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Cyclists and Pedestrians Nearly 5% of Wyoming’s Traffic Deaths

October 4, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

Cyclists and pedestrians accounted for 4.7 percent of Wyoming’s traffic fatalities from 2010 through 2014.

An analysis completed by WYDOT’s Highway Safety Office found the six cyclists killed, five of them in 2014, accounted for slightly less than 1 percent of the state’s traffic fatalities during the five-year period. The 24 pedestrians killed were 3.7 percent of the total fatalities

Two-thirds of the cycling fatalities occurred in urban areas, while the pedestrian fatalities were evenly divided between urban and rural roads.

The average age of the cyclists killed was 51, with two-thirds of the victims being 50 or older. The average age of the pedestrian victims was 48, and half of the victims were over 50.

Drivers were impaired in one-third of the crashes that killed cyclists, and one of the cyclists killed was found to be impaired. Impaired drivers were involved in 13 percent of the crashes that killed pedestrians, with 29 percent of the pedestrians killed found to be impaired.

WYDOT reminds drivers to watch for pedestrians and cyclists everywhere, and be especially alert in low-light or poor visibility conditions.

Pedestrians should stay on the sidewalk or path if one is available, and walk facing traffic on the shoulder of the road if there is no sidewalk or path. Say alert and don’t allow yourself to be distracted by electronic devices.

Both pedestrians and cyclists should wear bright colors and attempt to make eye contact with drivers to make sure they see you. Never assume a driver sees you.

Cyclists should always wear a helmet, ride in the same direction as traffic and obey all traffic signs, signals and markings.

Drivers should allow at least 3 feet of clearance when passing cyclists on the road, and when parking on the street look for cyclists before opening their vehicle door.

Moose-Wilson Road Closures Announced

October 2, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments


GTNP-Sign-300x291To accommodate a dust abatement application and road grading, a brief travel closure will be in place for about 48 hours, beginning 4 a.m. Tuesday, October 6, on the unpaved section of the Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park. The road will reopen by 8 a.m. Thursday, October 8.

Motorists and bicyclists should plan to use an alternate route on October 6 and 7 as this temporary closure will prevent making a through trip on the Moose-Wilson Road from Granite Canyon Entrance Station to the Teton Park Road at Moose, Wyoming. This will be the third dust abatement treatment for the 2015 season. An earlier treatment scheduled for September 15 through 17 was postponed due to wet conditions.
For those wishing to reach the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve parking lot and trails or Death Canyon trailhead, access will only be possible by heading south from the Teton Park Road junction near the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. The Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center is closed for the season.
To alert park visitors and local residents of the scheduled road closure, electronic signs will be placed on Wyoming Highway 390. For travelers heading south to Teton Village from the Moose area, signs will also be placed at the junction with the Teton Park Road.
The product used for dust abatement is a slurry of magnesium chloride—the same product that is used to treat dirt roads in and around Jackson Hole. This product coats the road surface, but it can also adhere to the undercarriage of vehicles. Motorists who drive the unpaved portion of the Moose-Wilson Road after it reopens on Thursday may want to rinse off their vehicles to eliminate any residue.
Roadwork schedules may change, or be delayed, due to weather conditions, equipment malfunction, or other extenuating circumstances.

Petroff Hosts TRW Meeting

October 2, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

ruth ann chairWyoming’s legislative Joint Committee on Travel, Recreation, and Wildlife met in Jackson this week to discuss issues involving pathways, state parks, lottery, and tourism.

The committee, made up of both senate and house members, is chaired by Jackson’s Ruth Ann Petroff and also includes Teton County’s Andy Schwartz.


Committee members heard from representatives of the Wyoming Lottery Corporation as they explained their continuing efforts on dealing with problem gambling. The group recently attended the National Conference on Problem Gambling where they learned about opportunities, research and studies about the issue.

Findings in a study released by the Lottery indicated that it relied on an older demographic and that consumers had a high interest in scratch products to the nix.

It also showed that only 30% of lottery buyers gamble in other ways.


WDH Urges Flu Vaccine

October 2, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

wyhealthFollowing an unusually severe 2014-15 influenza season, Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) officials want residents to prepare for the upcoming flu season with annual influenza vaccinations.

“While influenza is something we see every year, it should never be overlooked or just accepted as no big deal. Flu can often be a very serious illness and, sometimes, deadly, as we saw last year,” said Dr. Wendy Braund, state health officer and WDH Public Health Division senior administrator.

Reggie McClinton, a WDH epidemiologist, said there can be no question the 2014-15 influenza season was severe. “Sadly, we saw 29 influenza-associated deaths reported in Wyoming. This represents the highest number our state has seen in many, many years. We also had a high number of reported cases overall compared to usual.”

McClinton noted the median age for residents who died was 75 with 21 of the reported deaths occurring in people older than 65; one death reported in a child; and others among adults under 65.

Braund said almost everyone six months or older should get a seasonal flu vaccine each year. “Getting a flu vaccine is safe and is the most important action people can take to help prevent getting ill with influenza and avoid passing it on to others,” she said.

“Predicting which flu strains will be most common in a given year is complicated and sometimes strains can ‘mutate’ or change. Last season’s vaccine was not as effective as we would have liked,” Braund said. “Vaccination remains a useful prevention strategy and at this point there is no reason to expect a problem with this season’s vaccines. Wyoming residents should not use the troubles with last season’s vaccine as an excuse to avoid this season’s vaccination.”

It takes about two weeks for flu vaccines to offer protection. “We don’t want people to wait until folks around them are ill,” Braund said. “We’ve already seen the beginning of early activity.”

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and muscle aches.

Braund said, “Anyone can get the flu. Healthy folks can recover. But they can also spread the virus to others who are more vulnerable to flu and its effects such as older residents, young children and those with certain medical conditions. That’s why the vaccine is recommended for just about everyone.”

Influenza vaccines are available in many locations, including local public health offices, workplaces, doctors’ offices and retail stores. “Flu vaccines are not expensive and most insurance policies cover the costs,” Braund said.

In Wyoming, the cost of the vaccine itself is covered for many children by federal funding and the vaccine program for those eligible is managed by WDH. Children who qualify include those covered by Medicaid, uninsured children, American Indian or Alaska native children and some children considered to be underinsured.

Basic common-sense measures can also slow the spread of influenza and other respiratory diseases. These steps include covering your mouth and nose with your sleeve or a tissue when you sneeze and cough; frequently washing your hands; and staying home from work, school, day care and errands when ill.


Game and Fish Search For Sheridan Poachers

October 2, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

poachThe Wyoming Game and Fish Department is seeking information from the public about the wanton destruction of two deer in Sheridan County.  People are asked to contact Game and Fish if they have information about the following two poaching incidents that took place on Friday evening September 25, 2015.

A mule deer buck was killed west of Sheridan at the intersection of Soldier Creek Road and Keystone Road near the Sheridan County Sportsmen’s Club.   The other mule deer buck was killed about 1 ½ miles northwest of Beckton along Sheridan County Road 89.  The heads were removed from both deer; but no meat was removed from either of the animals.

A cash reward is available for those who provide information that leads to the arrest and conviction of any person who violates Wyoming statute 23-3-107(a), wantonly taking or destroying a big or trophy game animal.

If anyone has information regarding this poaching incident, please contact the STOP POACHING hotline at 1-877-WGFD-TIP (1-877-943-3847) or the Sheridan Regional Office at 307-672-7418. Callers may remain anonymous.

Refuge and Game & Fish Team Up

October 1, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

The National Elk Refuge staff will again cooperate with its State partner this month to allow continuation of a Flat Creek restoration project that began in 2013. The project is designed to enhance the Snake River cutthroat trout population and provide more opportunities for anglers. The Wyoming Game & Fish Department’s Aquatic Habitat Biologist is serving as the lead on the project.

The Wyoming Game & Fish Department and their project partners completed the first of three phases of the Flat Creek enhancement project in October 2013. Phase One restored one linear stream mile extending upstream from the Jackson National Fish Hatchery outflow by removing deteriorating structures and reed canary grass as well as enhancing pools and riffles.

Next week, Phase Two will begin as project managers continue work downstream of the restored section of Flat Creek, ending at the confluence of Nowlin Creek. This next stage of work, scheduled from October 5 – October 31, will focus on the next 2.5 stream miles and will include construction of new portions of channel in addition to the scope of work accomplished in Phase One.

The Flat Creek restoration project was addressed in the National Elk Refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP), which was approved on September 18, 2015 and is in the final stages of preparation. The Final CCP includes a Finding of No Significant Impact for the CCP’s Environmental Assessment. More information on the plan will be provided in a notice of availability to be published in the Federal Register when the Final CCP is available.

Refuge anglers fishing on Flat Creek through the remainder of the season may see increased turbidity from the activity downstream of the project area. However, unimpaired fishing opportunities are still available upstream in the newly–restored portions of the creek. Information and regulations for fishing at the National Elk Refuge are available on our fishing link.

For more information regarding the Flat Creek restoration project, please contact Anna Senecal at the Wyoming Game & Fish Department Jackson Regional Office at (307) 733-2321.

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