Spring is just a few weeks away and Jackson is in need of more snow. Winter snowfall is crucial since most of our annual moisture falls as snow. The snowmelt keeps the meadows green and the creeks full throughout most of the summer months. Jackson receives just 20 inches of rain and nearly 400 inches of mountain snow on average each year. Our current snowpack sits at about 75% of average in the Tetons and the snow in town is mostly melted. But spring weather can be wet, so we have our fingers crossed for more of the white stuff.
Well the times, they are a changing. Technology offers us so many tools and now you can load an app on your phone to request authorization to take home roadkill. Yup, this is the Wild West! The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has joined forces with the Wyoming Department of Transportation to make this possible. Once you identify the animal and what road you are on, you may gain authorization to take it home if the animal is available for collection in that location. What a great way to use the meat and feed people.
Learn more: Roadkill: There’s an app for that
Regional — Megadrought in the American West
A new study finds the West is experiencing a megadrought and that the land has not been this dry for over 1,200 years. According to the journal Nature Climate Change, “Climate change is changing the baseline conditions toward a drier, gradually drier state in the West and that means the worst-case scenario keeps getting worse.” The lack of moisture in 2021 tipped the scales and it doesn’t look much better for 2022. Soil moisture and tree rings tell the story.
“Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled —
to cast aside the weight of facts.
and maybe even
float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking
Into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe the imperfections
are nothing —
that the light is everything….”
— Mary Oliver (“The Ponds”)
- Warm days and melting snow have animals on the move. Lots of mule deer on the hills around town.
- Bald eagles are visiting nesting sites and seen flying throughout Jackson Hole.
- Grizzly tracks have been seen north in Grand Teton Park. Warmer temperatures and melting snow will get bears moving earlier this spring.
Temperatures will drive your recreation choices. If too warm, the snow will become a sloppy mess. If too cold, the snow will become rock hard. Choose where you tour based on the weather and current temperatures. Best to stick to an established groomed track or trail if warm. Bike paths near town are clear and great to walk. Check out the grooming schedule at JH Nordic to see grooming and track condition updates. Looks like some moisture on the way.
Backcountry Safety & Etiquette
- Some bears are out of hibernation so carry bear spray and be bear aware
- Animals often use roadways when moving through the valley — stay extra vigilant, especially at night.