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Cody Students to Lobby Legislature on Vaping, Voyeurism, and College Tuition

in News/politics

By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

Being a teenager can be hard — caught between adulthood and childhood, and it seems the adults have all the power.

But a program at Cody High School allows students to have a say in the laws that govern them.

The Youth For Justice program started as a social studies project 25 years ago. But coordinator Deb White said she and her students became passionate about the legislative process after a tragedy struck a local youth just one year later.

“That next year, a kid in Cody died in a single car rollover,” White said, “and there were no seatbelt laws in the state of Wyoming at the time. My kids were like, ‘There should be a law about that.’ 

“So we went down to Cheyenne and started lobbying,” she continued. “It took us two years to get that through, and since then, every year, we go down and get laws passed.”

A group of Cody High School students travel to the state Capitol each year to attend one day of the Legislature’s session, lobbying for everything from seatbelt laws to a ban on teenage smoking. White noted that the students decide which bills they want to see passed.

“We actually start researching in September or October,” White said, “and start thinking about things that the kids believe should be a law.”

According to White, the students research what other states are doing with regards to similar laws, then find a sponsor for the bill they would like to see passed.

“We’re to the point now where people call us,” White said, explaining that a local police officer reached out to the group last year to lobby for a law that would require medical professionals in Wyoming to report gunshot and stab wounds.

“It’s ridiculous that the bill didn’t pass last year,” White said. “Wyoming is one of two states where medical professionals don’t have to report gunshot wounds to the police.”

Danny Deming, a senior at Cody High School, pointed out that the program allows students to interact directly with the legislators, and he said that makes a difference.

“Legislators get a unique perspective,” he said, “because they hear from students who are directly affected by the laws they’re passing.”

This year, the students are putting their efforts behind four different bills – one of which would require local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal laws banning vaping among those under the age of 21.

“We’re working with local legislators and local businessmen on ways to reduce youth access (to vaping products),” White said. 

Other bills the group is working on include one that would allow students who are children of active members of the military to attend Wyoming colleges at in-state tuition rates, as well as a bill that tightens up language in voyeurism laws.

At one time, there were eight to 10 schools in Wyoming that sent students to the legislature, but White said Cody may be the only district that sends kids every year.

“It is the most educational experience I’ve ever had with kids,” White said. “Even though I was a science teacher, and this is a social studies program, it’s all the skills. It’s research, and media creation, and public speaking. It’s authentic assessment.

“And word on the street is, the Cody Youth For Justice kids are the most effective lobbyists in the state of Wyoming.”

The Wyoming Legislature convenes on Feb. 10. Cody High School’s Youth For Justice students will be there to make sure their voices are heard.

Wyoming Coal Bankruptcies: Who is Responsible for Reclamation?

in Mining/News

By Ike Fredregill, Cowboy State Daily

Since 2015, six coal companies operating in Wyoming have filed for bankruptcy, causing some to question who will be responsible for reclaiming the defunct operations’ mines. 

However, Wyoming coal mining rules that recently underwent a significant update will protect the state against having to foot the bill for any reclamation left uncompleted should a mine simply walk away from its obligations, state officials said.

Shannon Anderson, a staff attorney with the Powder River Basin Resource Council, said her organization has concerns about future reclamation, given declines in the coal industry.

“With potential coal mine closures, we’re concerned a lot of that reclamation yet to occur won’t have funding,” she said. “Coal mine economics continue to deteriorate. Coal generation is at its lowest level since 1975, and these are trends that are probably not going to reverse.”

The resource council was founded in 1973 to advocate for responsible energy development, and Anderson said tracking reclamation efforts was a top priority for the organization in 2020.

“We’re three to four decades into coal mining now,” Anderson said. “And, there’s still a lot of land that hasn’t been reclaimed yet.”

According to a report released by the Western Organization of Resource Councils, more than 234 square miles of coal-disturbed land is unreclaimed across the West with Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota accounting for the vast majority of the unreclaimed lands.

“Luckily, Wyoming has been revising its bonding rules,” Anderson said. “But, we still have a lot of work to do.” 

Contemporaneous reclamation

Coal reclamation is the recovery of mined land for use by other industries and the public, said Kyle Wendtland, a Department of Environmental Quality Land Quality Division administrator. 

As companies move their mining operations forward, they reclaim previously mined areas, which lowers the cost of reclamation, Wendtland explained.

“For surface coal mines, reclamation is concurrent with the mining, or contemporaneous,” he said. “As you expose the coal through creation of a pit and extraction of the resource, that pit advances, and then, the prior pit is backfilled.” 

After backfilling and contouring a previously mined tract of land, mining companies add top soil and seed it as the first phase of the reclamation process. By phase two, the land is often already back in use, Wendtland said.

“Typically, most of this land will go back to agricultural production of some sort,” he said. “In phase two, you’re usually seeing it used for some sort of livestock or wildlife grazing or hay production.” 

The land must be in phase two for at least 10 years before it is eligible for release in phase three, DEQ spokesperson Keith Guille said. 

“Ensuring the companies follow the reclamation procedure is our responsibility,” Guille said. “We have inspectors go out to these mines once a month to ensure they’re meeting requirements.” 

All Wyoming mines are currently in compliance with the DEQ’s reclamation standards, he added.

Bonding process

To receive a mining permit from the DEQ, a company must post a reclamation bond, a performance obligation guaranteeing the permittee will return the land to a natural state. 

“The idea is the bond itself is a financial number of what it would cost for a third party to reclaim the mine,” Guille explained. “It’s like insurance.”

The most common form of bonding is a surety bond.

“Many companies pay premiums to a surety company, which in turn says they will cover them for this much of the bond if by chance they were to walk away,” Guille said. 

In 2019, Wyoming tracked more than $2.4 billion in surety bonds for coal and non-coal reclamation, according to DEQ documents. 

Self-bonding is the second most popular bonding method in Wyoming and concerns organizations like the resource council most. 

“Self-bonding is when you have a company that has a really high credit solvency,” Wendtland said. “And, they’re saying they have sufficient assets in the company that even if they fail, they’ll pay for the reclamation.”

Wyoming tracked more than $400 million in self bonds for coal and non-coal reclamation in 2019 of which $297 million was designated specifically for coal, DEQ documents state. 

Prior to 2015, the state held more than $2 billion in self bonds for coal.

Following guidance provided by the governor’s office, Wendtland said the DEQ reviewed its bonding policies when coal mines started filing for bankruptcy.

“We took the ‘hard look’ at our rules and did a rewrite,” he said. “Gov. Mark Gordon signed that new rules package in May 2019. Right now, Wyoming is the only state that’s undergone the rigorous process of doing that.”  

Under the new rules, self bonds can be used for up to 75 percent of a company’s bond amount and are accepted based on a credit rating rather than the previous system, which used on-balance sheet ratios. 

The changes are working well, Guille said, and the DEQ is confident the state will not have to cover bankrupt companies’ reclamation costs in the future. 

“We strengthened the rules to protect the taxpayers, the state and the companies,” he explained, adding no further changes are in the works. “We believe we’re at a point that we don’t need to be changing things around anymore.”

By the numbers:

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality reported about 184,000 acres of land in Wyoming are listed as disturbed by coal operations. 

Fixed facilities — shops, haul roads and rail spurs — account for approximately 38,000 of the overall acreage.

Active mining pits account for about 40,000 acres. 

Leaving approximately 107,000 acres in various phases of reclamation.

The DEQ reported all coal mines are in compliance with Wyoming’s reclamation requirements.

Liz Cheney: Nancy Pelosi Dishonored the House; She Owes America An Apology

in News/politics

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wy.) says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi owes the American people an apology for her actions at the end of the State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Cheney, appearing on FOX News on Wednesday, was referring to Pelosi ripping in half the State of the Union address immediately following the conclusion of President Trump’s remarks.

“She owes the American people an apology,” Cheney said. “That’s an official document of the House of Representatives and she brought dishonor on the House of Representatives.

“She is the one who owes the people an apology,” she said.

Cheney also said Speaker Pelosi should apologize to America for her actions during the impeachment trial.

“She absolutely abandoned her oath to the Constitution,” she said.

When asked if she thought Democrats might attempt to impeach the president again, Cheney said she wouldn’t be surprised.

“I think it helps us [the Republican Party] every time Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff, and Nancy Pelosi are on television,” Cheney said. “I want them on more.”

She said when the public sees them discussing “never-ending investigation and never-ending impeachment” that it will bolster Republican turnout in the November election.

“The American people see why elections matter so much and they see why it’s so important that we get the majority back,” she said.

“Wyoming” a Clue on Jeopardy Wednesday Night; Everyone Blows It

in News

The State of Wyoming was included in the category “State Songs” on Jeopardy Wednesday night.

In fact, it was the supposed most difficult question of the category in the first round as its worth was $1,000.

It stumped everyone. Not even a guess.

To most Wyomingites, it would seem pretty easy.

The answer reads:

“Wyoming’s second state song, official since 2018, mentions this 4-letter river named for strong gusts in the area.”

You don’t need to know anything about the song to answer the question. You just have to think about what most people in Wyoming deal with on a fairly regular basis — or the well-known river.

What’s the right answer (question)?

Wind. Duh.

Annie and Amy Smith, the Wyoming singing duo, were pretty excited about it. After all, they wrote the song “Wyoming Where I Belong.”

They alerted their fans earlier in the day that the song would be mentioned on Jeopardy.

NEWSFLASH: Jeopardy Televsion show contacted us and said "Wyoming"s second State song "Wyoming Where I Belong " will be…

Posted by Annie Amy on Wednesday, February 5, 2020

“NEWSFLASH: Jeopardy Television show contacted us and said “Wyoming’s second state song ‘Wyoming Where I Belong’ will be aired tonight! That is a clue to the song and will be announced on the show! Watch it and let us know!”

“I saw it and got it right and those chumps missed it,” wrote Dan Kirkbride on the Facebook post.

Here’s the video of Wyoming’s second state song “Wyoming Where I Belong”

President Trump Asks Congress to Pass Sen. Barrasso’s Highway Bill

in News/politics

President Donald Trump recognized U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) on Tuesday night during his State of the Union address.

Trump urged Congress to pass Barrasso’s Highway Infrastructure legislation.

“We must also rebuild America’s infrastructure,” Trump said to a bipartisan standing ovation.

“I ask you to pass Senator John Barrasso’s highway bill to invest in new roads, bridges, and tunnels all across our land,” he said.

Barrasso’s bill would authorize $287 billion over five years for highways, a figure that is a 27% increase over the current authorizations.

“The president spoke loud and clear tonight about putting partisan politics aside to pass a monumental American infrastructure plan,” Barrasso said following the State of the Union. “This is our moment. We passed a bipartisan bill out of my committee. It’s the largest highway infrastructure bill in our history to rebuild our roads, highways, and bridges. Even more important, it cuts red tape so we can build better, smarter, faster, and cheaper.

“Impeachment has been a costly distraction. We should answer the president’s call and the call of American workers, to put the partisan fights behind us, and get this done now.”

Sleeping Giant Ski Area to Close After Season Ends

in News/Recreation/Tourism
Sleeping Giant

By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

The mountains of western Wyoming and eastern Idaho, along with southern Montana and central Colorado, are meccas for people of all ages who love the thrill of sliding down the hillsides at high speeds.

Skiing can be expensive, however, and one non-profit organization is struggling with providing affordable access for families while keeping the books in the black.

Otto Goldbach is a member of the Yellowstone Recreations Foundation, the board responsible for the Sleeping Giant ski area near the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park. 

The board announced recently that Sleeping Giant would close for good after this spring’s ski season, but Goldbach and other board members are hoping that they can find a way to extend the hill’s life by a few years through more volunteer hours and fundraising.

Goldbach pointed out that the ski hill is more than just a winter recreation area.

“It’s a community center that happens to have some ski lifts on it,” he said.

The hill, which was first opened in 1930 as the Red Star Ski Area, had closed in 2004, but a community effort brought it to life again in 2009. 

“Some really generous donors came in and put in the new infrastructure, remodeled the lodge, put in a new lift,” Goldbach said.

Sleeping Giant is a relatively small ski hill – with just 900 vertical feet and 184 skiable acres, it lacks the “excitement” that draws more experienced skiers to Montana’s nearby Red Lodge, just an hour north of Cody, or just a bit farther away to Jackson or Big Sky, also in Montana. 

But the family-friendly lift ticket prices ($16 for children 6 to 12 and $42 for adults) and programs such as free skiing for fifth graders make it a draw for local residents.

While the foundation has a broad base of support in nearby Cody, it hasn’t been able to raise enough funds to balance the budget and the facility is running at a $200,000-per-year deficit. 

Goldbach said the board has tried to think out of the box for ways to keep Sleeping Giant open, including constructing a zip line that has low overhead with a higher rate of return.

However, that tactic hasn’t been enough.

“They tried to get the revenue off of the zip line to pay for the ski area,” Goldbach said, “but it hasn’t been performing like it was hoped.”

Sleeping Giant isn’t the only ski area that’s facing hard times. The snow sports industry nationwide is facing downturns tied to changes in the weather patterns. 

According to a report released in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, there’s been a 41 percent drop in snowfall amounts across the American West since the early 1980s. 

But Goldbach said the hurdles they face at Sleeping Giant are more than just fewer snow days.

“It’s a tough industry,” he lamented. “You’ve got bad years, you’ve got competition from other ski areas and other sports that are going on.”

C.J. Box’s “The Highway” to Become Television Series

in News
C.J. Box

By Mike McCrimmon, Cowboy State Daily

A book by Wyoming author C.J. Box will be turned into a television series by ABC, Box has announced.

In an exclusive interview with Cowboy State Daily, C. J. Box said his book “The Highway” will be turned into a series called “The Big Sky.”

Box called “The Highway,” about a long-haul trucker who is a serial killer, the “creepiest thing I ever wrote.”

“(The television series will) be dark and scary,” he said. “A lot of people who have read it say it is one of the creepiest things they’ve ever read. The pilot I read scared me, even though I knew what was going to happen.”

Filming for the series is to begin in March and resume in the summer.

Box is known for his “Joe Pickett” novels about a game warden in Wyoming, but “The Highway” focuses on a private investigator from Montana.

The rights to a number of Box’s books have been purchased for production, he said, but none have resulted in a movie or television series until “The Highway.”

“Actually, (it’s) kind of gotten comfortable, into a groove, where these people in Hollywood give me money and don’t make anything,” he said. “And it’s not so bad.”

Box said he hopes the series leads to increased book sales.

“If there’s a series, it’s great advertising for the book,” he said. “It’s not as lucrative as it used to be in entertainment, because there’s a million TV channels and streaming services. But with this network show, that will get a lot of eyeballs and hopefully some of those people will be interested in reading the book.”

Executive Producer of the upcoming series, David E. Kelley told Variety that “…the series is described as a procedural thriller about private detective Cassie Dewell, who partners with ex-cop Jenny Hoyt on a search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana. But when they discover that these are not the only girls who have disappeared in the area, they must race against the clock to stop the killer before another woman is taken.”

C.J. Box has been outspoken about luring production companies into Wyoming. Last year, he was disappointed with the Wyoming State Legislature for its failure to pass a bill which would provide incentives for companies to shoot films in Wyoming.

WYDOT Spends 30% of Budget to Keep Wyoming Roads Clear During Winter

in News/Transportation

By Ike Fredregill, Cowboy State Daily

Maintaining Wyoming’s roads through the winter is costly and complicated by high elevations, but innovation and preparation help the state keep ahead of the weather, a Wyoming Department of Transportation spokesperson said.

“As soon as you enter Wyoming, you start to climb in altitude,” WYDOT Public Affairs Manager Doug McGee said. “Especially with Interstate 80, it’s essentially a 400-mile-long winter pass. The entire stretch is above 6,000 feet in elevation.”

WYDOT expects to spend about $28 million on winter road maintenance — about 30 percent of its annual budget — in fiscal year 2020, which began in July 2019, said WYDOT Chief Engineer Shelby Carlson. 

In 2015, WYDOT’s winter maintenance costs were about $21 million, but between 2016 and 2020, the costs have fluctuated between $26 million and 32 million annually.

“We’ve had some pretty major storms in these last years,” Carlson said. “It all just depends on the levels of moisture we get. During drought years, the costs are lower.” 

Aging equipment and increased interstate traffic are also contributing factors, she added.

RELATED VIDEO: Watch WYDOT Clear Snowy Range Road

Know when to hold ‘em

WYDOT annually maintains about 6,700 centerline miles, a road measurement that includes all lanes in a single stretch of pavement.

Interstates 80, 25 and 90 account for about 900 centerline miles.

According to WYDOT documents, the majority of 2020’s winter maintenance costs are nearly evenly split between labor, budgeted for $9 million, materials, budgeted for $8.6 million, and equipment, budgeted for $9.6 million. Contractor services and miscellaneous costs are budgeted at about $755,000.

“We have a lot of snow plows, tow plows and rotaries to help us clear the roads,” Carlson said. “And we use chemicals, sand and liquids to remove the ice and snow.”

In all, the state owns 400 conventional snow plows, 18 rotary plows and seven tow plows, a trailer-mounted plow towed behind a plow truck, she said.

However, WYDOT Director Luke Reiner, a retired U.S. Army Maj. General, said keeping Wyoming’s roads safe isn’t just about manpower and equipment.

“Part of keeping those roads open is knowing when to close them,” Reiner explained. “We’ve learned the hard way over many years that preemptively closing roads to allow our crews to get in there and do the work saves lives.”

Closing Wyoming’s major thoroughfares for any reason costs transport companies millions of dollars by the hour, but Reiner said WYDOT discovered closing the roads as soon as a storm hits can reduce overall closure times.

“The road is closed for a shorter time, because there’s no crashes to clear,” he said. 

Beet juice and barn wood

Plows might be WYDOT’s most recognizable snow-removal method, but the department uses a variety of other strategies to combat winter conditions, Carlson said.

“Our materials costs include salt and sand, salt-brine solution, magnesium chloride and beet juice among other things,” she said.

While some de-icers like salt-brine solution freeze at 6 degrees below zero, WYDOT’s beet juice solution doesn’t freeze until the temperature reaches 26 below zero.

“It’s a byproduct of the sugar beet processing we have here in the state,” Carlson said. “And it’s more ecologically friendly than some other solutions.”

WYDOT also uses snow fences to prevent drifting in high wind areas.

“A snow fence is constructed of wood and set perpendicular to the wind to break up wind turbulence, causing the snow to deposit at the fence,” Carlson said.  

The fences, typically 10 to 12 feet tall have been used by WYDOT since 1971. Depending on the fence pattern, the fences can cost $400-600 per panel, but maintenance pays for itself.

“Because there is a market for weathered wood, we have contractors pay us to maintain the fences,” Carlson said.

Contractors pay the department to replace the fencing’s old planks with new ones, so they can sell the weathered planks to the growing “barn wood” market.

The state owns nearly 450 miles of snow fence, but Reiner said WYDOT is looking to increase that mileage.

“We’d like more,” Reiner said. 

Carlson added, “A whole lot more.”

Wyoming’s Economy: Trona is Bright Spot for Wyoming Mining

in Mining/Trona/News

By Ike Fredregill, Cowboy State Daily

Hidden from sight beneath Sweetwater County’s rolling hills, thousands of miners dig for Wyoming’s top international export — trona.

“We have four different companies mining underground beds of trona between Green River and Rock Springs,” said Travis Deti, the Wyoming Mining Association executive director. “The mines are actually quite the sight to see. It’s like a whole little city down there with machine shops, bathrooms and roads.” 

A sodium carbonate compound, trona is processed into soda ash, which is used in baking soda, glass making and cleaning products such as laundry detergent.

Wyoming is home to the largest trona deposit in the U.S., and the Sweetwater mines produce more than 17 million tons of trona annually, Deti said.

“We export about 50 percent of that right now, and I do think you’ll see the demand go up in coming years,” he added. “It’s really a bright spot for Wyoming mining right now.” 

RELATED VIDEO: Gigantic Drill in Wyoming Trona Mine

Unlike coal, trona doesn’t need to trudge through red tape before being exported.

“Coal is an energy material and has emissions, but trona doesn’t have those issues because you’re exporting it to create products, not to burn for energy,” Deti said. “There’s not a lot of politics surrounding trona and soda ash.”

Natural vs. synthetic

Soda ash produced from trona rock competes against synthetically produced soda ash to meet global demands, said David Caplan, communications director for Genesis Alkali.

“Synthetic soda ash is created with a chemical process and fills about 75 percent of the worldwide supply,” Caplan said. “Natural soda ash makes up the remaining 25 percent. But it has a lot of environmental advantages over the synthetic product.”

The process to produce soda ash from natural trona rocks requires less energy input, thus creating less greenhouse gasses, he explained.

In the U.S., soda ash is primarily used to create glass products and baking soda. In years past, North American laundry detergent companies used soda ash as a key component of dry detergents, but Caplan said consumers shifted toward liquid detergents and pods, which are created with significantly less soda ash.  

“In the U.S., we have a mature market — the average household uses 17 pounds of soda ash each year,” he said. “In developing countries trying to industrialize, you’re seeing soda ash use of less than 5 pounds per household per year. So, there’s a lot of room left for growth.” 

RELATED VIDEO: Another Gigantic Drill in Wyoming Trona Mine

Genesis Alkali’s products are shipped to Southeast Asia, Central America and South America, he said. 

“With the growing popularity of Mexican beer over the last decade, we’re seeing a lot of our international products — primarily the glass bottles — come back into the U.S.,” Caplan said. 

With a potential for a strong future in growing markets, the industry is continually evolving, developing new technology and reducing inefficiencies.

“Through technology and engineering, we’re able to improve our yields,” Caplan explained. “But one challenge we spend a lot of time researching is trying to ensure we have ample water. We use a lot of water, and we have to keep an eye on that.”

Supporting Sweetwater

Employing more than 2,000 workers, Wyoming’s trona industry plays an integral role in both the Green River and Rock Springs economies.

“Trona is the life blood of this community,” Green River Mayor Pete Rust said. “It’s the reason Green River has the second-highest median income in the state.” 

More than just jobs, the industry injects spendable income into the local economy, allowing other industries to thrive, Rust said. 

RELATED VIDEO: A Look Inside a Wyoming Trona Mine

But as the state works to diversify its energy portfolio, he said new hurdles have popped up.

“Recently, there’s been some interesting kinds of challenges with new interest in solar farms,” Rust said. “There’s some potential conflict of interests with these new developments that take up quite a bit of space.”

Deti said the energy and trona industries have to work together to ensure surface development doesn’t “sterilize” access to the minerals below. 

“I think it’s all about striking a balance,” he said.

In Rock Springs, Mayor Tim Kaumo said trona is equally critical to the city’s survival. 

“We’ve already got a black eye from the decline in coal,” Kaumo said. “If we were to ever lose trona mining, it would be extremely detrimental.”

That situation seems unlikely, however, and instead, he said the city is seeking to capitalize on the potential growth of soda ash demand.

“We’re trying to capture more of the manufacturing side so we can entice businesses to come to Sweetwater County, take advantage of the in-place infrastructure and produce products generated by the trona patch,” Kaumo said.

Wyoming’s Weird and Wacky Smith Mansion Finally Sells

in News

The landmark Smith Mansion on the highway from Cody to Yellowstone has been sold to a company that owns several lodging businesses in the area.

Mountain Lodging purchased the Smith Mansion, an unusual architectural piece built by hand by engineer Francis Lee Smith over 20 years.

Smith died in a fall from the building’s second story in 1992 and last year, his family decided to put the building on the market.

Scott Richard, the real estate agent for the deal, credited the building’s relatively quick sale with a special video his company made showcasing the mansion’s unusual aspects.

“We created a video that generated over 100,000 views and drew worldwide attention to it,” he said. “I was contacted by a lot of different people, some of them with crazy ideas, some for reality TV shows to rehab it, turn it into different things. But at the end of the day, it stayed right here in Cody with somebody that did appreciate the history behind this place.”

RELATED VIDEO: Smith Mansion Real Estate Video

The new owner, Mountain Lodging, owns the neighboring Green Creek Inn and RV Park, as well as the Holiday Lodge in Cody.

Richard said Mountain Lodging officials are not sure how they will use the building.

“What I can tell you is that they do appreciate the history behind the structure,” he said. 

“They’re going to keep it, nothing’s going to change right away. What they plan to do is still going to be part of that mystique, just like the structure.”

Richard said he couldn’t pass up the chance to be involved in the sale.

“I’ve seen this building my whole life,” he said. “I’m a fifth-generation Cody (resident) and as a kid I used to go up to the Wapiti Valley here and go skiing, sledding. And every time we would drive by this, I always knew we were halfway between Cody and Yellowstone.”

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