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Vice President Cheney To Dedicate Grand Teton Visitor Center


Sen. Craig Thomas long was an advocate for the national park system.

If you're planning to be in Grand Teton National Park on Saturday, you'll be sharing the park with the vice president of the United States, the Department of Interior secretary, and the National Park Service director. All will be at Moose to dedicate the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center.

It's hard to say whether Dick Cheney, Dirk Kempthorne and Mary Bomar would have turned out for the dedication had the visitor center not been named after U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas, who died suddenly earlier this summer from complications in his fight with leukemia. That the three are crossing the country to honor the Republican from Wyoming is truly a tribute to the senator, who was a staunch advocate of the national park system and long campaigned for greater funding for the National Park Service.

Also expected to speak at the dedication are the senator's widow, Susan; Grand Teton Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott, and; U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, also a Wyoming Republican.

The 22,000-square-foot visitor center has long been needed at Grand Teton, as the Moose location is the main entry into the park. As a result, the visitor center there attracts large crowds of visitors searching for information on the park, books and gifts, campsites, and backcountry permits.

Dedication of the $18.5 million center is scheduled for 10 a.m., and if you're planning to attend it's recommended that you arrive between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and carpool if at all possible.


One more story lagged in on this today. As a grassroots organizer, 200 is no insignificant number for an impromptu protest; we would be very happy with that number for a local protest here (even though more people live inside just the city of Washington than in all of Wyoming); given the summer population of Jackson, this represents about 1 in a 100 people there; in DC, that translates to about 6,000 people (and actually more than twice that given the metro area and visitation - which I took into the Jackson figures). Only once did we as local anti-war organizers (as opposed to national organizers) get that kind of percentage, and that was at the counter-inaugural in 2005. This is something else altogether. There are a lot of advantages organizing outside of Washington - too many to go into right now - but on Cheney's home turf in front of his home, that's not an insignificant barometer of how upset people are in the Jackson area.

It's interesting that there was an anti-war theme to this as well; you don't see an environmentalist theme. One of the problems in the various movements opposed to the Administration is an inability to communicate and organize across issues. Even so, if I were on the ground, I bet I would have seen an interesting cross-section of interests. Yet, at the organizing level, something else is at work. Whoever these organizers are, they have money we never had to be able to put full page ads in two Jackson newspapers.

There are a lot of interesting subtexts; I wish I could have been on the ground to experience the ins and outs of it because it's a whole world of intrigue and politics unto itself. One paper said that one of the co-organizers is in fact a Republican. But, you can get little sense of the organizing process from a newspaper and whoever served as group spokesperson. These groups can have all kinds of organizing means and ways of dealing with the media. Given the speakers and the march process, it seems like it lended itself to a more mainstream approach (an effigy of Cheney may seem radical, but the same event had Democratic office holders speaking) - anyhow, I could speculate and comment on and on. It makes me excited to get involved at some level either with a group like this (if it is viable and open) or with a different affinity group working in solidarity.

8/14/07 Protesters show up in force near Cheney home (by Whitney Royster Casper Star-Tribune)

Jim Macdonald
The Magic of Yellowstone
Yellowstone Newspaper
Jim's Eclectic World

A couple more stories out today:

8/13/07 Protesters challenge vice president, war in Iraq (by Amanda H. Miller Jackson Hole News & Guide)--effigy of Cheney toppled
8/13/07 Cheney lauds Thomas, center (by Cory Hatch Jackson Hole News & Guide)

one opinion piece also mentions this:

8/12/07 What an eventful weekend (by State Rep. Keith Gingery in Planet Jackson Hole blogs)--Gingery is a Republican from Jackson, WY

Jim Macdonald
The Magic of Yellowstone
Yellowstone Newspaper
Jim's Eclectic World

Right on, Rachel.
The leftists in this blog don't even deserve our parks! They really need to move to Canada or some third-world hell-hole, and maybe they'll be more grateful.

"Protesters march on Cheney's home"...
"You leftists are truly disgusting...get a frickin' job and maybe YOU can afford a home!!! Maybe the VEEP can hold target practice...LOL!!
Oh, and moderator...please get a handle on the leftists here spewing hate...this blog is descending into great depths....

More stories now that this has happened:

8/12/07 Cheney leads dignitaries in dedication of Teton Center (by Whitney Royster Casper Star-Tribune)
8/12/07 War protesters march on Cheney's home in Wyoming (by Gil Brady New West)--no word on whether protests waited for Cheney to return to his home; Wolfowitz and Negroponte especially hate that
8/12/07 Thomas center opens up to acclaim (AP sotry in Billings Gazette)
8/11/07 Vice President Dick Cheney dedicates new visitor center (by Kristy Kircher KIFI--ID)

Here is a transcript of Cheney's remarks

Jim Macdonald
The Magic of Yellowstone
Yellowstone Newspaper
Jim's Eclectic World

To update you, anti-war protesters plan on being at the Visitor's Center ceremony in Grand Teton to protest Cheney and the war. They have some art to display but promise that it's not phallic, as had apparently been rumored.

You can read about it in the Jackson Hole News & Guide.

Jim Macdonald
The Magic of Yellowstone
Yellowstone Newspaper
Jim's Eclectic World


You're not really suggesting what I think you're suggesting with this comment about the Vice President, are you? "In fact, impeachment isn't enough for a man who has committed treason during war time. There was a time when that called for more dire punishment."

And you're insinuating my post was "vitriolic"? That's rich.

Dennis Patrick

Hang in there Frank. I think you're being more than civil.

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