Twenty bucks says Nancy Pelosi has never been to Jackson Hole (or even Wyoming for that matter) and Barrasso is just one scary dude. Bet you another twenty bucks he’s one of the next politicians to wreak havoc on the country, nevermind the state of Wyoming. There has been some scuttle-butt as far as how much money it cost to bring this year’s national Christmas tree from up the road to Washington, DC. I have mixed emotions about it.
To catch some people up to speed, the Christmas tree on the lawn of the nation's capital is from Wyoming and the Bridger Teton National Forest. (Pronounced "Tee-tin"...according to Pelosi.) More specifically, it is from Pacific Creek, which is on the right as you drive north of Jackson, past Moose and on the way towards Moran Junction. A truly beautiful part of the county in it's own right. The tree was spotted by a local resident and after it was deemed to be the nation's Christmas tree, it was "guarded" to avoid any harm being done to it. I'm not sure just how long, but most likely, a couple months. Rumor has it, it was being guarded so greenies wouldn't "spike it", which would make it very dangerous to cut down.
In true American fanfare, the tree was finally cut down in the beginning of November with all kinds of pomp and circumstance, and then strutted around the town square like a dead elk with it's blood and guts dripping on the pavement from the back of some hunter's pickup. (Ironically, a common site at that time of year as well.) The tree was then boxed up and given a scenic tour of the state of Wyoming, and then furthermore, transported hundreds of miles across the country on the back of a diesel guzzling tractor trailer. Lord knows how much money was spent on the entire operation, but much of the time, money and resources are reported to have been donated by some local and national business, including Encana. (I bet that makes you feel better...no?) Hard to say how much of the costs were actually covered by the donations, but i can't imagine it covered everything.
Now, as a Jackson Hole resident, it feels pretty cool to have the nation's Christmas be from where I call home. And I'm sure in towns like Tensleep, Manville and Bairoil, WY, it was probably the biggest event since, well, since the young Hansen boy drove down the street showing off his recently killed buck. (Ironic...no?) I'm sure it made lots of people feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and stoked the patriotic flame, so to speak. Well, maybe not lots, but a few thousand at the least. But at what cost?
It seems to be it would have been just as easy to cut a tree down from the nearest forest to the capital and stream the whole live on the web so the entire country could celebrate...no? I mean what's next...a tree from Alaska? Maybe we could get Sarah Palin to haul it down to DC on the top of her RV, have the Discovery Channel cover the whole trip and give Palin another $250,000 (what she make per episode of Sarah Palin's Alaska) to put in her coffer. That way when she wins in the next presidential election, she can team up with Barraso and "harvest" all of the forests, so at the next Christmas we can just buy a plastic pre-decorated tree at Kmart. Why not? The Capital Christmas Tree already has it's own website (one, two, three of them), Facebook page and blog. Bah, humbug!!!