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13 January 2022

Apply Now for Wyoming Arts Council 2022 Blanchan and Doubleday Memorial Writing


Apply Now for Wyoming Arts Council 2022 Blanchan and Doubleday Memorial Writing Awards

The Wyoming Arts Council is now accepting applications for the 2022 Blanchan and Doubleday Memorial Writing Awards.

The Doubleday Award of $1,000 is given for the best poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or script written by a female writer. The Blanchan Award, also $1,000, is given annually for the best poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or script informed by a relationship with the natural world.

Both awards are designed to bring attention to writers in Wyoming who have not yet received wide recognition for their work, and to support emerging writers at crucial times in their careers. Poets, fiction writers, essayists, and script writers who have published no more than one book in each genre and who are not full-time students or faculty members are invited to apply by submitting manuscripts and an entry form by the deadline.

Applications are accepted online via https://wyomingartscouncil.submittable.com/submit. The application deadline is March 15.

The juror for this year is Debra Magpie Earling. Debra is the author of, “Perma Red” and “The Lost Journals of Sacajewea.” which will be published by Milkweed Editions in 2023. An earlier version of the latter, written in verse, was produced as an artist book during the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

She has received both a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She retired from the University of Montana where she was named professor emeritus in 2021. She is Bitterroot Salish.

The Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award and the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award are made possible through the generosity of a private donor.

A complete list of eligibility requirements and additional information can be found at the application link above.

For more information, contact Taylor Craig at 307-274-6673 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

13 January 2022

Wyoming Arts Council Accepting Applications for the 2022 Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing and Journalism Fellowship


Wyoming Arts Council Accepting Applications for the 2022 Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing and Journalism Fellowship

The Wyoming Arts Council is now accepting applications for the 2022 Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing and Journalism Fellowship. 

This annual prestigious fellowship of $3,500 is a national call open to creative writers (poetry, fiction, nonfiction) and journalists (writer, photojournalist, videographer, documentary filmmaker, online or print media) who demonstrate serious inquiry and dedication to the Greater Yellowstone region through their work.

This fellowship seeks to intersect science, education, current events, and conservation to effectively communicate the Greater Yellowstone’s natural history and singular importance to society through creative and exceptional writing and subject communication. 

Applications are accepted online via Submittable. The application deadline is March 15, 2022. Established and recognized authors are being sought, but emerging and mid-career writers are also encouraged to apply.

The fellowship recipient will be expected to create or complete a relevant publishable or produced work and may be requested or encouraged to make public presentations. In addition to the financial award, the fellowship recipient may elect to also receive a one to two-week housing residency at one of several prearranged different locations within the Greater Yellowstone region. Such residency will be based on availability and will be negotiated with the fellowship recipient. 

Christine Peterson will serve as a juror for the second year in a row. Christine has covered wildlife, the environment and outdoor recreation in Wyoming and across the West for more than a decade, first at the Casper Star-Tribune” then as a freelance journalist.

She has since written about grizzly bears, wolves, elk and insects for “National Geographic,” water law and persistence hunting for “Outdoor Life” and chronic wasting disease and landlocked public land for “High Country News.” Her byline has also appeared in “The Guardian,” “Bugle” and the “Cool Green Science” web magazine.

She is a regular contributor to the “Casper Star-Tribune” and “Wyofile” and is a contributing writer for “Outdoor Life.” She's the president of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and has won numerous regional and national awards. When she's not reporting or writing from her home in Laramie, she's wandering the West with her husband, five-year-old daughter and greying yellow Labrador. 

Susan J. Tweit joins Christine as a juror this year. An award-winning writer and plant ecologist, Susan J. Tweit began her career in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, studying grizzly bear habitat—which included collecting and dissecting large piles of bear poop, mapping historic wildfires, and researching big sagebrush.

Tweit began writing after realizing that she loved telling the stories behind the data as much as collecting the data. She's written thirteen non-fiction books ranging from memoir and nature writing to kids and travel, along with hundreds of magazine articles, columns, and essays. Tweit's work has been honored with the Foreword Book of the Year, Colorado Book Award, the EDDIE for magazine writing, Downing Journalism Award, and many other awards.

Her “WildLives” nature commentaries were a popular weekly feature on public radio for over a decade. She searches for stories in the Rocky Mountain region, wherever big sagebrush perfumes the air.

When Tweit is not writing, she's most often outside eradicating invasive weeds as part of her passion for re-storying this earth. Her thirteenth book, the memoir, “Bless the Birds: Living With Love in a Time of Dying,” was published just before Earth Day in 2021.

This Fellowship is made possible with generous funding from The Pattie and Earle Layser Memorial Fund. In late 2021, The Pattie and Earle Layser Memorial Fund endowed this fellowship with the Wyoming Arts Council, ensuring funding this opportunity for years to come. 

A complete list of eligibility requirements and additional information can be found at https://wyomingartscouncil.submittable.com/submit

For more information, contact Taylor Craig at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 307-274-6673.

Caption: 2022 jurors Christine Peterson (left) and Susan J. Tweit (right). 



13 January 2022

Wyoming State Museum hosts Family Day Animal Olympic event



In honor of the Winter Olympics and Charles Darwin’s birthday, the Wyoming State Museum is hosting “Animal Olympics,” a Family Day on February 5. 

Join us from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to learn about the biological adaptations that allow some of the world’s most impressive animal athletes to do incredible things.

This event for all ages will ask participants to put their own skills to the test against the capabilities of animals. Find out if you can sprint as fast as a cheetah, jump as high as a mountain lion, lift weights like an elephant, and more.

With games, activities, crafts, and up-close encounters with our museum collections, kids and families will learn about evolutionary adaptations of animals around the world. Families will also get to meet researchers from the UW Biodiversity Institute as well as local Special Olympics athletes! 

In order to keep everyone safe, the museum will require timed registration to participate in this event. Families can find the registration link on the homepage of our website (https://wyomuseum.wyo.gov/) or they can use this link to go directly to the registration form (https://animalolympics.eventbrite.com/?aff=pr). Register by phone at 307-630-2573.

Family Days are generously sponsored by SCHEELS in Johnstown, CO. Thanks to their support, these events are always free and open to everyone! Each month features crafts, games and activities, story time, as well as visiting partners from the Rocky Mountain region. 

The Wyoming State Museum is located in the Barrett Building, 2301 Central Ave. in Cheyenne. 

Please call 307-630-2573 for more information. Family Day fans can follow the museum’s Facebook and Instagram accounts to stay in the know about upcoming events: @wyomingstatemuseum.

12 January 2022

Previous legislation establishes process for discovery of historic human remains


Imagine digging in your yard when you unearth what appear to be human bones.

What’s your next step? Of course, law enforcement is your first call, but legislation enacted in 2019 provides a process for what happens next.

Senate file 78 outlines how human remains are addressed when found on private and state property in Wyoming. In a typical case, law enforcement is contacted by the discoverer(s) to secure the area, the county coroner determines if the remains are relevant to an ongoing criminal case, and the Wyoming State Archaeologist is called in if the remains are historical in nature.

The state archaeologist consults with the coroner, land owner, and in some cases Native American tribes to determine what happens next.

In all cases, the State Archeologist’s first priority is ensuring the integrity and respectful treatment of the remains, either through preservation in place or systematic excavation.

Human remains are often discovered during construction projects that pose further threats to the integrity of the burial palace, and in these cases human remains are usually exhumed.

The State Archaeologist determines as soon as possible if the remains are Native American. If so, the State Archaeologist meets with the tribes of the Wind River Reservation to determine which steps should be taken.

S.F. 78 has already been called upon to address human remains discovered in four Wyoming communities since the beginning of 2020.

For instance, in April, 2020 utility workers unearthed the bones of a small child in the backyard of a Cheyenne residence, bones that the State Archaeologist determined came from a simple, shallow grave exposed in the wall of a utility trench. With help from local historians, the State Archaeologist determined the bones were associated with Cheyenne’s ‘Old City Cemetery’, a burial place used between 1867 and 1875 by early residents and later built on top of by expansion of the city in the early 20th century. The remains are intended for reburial in Cheyenne’s Lakeview cemetery.

In Glenrock, the State Archaeologist responded to the discovery of dispersed human remains in a residential lot being developed in April, 2020. Through extensive excavation, historical research, and intensive laboratory analysis, the State Archaeologist and local historians determined the individual was a U.S. military cavalryman who died at an Oregon Trail stop called Deer Creek Station in 1865. The bones are intended for reburial at an as-yet unknown location.

The recovery, reporting, and reburial of human remains is a time-consuming process involving a wide diversity of stakeholders. On top of that, maintaining respect for the remains must remain a high priority. “Throughout this process, it’s important to maintain reverence for the deceased and any potential descendants,” State Archaeologist Spencer Pelton says. “Depending on the circumstances, there could be a couple dozen stakeholders invested in the findings and reburial of these discoveries and it’s important that we serve as respectful stewards of these remains until they can be reinterred.”

S.F. 78 is currently unfunded, so the State Archaeologist relies upon volunteers and interested members of the public to fulfill its mandates.

12 January 2022

Wyoming Receives $95,000 in Direct Grants to Wyoming Organizations and Individuals from the National Endowment for the Arts


Wyoming Receives $95,000 in Direct Grants to Wyoming Organizations and Individuals from the National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is pleased to announce the first round of recommended awards for fiscal year 2022, with 1,498 awards totaling nearly $33.2 million. Grants for Arts Projects funding spans 15 artistic disciplines and reaches communities in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Recipients of the Challenge America grant program, NEA Literature Fellowships in creative writing and translation, and support for arts research projects are also included in this announcement. 

Wyoming recipients include:

Total Dollar Amount: $95,000

Trinkle Brass Works, Inc.

Casper, WY

Challenge America

Ucross Foundation

Clearmont, WY

Grants for Arts Projects - Artist Communities

Jackson Hole Public Art

Jackson, WY

Grants for Arts Projects - Visual Arts

Off Square Theatre Company

Jackson, WY

Grants for Arts Projects - Theater

Nina McConigley

Laramie, WY

Literature Fellowships: Creative Writing - Literary Arts

“The National Endowment for the Arts direct grants to arts organizations and individuals play a valuable role in supporting the arts in Wyoming,” said Wyoming Arts Council Executive Director Michael Lange. “Organizations use these funds to offer valuable arts programming that helps build the educational, social, and economic vitality of communities across the state. I also congratulate Laramie resident Nina McConigley on receiving one of the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowships. These fellowships are highly competitive and only a small fraction of applicants receive this honor. We are lucky to have such a great literary artist call Wyoming home. Congratulations to all the recipients.”

“These National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grants underscore the resilience of our nation’s artists and arts organizations, will support efforts to provide access to the arts, and rebuild the creative economy,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. “The supported projects demonstrate how the arts are a source of strength and well-being for communities and individuals, and can open doors to conversations that address complex issues of our time.”


The NEA is committed to equity, access, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups. Applications for funding demonstrated a commitment by the arts and culture sector to provide more equitable and accessible pathways for arts engagement.

12 January 2022

Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site to host first Wickwire Winter Games


Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site will host the first-ever “Wickwire Winter Games,” February 5, from 12 noon until 3 p.m.

The event will consist of 3 outdoor games and 1 indoor activity while telling the tale of Byron Wickwire’s adventure to the Yukon with 80 horses. 

Join us for an afternoon of fun and education.  Participate in the games, a craft and listen to the story of the man who homesteaded what is now Medicine Lodge State Park. Hot drinks will be provided by our friend’s group.

Create a team (no more than 4) with people of all ages and participate in any or all of the games.  To be eligible for the trophy, your team must compete in all the games. 


Sled Pull Relay – Each team must load 1 hay bale onto a sled, pull the sled a given distance, and unload the sled 4 times.  This can be completed individually or as a team.

Ice Rink “River” Relay – Each team must transport a given item across the ice rink 4 times.  Only one item may be carried at a time. 

Fire Starter – Each team must start and sustain a fire using either a striker or traditional wood-on-wood method.  The park will have flint strikers and rods available for your use, or you can bring your own. 

The winning team will be based on completion of the games and time.

 Activity and Story: 

This will occur indoors.  We will tell the story of Wickwire’s travels to the Yukon to sell horses. 

Build a Boat (Craft) – We will have popsicle sticks, glue and markers available for any that want to build a small boat.  

For more information, please contact the park at 307.469.2234. Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site is located at 4800 Road 52 near Hyattville.

10 January 2022

Wyoming State Parks reminds the public about ice safety


With ice forming on lakes and reservoirs throughout the state, the Wyoming Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails reminds anglers of potential dangers on the ice.

Ice fishing and other ice-related activities are a great way to enjoy Wyoming’s state parks and sites in the winter. However, ice is always in a state of flux, so anglers and other recreationists are reminded that driving any kind of motorized vehicle, and in some instances even walking on the ice, is risky.

Pressure ridges can cause thin patches in the ice that cannot support a car, pickup, ATV or possibly human body weight, especially on ice that is only a few days old.

Fishermen are reminded that they are responsible for the cost of removing their vehicle from a lake or reservoir in Wyoming’s State Parks.

Please call the respective State Park for up-to-date ice conditions.

10 January 2022

Wyoming Outdoor Recreation’s Bighorn Basin Outdoor Recreation Collaborative


Wyoming Outdoor Recreation’s Bighorn Basin Outdoor Recreation Collaborative

In late November and early December, Wyoming Outdoor Recreation’s six Collaboratives met for their bi-monthly meetings. Conveyed throughout the state by Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, and Trails, these initiatives bring together local community members, recreation stakeholders, businesses, conservation groups, federal and state agencies, and elected officials to identify and prioritize opportunities for the growth and enhancement of outdoor recreation.

During the Bighorn Basin Outdoor Recreation Collaborative’s (BBORC) November 29, membership meeting, members enjoyed a Wyoming Outdoor Recreation update from staff members and a brief presentation from the Wyoming Department of Transportation. Collaborative members went on to discuss BBORC's Strategic Plan in breakout sessions and reported back to the group on areas of success and items and projects that are still ongoing.

BBORC represents communities that lie within the eastern and southern portions of the Bighorn Basin in Northwest Wyoming. BBORC was the first collaborative to be assembled, and since its 2018 conception the collaborative has become an asset to its state and federal partners.

February meeting dates, times and locations will be announced prior to January 31. Members of the public are welcome to attend collaborative meetings in-person or virtually, and there is a designated time for public comment near the end of each meeting.

Established by recommendation of the 2017 Governor’s Outdoor Recreation Task force, the Office of Outdoor Recreation aims to diversify Wyoming’s economy by expanding, enhancing, and promoting responsible recreational opportunities through collaboration, outreach, and coordination with stakeholders, landowners, private industry, and public officials.

Learn more about the Office and future community collaboratives by following us on social media or visiting www.wyorec.com.

10 January 2022

Monuments and Markers Advisory Committee to meet January 20


The Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources Monuments and Markers Advisory Committee will meet virtually on Google Meet from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., on Friday, January 20.

Google Meet joining info:

Video call link: meet.google.com/zrb-jaei-qfj

Or dial: 
(US) (US) +1 470-655-0519 PIN: 531 613 674#
+1 505-658-2237 PIN: 
903 178 188#

The meeting is open to the public.

The purpose of this meeting is to review changes made to the Handbook, prioritize replacement of dilapidated signage, to review past and current projects, and to explore partnerships with other organizations. 

The Wyoming Monuments and Markers Program is a cooperative effort of the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources (SPCR), the Wyoming Department of Transportation, Wyoming Office of Tourism, Wyoming Tribes, local governments, and private individuals and organizations. The Monuments and Markers Program installs new historical markers and maintains existing monuments, markers, and interpretive signage. The Monuments and Markers Advisory Committee (MMAC) reviews and approves all new signage and signage with revised text under the jurisdiction of SPCR. The MMAC may also be consulted for recommendations for maintenance and replacement of markers.

For further information, please contact Dan Bach, Monuments and Markers Coordinator, at 307-777-6314 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  To learn more about the Wyoming Monuments and Markers Program, visit https://bit.ly/3E1xV2V .

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