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So, What’s the Hold Up on Jackson’s LDRs?

August 27, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

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The Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2012, but that doesn’t mean much until the underlying laws, know as land development regulations, are put in place.

Over the course of three years, it hasn’t happened.

We asked Mayor Sara Flitner “Why?”

Part of the issue, she said, is simply the complexity of the issues and the time that it takes to draft the actual language.

But another stumbling block may be the way the elected officials and planning department started out the adoption discussion.

District 2 was chosen as the first zone to tackle as perhaps the most complex and controversial zone to work on. District 2 comprises downtown Jackson, including the lodging overlay and most commercial square footage and it offers very little in opportunities for the hot button topic of workforce housing.

Flitner says “The conversation feels like a doctor who wants to talk about knee replacement with a patient in the middle of having a heart attack.” Getting bogged down in the non-residential versus residential square footage has been frustrating”.

Flitner now believes District 2 should be set aside and Districts 3 and 4 should be brought forward so they can have a conversation about where some housing solutions can take place. “I want to give the community the conversation they, and I, want to have.

She knows not everyone will embrace that approach. Opponents of commercial growth or reduction of it have both made noise about the option that would put the success or failure of District 2 (or any of the others) to a vote of the public.

Another issue that has taken up a lot of time has been joint meetings with the county commission, which in the days of the comp plan were necessary as it was a town/county document.

But now that the zoning rules are in play, neither government can really vote on the others jurisdiction.

“We just need to prioritize things and check some boxes.”

Hospital Offers Diabetes Program

August 27, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

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St. John’s Medical Center Diabetes Education offers a new program for type 2 diabetes patients. The Diabetes Empowerment Education Program helps diabetes patients learn how to control diabetes, stay healthy, and enjoy a full life.

“Living with diabetes can be hard, and left unmanaged, diabetes can lead to other health problems,” said diabetes education coordinator Catherine Cullinane, RN. “This class will help prevent related health issues and provide more stability for diabetes patients.”

In these free classes, participants will learn how to: improve their quality of life, prevent serious complications and illnesses, improve eating habits, improve physical activity levels, develop self-care skills, improve relationships with health care providers, and use available community resources.

Classes will convene in the evenings once a week for six consecutive weeks. Participants should commit to attending all six classes. To enroll in the class or for more information, please contact Susi Schenk, diabetes educator, at 307-739-7678.

The DEEP program was developed by Mountain-Pacific Quality Health, a quality innovation and improvement organization under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Fisherman Scares Griz With Gun

August 27, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

National Park Service Rangers are investigating the discharge of a firearm in Grand Teton National Park. A 27-year old man from Star Valley reported that he discharged a hand gun during an encounter with three bears near the Jackson Lake Dam in Grand Teton National Park on the morning of Tuesday, August 25. If anyone was in this area Tuesday morning, and may have seen or heard anything that may be related to this incident, please contact Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at307.739.3301.

According to the angler’s report, he was fishing when he heard a … Continue Reading

​Fire Danger Elevated to High

August 25, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

Teton Interagency fire managers have elevated the fire danger rating to High for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, and Teton Interagency Dispatch Area. The potential for fire activity has increased due to drying vegetation combined with higher temperatures, low humidity and brisk afternoon winds.

A high fire danger rating means that fires can start easily and spread quickly. When determining fire danger, fire managers use several indicators such as the moisture content of grasses, shrubs, and trees; projected weather conditions (including temperatures and possible wind events); the ability of fire to spread after ignition; and availability of firefighting resources across the country. 

The regional fire preparedness level has been elevated to the highest level of five as of today, August 25, and the national preparedness level has been at five since August 13. There are five levels of preparedness typically used at a regional and national level. The National Multi-Agency Coordination Group establishes preparedness levels throughout the calendar year to help assure that firefighting resources are ready to respond to new fire incidents.

 As the preparedness levels rise, more federal and state employees become available for fire mobilization if needed. However, higher preparedness levels also mean that nearly all fire resources are in use. The current level of fire preparedness has not occurred since 2007.

 To help promote fire prevention efforts, campers and day users should never leave a fire unattended, and always have a shovel on hand and a water bucket ready for use.  All campfires must be completely extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving a site.

 Campers have abandoned 105 campfires on the Bridger-Teton National Forest and in Grand Teton National Park so far this summer. Campers should be mindful that they could be held liable for suppression costs if their campfire becomes a wildfire. Local residents and area visitors are reminded to “know the risks,” exercise caution and practice heightened fire safety at all times.

 To report a fire or smoke in Bridger-Teton National Forest or Grand Teton National Park, call the Teton Interagency Dispatch Center at 307.739.3630. For more fire information, please visit www.tetonfires.com.

Yellowstone Lake Fire

August 25, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

Lightning from recent thunderstorms has started a fire on the Promontory Peninsula between the south and southeast arms of Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park. Named for a nearby backcountry campsite, the 5L4 fire was reported on Monday, August 24, by park staff.

The 5L4 fire is currently estimated to be between three and five acres and is located within a 1500 acre section of unburned vegetation between the 2013 Alder fire and the 1988 Snake fire. While the fire is visible and growing actively through torching and spotting, it is not threatening any roads or structures. It is anticipated that the fire will naturally confine itself to this area of the peninsula and will be monitored by park fire crews and allowed to play its natural role in the ecosystem. Due to the fire activity, backcountry campsites 5L3, 5L4, and 6A1 have been closed until further notice.

The fire danger in Yellowstone National Park is currently “High”. There are no fire restrictions in place, however, campfires are only allowed in designated grills in park campgrounds, some picnic areas, and specific backcountry campsites. The National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group, which consists of top federal and state fire managers, raised the National Fire Preparedness Level to 5, the highest level possible, on August 13. The raised preparedness level reflects a high degree of wildfire activity, a major commitment of fire resources, and the probability that severe conditions will continue for at least a few days. There are currently 66 large fires or complexes of fires, burning in 11 states across the west.

For up-to-date information on fires burning across the country, go to www.inciweb.nwcg.gov. To learn more about fire management in Yellowstone, visit www.nps.gov/yell/learn/management/firemanagement.htm.

Dry Creek Road #10079 Closed

August 25, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

The Greys River Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest is implementing an emergency closure on Dry Creek Road #10079, located 7.5 miles south of Afton, Wyoming. A recent bridge inspection showed that the #4 and #5 bridges up the canyon have decayed to a point where the Regional Bridge Engineers have declared them unsafe for most motor vehicle traffic. 

These bridges were designed with the same type of superstructure which consists of using longitudinally nail laminated 2 x 12 timber deck boards. During an inspection in 2003 it was discovered that the deck boards had become delaminated at the wheel lines and were no longer distributing the load. A load rating was completed and found that the bridge could only carry 64% of its design load. A posting sign was installed that limited loads to 16 tons, 25 tons, and 31 tons for the Type 3, Type 3S2, and Type 3-3 trucks respectively. Both bridges were placed on the Forest Service’s deficient bridge list and scheduled for replacement when funds became available. Dry Creek #4 and Dry Creek #5 were built in 1953, which makes them older than the average 50 year life span a timber bridge has. 

During the August 18 inspection this year, significant rot and decay were discovered in the timber decks right at the wheel lines, prompting the closure. A new load rating was completed that took into account the decay and found that the bridges can only carry a load of 2 tons for a Type 3 vehicle. The Forest Service is required to close any bridge that is not capable of carrying 3 tons. The closure of these bridges to car and truck traffic is necessary to protect the safety of the public. These bridges are considered safe for ATV and UTV loads. 

During the next several months, the Greys River Ranger District will be evaluating the kind of use that will be appropriate for continued travel on the Dry Creek Road.  Dry Creek canyon is narrow and the road is immediately adjacent to the creek for most of its length.  The creek has overcome the road twice in the last 5 years, and the deteriorating condition of these bridges has limited the ability to reconstruct.

The Greys River Ranger District asks users to respect road closure devices and not travel on restricted roads. For more information and updates you can contact the Greys River Ranger District at 307-886-5300 or visit www.fs.usda.gov/btnf.

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