Park County

Leonard J. DeFrancisci via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Park County's tourism numbers are slowly increasing as the state reopens.

Yellowstone National Park kept its gates closed until mid-May and both of its entrances in Wyoming opened for day use only.

Park County Travel Council Executive Director Claudia Wade said since then Cody and the county have seen a steady increase of tourists but nothing like what was originally predicted.

Robert Alescio

Cody has anxiously been waiting for Yellowstone National Park to open up since its economy depends on summer tourism. Mayor Matt Hall said the community is willing to try new ideas.

Leonard J. DeFrancisci via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The city of Cody is starting to detect the presence of COVID-19 in the community by testing human waste through the sewage system.

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Residents of Park, Sheridan and Campbell County went to grocery stores and pharmacies more often during March. That's according to Google data from users who have opted in to location history for their Google account.

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Every year, thousands of American and international tourists pass through Cody as they leave or enter Yellowstone National Park. The summer tourism season officially starts May 1, when the park's east gate opens. That's usually a busy time, but things might be different this year.

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jacob Sippel

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the United States, we hear a lot about the shortage of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds. But there's another critical shortage, especially in rural areas, of health care providers.

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Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park are officially closed to all visitors indefinitely.

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On Tuesday evening, March 17, the Wyoming Department of Health reported four new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state. This puts the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wyoming to 15.

Yellowstone National Park/Creative Commons

As international travel bans have been put into effect, Park County is preparing for potential impacts to its summer tourism season. The federal government has barred the entry of all foreign nationals who had visited China, Iran and a group of European countries in the past 14 days.

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Park County will soon have a natural resources management plan for its federal and state lands, and is inviting the public to participate in a steering committee that will help shape the plan. 

Christ Episcopal Church and Park County Library hosted panel conversations on mental health challenges in the community on November 7. Identical midday and evening panels consisted of medical experts, a school district representative and mental health support group leaders. 

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is advising sensitive residents near Cody to reduce outdoor activities because of poor air quality. This is due to the Firehawk fire, which is burning 42 miles west of Cody in the Washakie wilderness.

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The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation and Wyoming Rising are co-sponsoring an event focused on non-citizen employees of Park County.

Derived from Park County Road Plat, Park County Public Works Department

Sportsmen and women have to be really careful to make sure they are not trespassing on public land. A new report finds that Wyoming has the most landlocked public land in the West at 3.05 million acres. A recent decision by Park County Commissioners could have added another 160.

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Beartooth Ranch near the Clark Fork of the Yellowstone River is back under local control for now. On Wednesday, Park County commissioners decided against signing a letter with the state Legislature’s Joint Agricultural Committee. The letter asks Wyoming's U.S. congressional delegation to allow greater flexibility for the 657-acre property known as Beartooth Ranch.

school board meeting
Kamila Kudelska

The Park County School District #6 School Board's proposed policy to allow school employees to conceal carry is now up for a third and final reading. 

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park6.org

As the question of arming school staff enters the national debate, Park County District #6 School Board is pushing forward in seeing whether this is the right policy for its community.

The board will vote this month on a second reading of the CKA Personnel Authorized to Carry policy, which allows school employees to conceal carry. At the first reading, the board chair, Kelly Simone, said it would be premature and unfair to vote against the policy until the board reviewed the results of a community survey.

school board meeting
Kamila Kudelska

Park County District #6 school board in Cody approved a policy allowing employees to carry firearms to the second reading. By a 5-2 vote, trustees are moving closer to implementation.

During a meeting Tuesday night, over 20 members of the community spoke to the board. The majority were against the policy expressing that guns should stay in the hands of law enforcement.

Credit By Paul Rau and the Bureau of Land Management via CC BY 2.0

About 20 years ago, Wyoming acquired a ranch north of Cody that had briefly been the home of a wanted drug smuggler. Now, there’s debate in Park County about what to do with the property.

The Park County Sheriff and another local complained to the County Commissioners that the Beartooth Ranch near the Clark Fork of the Yellowstone River is an eyesore, full of decrepit buildings and weeds. So, the commissioners decided to write a letter to Governor Matt Mead requesting the right to sell the property.

Park County saw an increase of 144-percent in newly reported Hepatitis-C cases from 2011 to 2012

The Adult Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator with the Wyoming Department of Health, Ashley Grajczyk, says right now Park County has about double the state rate of cases.

“What that means is we have an outbreak in that county,” she says.  

Grajczyk says the health department is “attributing the majority on newly reported cases to injection drug use. 41% of cases reported in 2012 indicated that they had either been currently, recently, or formerly injecting drugs.”

Rebecca Martinez / Wyoming Public Radio

Wyoming counties are concerned about confusing language the state's Department of Environmental Quality has used in draft rules guiding the closure and relocation of leaking landfills.
 

The Park County Board of Commissioners is concerned that its decision to comply with statewide environmental standards by building a new lined landfill cell will continue to take a financial toll on the County if the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality doesn’t act soon.

In order to renew their permits, the DEQ has required operators to prove their landfills aren’t leaking, or to build a leak-resistant lined landfill cell, or move their trash somewhere that’s leak-resistant. Park County built a new lined cell at the Cody landfill.