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Local Teacher Awarded For Excellence

Varga, Carrie

Ten Wyoming teachers, including one from Jackson, were honored Friday as recipients of the prestigious Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award at a ceremony at South High School in Cheyenne. Carrie Michelle Varga from Colter Elementary School was presented a personal, unrestricted cash award of $3,500 from Arch Coal, as well as a distinctive trophy and plaque. The Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards is Wyoming’s longest running, privately sponsored, statewide classroom teacher recognition program. Arch Coal Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Leer, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, Wyoming First Lady Carol Mead, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, U.S. Representative Cynthia M. Lummis, and Wyoming Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Cindy Hill were on hand for the presentations.

This fire management region of the country will likely face generally normal fire potential over the next several months according to the report issued in early April by the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise. The Eastern Great Basin Region typically has little significant fire potential in April according to their report; and while overall precipitation totals have been somewhat below normal for March, La Niña patterns are expected to continue across the area through the month meaning slightly cooler and wetter than normal conditions across Idaho and slightly warmer and drier than normal conditions across southern Utah. Then, for May through July the potential for significant fire events is expected to be generally normal with a small area of above normal developing in the far southern portion of the region. A shift in the overall weather pattern NIFC says is expected to occur sometime in the late spring from La Niña to neutral or possibly to a weak El Niño pattern. If this transition happens, fire forecasters say the current prognosis for above normal along the southern border of the Area could no longer be valid. Slightly southeast of our region, however, NIFC points out that above normal potential for significant fire events will continue in spite of some increase in precipitation forecast later this month.

They’re on the move. Wildlife throughout northwestern Wyoming are moving from their winter ranges to their summer ranges now – and Grand Teton National Park Spokesperson Jackie Skaggs cautions that this movement is taking them across busy highways now. Skaggs says the park is starting to see large herds of bison gathering on the bench just east of highway 89 on the southern end of the park, and some of those animals are starting to cross over the highway toward the mountains. At the same time, she says, the elk migrating in great numbers from the National Elk Refuge into the park. She says moose are also becoming more evident in the marshy areas near Moran Junction. Skaggs says visitors and residents alike are not infrequently compelled to stop to observe or photograph the wildlife they see. When they do, she cautions them to pull completely off the road, be watchful of traffic, and keep their distance from the wildlife; especially from some of the large animals. Regardless of whether travelers are wishing to see the animals or simply pass through, Skaggs urges caution and watchfulness while on area roads at this time of year.

“Working Lands for Wildlife” is encouraging producers and landowners to enroll for funds from the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program to be used to preserve species habitats. The objectives are to restore populations of declining wildlife species and restore and protect the productive capacity of working lands. “Working Lands for Wildlife” is a partnership between Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that will demonstrate that productive working lands are compatible with the needs of at-risk wildlife species. Seven at-risk species have been identified by federal, state and local wildlife agencies that would benefit from targeted habitat restoration practices on private lands. In Wyoming the at-risk species particularly targeted for this program is the Greater sage-grouse. Applications must be submitted by April 30th to be considered for funding.

Wyoming Severe Weather Awareness Week begins today. As severe weather and tornadoes erupt across the nation’s Midwest and plains it’s an appropriate time to discuss weather hazards and mitigation efforts here in the Cowboy State. Tomorrow, Jackson Hole Radio will visit with Dan Burk of the National Weather Service about preparing for the upcoming season of severe weather here in Wyoming.

Ten Wyoming teachers, including one from Jackson, were honored Friday as recipients of the prestigious Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award at a ceremony at South High School in Cheyenne. Carrie Michelle Varga from Colter Elementary School was presented a personal, unrestricted cash award of $3,500 from Arch Coal, as well as a distinctive trophy and plaque. The Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Awards is Wyoming’s longest running, privately sponsored, statewide classroom teacher recognition program. Arch Coal Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Leer, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, Wyoming First Lady Carol Mead, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, U.S. Representative Cynthia M. Lummis, and Wyoming Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Cindy Hill were on hand for the presentations.

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