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January 28, 2010     Lovell Chronicle
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January 28, 2010
 

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2;.- /l,l,,1,J,,,,It,,It,,ll,,,,,lt,,I,II1 ,,il,,I,,,I,t,lt,,,l ,11 LoveU, Wyoming 82431 Price 75 WES MEEKER PHOTO Some of the men who went on the 1965 final float of the Big Horn River are pictured paddling their raft through the calm waters of the canyon. Pictured are: (l-r) Dave Thompson, C.E. Webster, Charles Borberg, Edison Real Bird and Bob Borberg. Big Horn Canyon film on final float tonight BY BRAD DEVEREAUX As a child, Wes Meeker al~vays dreamed of floating the Big Horn River. "I always wanted to go through the canyon," he said. "There was a guy who floated the canyon sev- eral times. When I was 10 years old, I paid a dime to see a movie in Lovell about his trip down the canyon. I was amazed at what he had done." What is now Big Horn Lake was a river then, but it didn't stay that way for long. As Meeker grew older and started a family, the Nation- al Park Service began plans to develop the canyon into a recreation area. After the completion of the Yellowtail Dam, rising lake water would change the canyon forever. ....... In:~iiguS~"6F1965, ~'tti, :- ' - - ......... verse group of 29 men set out on what would later be referred to as "The Last Trip." Leaving a sand and rock covered beach south of the confluence of the Shoshone and Big Horn Rivers in five rubber boats, these men floated down the Big Horn River through Big Horn Canyon. They were historians, photographers, travel commissioners, mayors and government employees. Meeker, who had all but forgotten his child- hood dreams, was given a chance invitation from a friend who worked for the Game and Fish Depart- ment to join the expedition and serve as cook for the voyage. Meeker recalled his desire to float the Big Horn and happily accepted the invite. "It was a nice ride," Meeker said, noting there were rapids on a few stretches, but easy floating overall. "One guy fell in, but he was just wet and not hurt." Meeker said his wife helped him kick off the journey with a bang by preparing a stuffed turkey with all the fixings the night before the voyage. Meeker froze the turkey that night, and then let the bird defrost as it sat in the sun in the bottom of his boat. See the film 'The Canyon Before the Dam' Jan. 28, 2010, 7 pm Bighorn Canyon Visitor Center Wes Meeker will share his story of the trip Historical film from Aug. 1949 will follow. Historg, wildlife, chain canyon, bobcat hunting, fishing, human remains. "When we got to our evening destination (Bar- ry's Landing) I popped it in a folding stove and cooked it up," Meeker said. "Those guys thought I'd really done something, but I later told them my wife prepared the bird the night before." Meeker said he usually prepared a hearty breakfast and dinner, serv- ing sandwiches and candy bars for lunch. According to a letter written by David Thompson Jr. of the NPS following the voyage, "There was a gener- al consensus of opinion that Wes did such a fine job, some of us were seriously consid- ering obtaining our services and firing our wives - but he assured us he was not inter- ested in such a post." After making stops at Horseshoe Bend, Barry's Landing, Big Bull Elk and their destination at Black Canyon, the group was airlifted to the air- strip at Yellowtail Dam to end the journey. Others along on the trip were Crow Tribe rep- resentative Edison Real Bird, lawyer Stuart Con- ner, psychiatrist Don L. Harr, Lovell Mayor Cal Taggart, Grant Salisbury of U.S. News and World Report, as well as representatives of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Wyoming High- way Department, Montana Fish and Game and other organizations. When he wasn't cooking, Meeker was behind his video camera, taking video that he later set to music to create the film that will be shown tonight at the visitor center. Meeker said he is glad he took the opportunity to take the trip and is happy to share his memories with the public at the planned screening. Though the route down the Big Horn is no lon- ger passable by boat, maybe Meekeffs film will in- spire someone to go out and have an adventure of their own, just like early films of the river prompt- ed Meeker to climb aboard for the final float down Big Horn Canyon. Meyer first out of the chute in GOP governor's race seeking the Republican nomina- tion for governor, the first of sev- ern anticipated candidates to an- nounce. In a tour that took her across the state, Meyer visited Laramie, Rawlins, Rock Springs, Green River and Kemmerer on Wednes- day; Pinedale, Thermopolis and Worland on Thursday and Cody, Powell, Lovell and Greybull on Friday. "My approach was getting BY DAVID PECK After announcing her bid for governor at rallies in Riverton, Casper and Cheyenne last Tues- day, Jan. 19, Wyoming State Au- ditor Rita Meyer made a whirl- wind tour through Wyoming during the rest of the week, step- ping in Lovell on a snowy Friday morning, Jan. 22. Meyer is finishing her fourth year as auditor, having been elected in 2006, but she is now DAvm PECK Wyoming State Auditor Rita Meyer stopped in Lovell Friday during her whirlwind tour of Wyoming after announcing that she is seeking the Republican nomination for governor. right back out after announcing and quickly touching base with a lot of communities across Wyo- ming," she said. Meyer said she has two main themes to her campaign so far: the economy and federal intru- sion into state and local govern- ment. Number one, she said, is the economy - "jobs on Main Street," she said. Wyoming has lost jobs with the current recession, per- haps fewer than other states, but many jobs nevertheless. "It's all relative," she said. "We're still operating from a posi- tion of strength in Wyoming, but all roads lead to the economy and jobs." She said she will work closely with the private sector to promote job growth in Wyoming. "The governor's office is go- ing to have to work directly with Main Street and partner with the private sector," Meyer said, "and not only keep the jobs we have but also create new jobs. It's not nec- essary to find the 150-job plant, but the wise direction is a variety of smaller businesses with five,10 or 15 employees." She said she is wary of the "mission creep" of the federal gov- ernment "layering" regulations See 'MEYER' page 8 Thursday, January 28, 2010 Volume 104, Number 33 Plaintiffs aim to uproot widely used beet seed BY BRAD DEVEREAUX Opponents of genetically mod- ified sugar beets have filed a re- quest for a preliminary injunction last week in U.S. District Court for the Northern Division of Cal- ifornia. If approved, the injunc- tion could force farmers to return to planting traditional seeds in the future. The vast majority of U.S. farmers - about 95 percent - planted the seeds in question dur- ing 2009. Since Roundup Ready beets were approved for use in 2005, farms all over the country quickly began using the seeds. The seeds are genetically modified (GM) to withstand the herbicide Roundup, which many farmers favor because it requires fewer applications than other traditional herbicide chemi- cals and does a good job of protect- ing sugar beets from weeds. While Roundup would kill plants grown from ordinary sug- ar beet seed, the Roundup Ready seed has genetics that make it re- sistant to glyphosate, the main ingredient of Roundup herbicide. The seeds are based on genetic technology made by Monsanto, an agriculture company of St. Lou- is, Mo. The technology is used by seed companies and sold to farm- ers across the U.S. Kasper said. "That's a testimony to the growers. Clearly they want the technology and we're going to fight for their right to have it." The company is responding to a request for a preliminary injunc- tion filed Tuesday, Jan. 19, in U.S. District Court for the Northern Division of California. Plaintiffs the Center for Food Safety, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Organic Seed Alliance and the Sierra Club filed the injunction asking the court to suspend the use of Round- up Ready seeds or beets until they take a hard look at the technolo- gy with an Environmental Impact Statement through the National Environmental Policy ACt. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is listed as the defen- dant, along with defendant-inter- veners Monsanto Company, Syn- genta Seeds, Inc., the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, Betaseed, Inc., and Sesvander- have USA, Inc. One argument for the injunc- tion comes from organic beet seed producers, mostly found in Ore- gon's Willamette Valley, who ar- gue that cross-pollination of GM beets could corrupt their organ- ic varieties. They say that some cross-pollination has undoubtedly taken place already, according to . In2009,95percentof~ebeets:: media rel~rts'- +: planted in the U:S. were Round- Representatives of the Cen- up Ready, according to Monsanto ter for Food Safety have gone on spokesman Garrett Kasper. record in the past about potential "It has the fastest rate of "biological pollution and economic adoption of any biotech crop," See 'BEETS' page 8 DAWD Francis Moody pushes snow off of the sidewalk in front of Lovell Drug Saturday. The Lovell area was hit with more than a foot of snow over a two-day period this weekend. Snowpack rebounds from decline BY DAVID PECK The winter snowstorm that blanketed most of Wyoming over the weekend and hit Big Horn County especially hard has re- versed a several-week trend of decreasing snowpack levels statewide, the National Resourc- es Conservation Service report- ed Jan. 25 in its weekly Monday morning snow report. The weighted statewide av- erage of snow water equivalent in 13 Wyoming drainage basins had declined steadily from 80 percent on Dec. 28 to 71 percent on Jan. 18 but rebounded to 73 percent of average on Jan. 25, according to data collected from SNOTEL sites throughout the state. Eleven of the 13 drainage ba- sins were up from one week ago, one remained the same and one lost ground from a week ago. But while the downward spiral has reversed, at least temporarily, the state is still well behind SWE averages recorded a year ago. One year ago, the state aver- age was 98 percent, with a low of 74 percent and a high of 120 per- cent of average. But this year, as of Monday, the state average was 73 percent with a low of 56 percent (Upper Green River) and a high of 87 percent of average (Lower North Platte). Locally, the Big Horn Basin drainage stood at 69 percent of average on Monday, up from 67 percent a week ago but down from 107 percent one year ago. The Shoshone drainage recorded a SWE of 64 percent of average on Monday, up from 63 percent a week earlier but down from 100 percent a year ago. The Wind River drainage av- erage of snow water equivalency was 73 percent on Monday, up four points from 69 percent one week earlier but down from 86 percent one year ago. The Lovell Chronicle 234 E. Main, Lovell, WY Contact us at: 548-2217 www.lovellchronicle.com Icnews@tctwest.net ,~l~11 IIII IIII I I I'1"111 II I ,i