Wyoming news briefs for August 27


Campbell Co. library sees 22 book challenges

GILLETTE — Nearly two dozen books have been formally challenged at the Campbell County Public Library.

Library director Terri Lesley said she’s received 22 reconsideration forms as of Wednesday afternoon.

At an Aug. 12 special meeting between the library board and the county commissioners, Lesley said she had received just three formal complaints. The library board asked that anyone who has a problem with a book to take it through the process that has been established for this purpose.

The library has 30 days to respond to each complaint. The manager in charge of collection development needs to read the book itself, as well as reviews on the book, before responding to the person who filed the complaint.

All of the challenged books are either in the children’s section or the teen section of the library, Lesley said. She added that one of those books is “This Book Is Gay,” which has been the focus of a lot of criticism for its descriptions of sexual acts.

The book is currently checked out and has not been returned, but Lesley said she’s been able to get the book through an inter-library loan.

Lesley said she doesn’t remember a case of a formally challenged book not being returned, but there have been instances where books just go missing.

“I know we’ve had some books that people didn’t like that disappeared from our collection,” she said.

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Feeding bears close park road

JACKSON — Berries are ripening and bears are gorging on the nutritious little fruit right now along narrow, winding Moose-Wilson Road, where a close encounter would be potentially dangerous.

And as a result, the northern stretch of the Grand Teton National Park road is closed until further notice. Specifically, all visitors are prohibited from traveling the portion of Moose-Wilson Road between the Murie Ranch junction and Death Canyon junction.

Grizzly 399 and her four cubs plus "several" additional black bears are using the area, Teton Park spokesman C.J. Adams said. 

“The road is closed for human safety and the protection of the bears,” Teton Park officials announced in a press release. “Because of its narrow surface lined with dense vegetation, hillsides, and wetlands, the Moose-Wilson Road does not allow for a safe distance between people and bears.”

The Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve can be accessed from the south, by coming through Teton Village. But the Death Canyon Road and parking area are currently off limits. 

Park staff are monitoring the bears’ whereabouts and will reopen the road when they believe it is safe.

"When we do these closures, they typically remain for about 72 hours," Adams said. "And then we reevaluate." 

Moose-Wilson Road closes due to bear activity with some regularity, oftentimes as a result of grizzly bears along the corridor.

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Big Boy returns from first tour in two years

CHEYENNE — Big Boy No. 4014, the famed Union Pacific steam locomotive built in the 1940s to conquer mountains while carrying equipment in support of World War II, will conclude its 2021 tour Tuesday, Sept. 7, when it arrives back to the Steam Shop in Cheyenne at approximately 1:45 p.m. 

This is the first time Big Boy has toured since its post-restoration debut in 2019 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad’s completion. It left Cheyenne on Aug. 5, making whistlestops in more than 90 communities and one-day public display events in five major cities: Fort Worth and Houston, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; St. Louis, Missouri; and Denver, Colorado. 

Big Boy No. 4014 was delivered to Union Pacific in December of 1941. This powerful machine was built to cross the Wasatch Mountain Range east of Ogden, Utah. It was retired in 1961 after traveling a little over a million miles, reacquired by Union Pacific in 2013 and restored to service in 2019. 

A complete schedule of Big Boy’s 2021 multi-city tour, along with a map tracking its journey, can be found athttp://upsteam.com. The public can also follow along with Big Boy’s adventure on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UP_Steam#BigBoy2021.

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