chemicals in hydraulic fracturing fluid when on federal land. We’ve been ahead of the curve here: Wyoming led the nation in such regulations, and in some respects, our rules are tougher than the federal standards.”

Bird flu flew in

Bird flu has flown into the state via a Canada goose found sick with the H5N2 avian influenza strain. Ten other states also have recorded cases of the avian flu in a wild or domestic bird. The CDC stresses that the disease has not been passed onto any human in the U.S. from these birds, to date.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the affected birds have been found in the Pacific, Central, and Mississippi flyways where wild bird migrations occur. Most of Wyoming is located in the Central flyway, with a small portion in the Pacific flyway west of the Continental Divide. K2 Radio posted the story.

One Percent from the Tetons

Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 story “Where to hunt down the 1-percenters” caught our eye. Besides New York City, Jackson Hole was mentioned as the place to find big earners. Though Teton County only ranks No. 195 in terms of average wage and salary income ($47,715), we vault to the top of the list when investment earnings are included ($296,778 adjusted gross income).

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