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Mountain News: This year’s Grump larger than ever



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Wyoming state officials charged judicial activism and complained about too many grizzlies. In Jackson Hole, though, the mood seemed different. A person-on-the-street poll by the Jackson Hole News & Guide found unanimity when it quizzed three retirees, a developer, and a service dog trainer. All said the bears still need special protection.

Meanwhile, a hunter killed a grizzly in Jackson Hole, on the edge of Grand Teton National Park. South of Jackson Hole, on the edge of the Wind River Range, a grizzly bear mauled a shepherd. The man was expected to recover, reported the newspaper.


Dust on peaks tied to gas drilling

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Mud extracted from lakes high in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado tells a story of changing land uses in the deserts below.

A 5,000-year history shows a sharp increase in sediments that can be traced to the deserts of the Southwest.

Scientists believe that arrival of the railroads allowed large-scale livestock grazing, which caused soil disturbance. The soil, in turn, was kicked up by storms, with some particles ending up in the lakes - some 500 times more than had been the case.

After the U.S. government adopted grazing restrictions on the vast public lands, the dust levels slowed again in the lakes. But, speaking at a water conference recently, scientists said there has been a surge again - the result, they believe, of increased oil and gas drilling. Tom Painter, a scientist from Park City, Utah, tells the Summit Daily News that the amount of dust falling on the San Juans increased 20 fold.

That dust, in turn, caused the snowpack to melt rapidly this pat year - some 45 to 48 days earlier, Painter and colleagues estimate.