What a winter it has been! Snowbanks are high and powder is deep. A recent storm cycle lasted eight days and Rendezvous Bowl at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort reports 468 inches of total snow with more on the way. March can be a wet month so it seems Old Man Winter is not ready to give way to spring. Days are getting longer and birds are beginning to sing but the valley is white and deep in snow.
Local meteorologist, Jim Woodmency, reports 2022 was colder, wetter and snowier than normal and we have been in a cooling trend over the last 7 years. November 2022 was the coldest on record. Followed, by a chilly December. Check out his blog for more.
Third Attempt to Delist Grizzly Bears
Once again, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are considering removing grizzly bears from the Endangered Species Act. It’s the third attempt to give management to individual states and Wyoming, Montana and Idaho all want the grizzly delisted.
The grizzly bear is an indicator species for the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and survival of the bear is essential for a healthy, dynamic ecosystem. Females usually give birth to one or two cubs during the winter and then den two additional winters with their cubs. This long-term bond makes it hard to increase the population and mortality rates can be high. Due to this slow reproductive rate, states need to manage the bear for success.
“I live not in myself, but I become a portion of all around me… Are not the mountains, waves and skies a part of me and of my soul, as I of them?”
- Some birds have begun to sing with the increased daylight and approaching spring. Listen for the Cassin’s Finch and Pine Siskin. A few robins have been seen in town.
- The change of light and the way it penetrates the snow will nudge male bears, the boars, out of their dens. Males emerge first then females a bit later in the spring.
- As spring begins, increasing daylight and temperature spur changes in the snow world for animals, insects and plants.
- March and April are the most vulnerable months for wintering wildlife so be extra vigilant to minimize disturbance.
- Lots of avalanche potential with all the new snow. Temperatures will also begin to warm which will change the snow. Make sure to “know before you go.” https://bridgertetonavalanchecenter.org/
Temperatures remain cold so there are lots of great ski options. You can’t beat a tour near Colter Bay on a sunny day. The Tetons rising over Jackson Lake is quite a sight. The Park will begin plowing roads this month so check the grooming reports for the latest updates. As spring begins and temperatures rise, mornings will become more optimal to enjoy the cooler times of the day and don’t forget your glide wax. Have fun and enjoy the longer days.