Why America Needs More Predators

A black wolf roams near Biscuit Basin in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

There has always been a voice in the United States that has never liked predator species. In the past, this voice was so strong and powerful that they virtually eliminated all but the most elusive predators from the lower 48, excluding black bears. Once many other predators were gone by the 1930′s, black bears’ numbers began to steadily grow thanks to being spared the wrath of hatred. In addition, in the absence of large predators, even animals like coyotes, whom had only called the mountain regions of the west home, began to explore other regions of the continent. They can now can be found in just about every state across the country, just as their relative, the wolf, once had been.

In 1995, wolves became the subject of enormous controversy, and rather than subsiding once a healthier ecosystem emerged, the controversy only grew over the years that followed. – Continue reading

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What Does It Mean to Own Land?

The Moulton Barn on Mormon Row stands before a fiery sunrise on the Teton Mountains in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

The concept of owning land has always confused many Native Americans. Many people have the feeling that just because they legally own land, that they then have the ability to control it in whatever they feel fit. For the most part, that is true. I’m not going to argue legality. What most don’t realize, however, is that as long as you’re on land, you’re on nature, and as long as you’re on nature, nature is going to play by its rules, not the legal system’s.

If it’s not squirrels or gophers interfering with crops, for example, it’s birds. If it’s not one of those examples, it’s a predatory species going after livestock. No matter what the case, the very act of being on the land should come with the understanding that in one way or another, nature is going to explore that area. – Continue reading

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When to See Wildlife in Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole

A small herd of cow elk graze in a meadow below the Teton Mountains in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

Below I’ve charted out the best times of the year to see the most requested wildlife in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park. Below the chart, I’ve described the reasoning for those times of the year, as well as areas that those particular animals frequently are seen. Keep in mind that nature works on its own schedule, so even though a box might be marked as red (not a good time to see it) you can still see it.

Please don’t ask me for specific updates on certain animals. As you can probably imagine, it would begin to take up quite a bit of my time. If you’re interested in having me guide a tour to help you find some wildlife, I can be hired through Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris. – Continue reading

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Art Association of Jackson Hole’s First Annual Photography Competition Series

Last night concluded the Art Association of Jackson Hole’s first annual photography competition series. It was a four-part, juried competition with a different theme each week. Though I never placed first, I did receive 3rd place in the first week and 2nd place in the second week. I was very surprised and honored, however, when I was awarded Best in Show last night at the final opening. The reasoning I was told was because in addition to getting an entry into each competition, I still maintained my personal style and consistency of work despite the wide range of categories.

Below are my entries, along with each theme.

Energy and Adrenaline – 3rd Place

A dramatic sunset casts a pink glow over the North Fork of Cascade Canyon in Grand Teton National Park.

For Energy and Adrenaline, I knew a thunderstorm would best convey that premise through my work. – Continue reading

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Protecting Our Natural Treasures

A black wolf wanders the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

Wolves are a controversial subject no matter which way you look at it. I can’t even mention "wolf" on my Facebook page without seeing comments erupting into the comment feed about how much they’re destroying the planet, causing global warming, and will be the future cause of the Sun going supernova. The subject reached an escalated tension once wolves were removed from the Endangered Species List, which then opened them up to legal (and illegal) hunting.

Perhaps wolves should not be on the Endangered Species List though, nor even grizzly bears. Instead, such animals would be much more suited to be on a Revered Species List, ensuring protection of them in the same manner that a national park protects the peaks and surrounding areas of the Teton Mountains and the Yosemite Valley. – Continue reading

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Warm Spell of Winter Video Compilation

A video compilation featuring winter footage from Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and beyond.

Winter appears to winding down here in Jackson Hole, Wyoming significantly early. I suppose Mother Nature felt bad for giving us such a short summer last year, so if weather stays consistent, we’ll have an extra month this year!

For the most part, winter wasn’t incredibly eventful. The title comes from winter being unusually warm much of the time. There were certainly plenty of cold days as well as a pretty respectable amount of snow, but it never really "felt" like a Jackson Hole winter. As a result, much of the wildlife didn’t follow their usual rounds and so sightings weren’t quite as frequent or predictable. Luckily though, there’s still always wildlife to be found and sometimes even gives you a little surprise.

One such occasion was when a black wolf and a mule deer buck had a two-day standoff just off the highway, captivating the town. – Continue reading

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