Volume IV Pinedale, Wyoming April 1, 2004
Pinedale Sells Fremont Lake
In a daring effort to find supplemental funding sources for the dwindling town coffers, the Pinedale Town Council signed a long-term lease contract with Fremont Lake Bottling Company to package and market bottled Fremont Lake water to the outside world.
"It's such wonderful water! How many places are there in the world that get their drinking water right from a pristine alpine lake?" commented one town resident. Fremont Lake is approximately 11 miles long and 600 feet deep, fed by glacial waters that melt from the high Continental Divide of the Wind River Mountains and Bridger Wilderness area. The Town hopes to market bottles of the pure lake water, branded as "Wyoming Water", to metropolitan markets in the east and south where fresh drinking water is in short supply and people are used to buying their drinking water from grocery store shelves. Wyoming Water joins other popular bottled drinking waters including Deja Blue, Aquafina and Cheyenne Springs.
The Town of Pinedale has high hopes Wyoming Water will be the answer to their funding prayers. "The state wouldn't let us use our Fremont Lake water rights to put water in Pine Creek during the hot, dry months of August to protect fish values and for aesthetic reasons. We wanted tourists who come to town during that time of year to see Pine Creek with water in it, not a dry creek bed. But they told us water rights had to be for a 'consumptive' use. Well, we can't get any more consumptive that putting our water rights towards bottling drinking water!" commented Pinedale Mayor Rose Skinner.
The Town has been frustrated with the disparity in funding between Sublette County, rich from production revenues from oil and gas companies in the county, and their own scanty resources to repair roads and broken water mains. "The county is rich and we are dirt poor! We need to find ways to utilize our resource rights and become more economically sound" commented one Town Council member, who wished to remain anonymous. The bottled drinking water market has boomed in recent years as our society has become more and more health-conscious. "This is the same water everyone in town drinks. It's about the cleanest drinking water in the United States, even according to the EPA."
Land deals are still in the preliminary stages to acquire property to construct a new bottling facility on the east end of Pinedale which is expected to create up to 30 new jobs in the town. The product will be advertised regionally and then nationally through a combination of direct marketing, magazine ads, and a new web site at www.wyomingfreshwater.com. Look to see Wyoming Water, mountain-fresh Fremont Lake bottled water, on store shelves in Wyoming by the end of next year.
The concept is simple, but the process is top secret and an example of Wyoming entrepreneurism at its most creative. Wyoming COLD workers find locations throughout Wyoming with the freshest cold air and collect it. The cold is incorporated into a unique biodegradable foam, similar to florist blocks, and carefully packaged in insulated boxes. The product is perfectly safe to touch and place on furniture or on counter tops. "It's similar to air fresheners you buy today that pop open and sit on a counter in the room, slowly dissipating over time and releasing the scent, only in our case it slowly releases the gentle cool air" said a company spokesperson. The cold air gently permeates into the room space and cools it down to a comfortable temperature. The blocks come in various sizes, small, medium and large. The medium household-size block, approximately one foot square, will last about a week before it finally dissipates.
Wyoming COLD plans to market the novel product to people in other parts of the United States, and world, that are sweltering in triple digit heat waves during the summer months. The new cold blocks are portable, convenient to use, leave no mess, and environmentally ozone-friendly. "People won't need to use air conditioners so much and we can significantly reduce the number of power brownouts that occur in large cities during heat waves." The blocks are being processed in a new warehouse production facility located in Pinedale.
"We're already in full production stockpiling and boxing up the product. Our warehouse is about half full now with product ready to ship and the orders are already coming in from New York, Los Angeles, and Texas. We've even had phone calls from the military interested in shipping Wyoming COLD to the Middle East to help bring relief to workers and military efforts abroad." Ironically, the company's founders explained they got the idea from their great grandparents, who used to cut blocks of ice out of Fremont Lake during the winter and sell it to people in town. "It's kind of the same idea. Wyoming has no shortage of cold and this is just taking advantage of a renewable resource that is plentiful."
Wyoming COLD is being touted by Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal as possibly the newest niche product Wyoming needs to take the place of the oil and gas industry when it finally goes bust. The first production plant is based in Pinedale. Wyoming COLD plans to open processing centers throughout the state to take advantage of different unique Wyoming scents that will be incorporated into the cold blocks. A new deluxe variation of the product is on the drawing board for the future that will include wind. More information will be available soon on their web site, www.wyomingcold.com.
of the Mountain Man Solves Funding Problems
Museum representatives were thrilled with the new drill rig that has been placed on the grounds of the Museum of the Mountain Man in Pinedale. "It started out with us trying to keep up with what the Green River Valley Museum in Big Piney has been doing down on the south end of the county. After they put in their drill rig, and no one complained about that, we felt we should upgrade our facilities here too. The only difference, is our drill rig is fully operational."
The Museum worked with several of the oil and gas companies that operate in the area to come up with the drill rig proposal that was both aesthetically pleasing and provided the Sublette County Historical Society the highest return on their mineral rights. The Museum will receive between 18-25% of the revenues recovered from the well, meaning they won't need to hold as many annual fundraisers or special events to entice prospective donors to write out big dollar donation checks to sponsor the Museum. The rig is open to the public during regular museum hours. Drill rig workers offer tours of the structure to school children and visitors.
Migration Corridors Identified
Researchers radio collared 150 environmentalists to try and determine migration paths of the group. They were surprised to see heavy use along the travel corridors between Jackson Hole, through Pinedale, Wyoming and over to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Heavy hit concentration stops were in Yellowstone National Park, the Jonah oil and gas field south of Pinedale, and the Governor's office at the state capital.
"Our results are still preliminary. We really need several seasons worth of tracking data to be able to determine if these are real migration paths or just seasonal anomalies" stated one of the team's research scientists. "But we don't want to take any chances. We know if we don't get the ball rolling on listing these important migration paths, we might not be able to get them recognized." The migration corridor actually extends from Missoula, Montana, into the Wyoming habitat ecosystems. "This could be one of the longest environmentalist migration corridors in the Continental U.S." researchers stated.
Portions of Highway 191 are already designated a Scenic Byway in Wyoming. Interstate 80 is a major east-west travel route across Wyoming. Some opposition voices were raised questioning why such an irritating species was being further supported financially by taxpayer dollars, but others said the same thing was being done to proliferate grizzly bears and wolves. Designating these road sections as official migration routes will open up sources for funding for roadside beautification and more frequent rest stops with nearby Starbucks coffee shop franchises.
Pinedale OFFline (2004)
Keeping Wyoming's Best Kept Secret, Secret
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