Interview with Jonita Sommers, longtime Big Piney teacher and co-owner with brother, Albert Sommers, of the multigenerational Sommers Ranch.
Jonita speaks of previous energy boom in the late 1970s and early 1980s in Sweetwater County and in Big Piney. She compares that boom’s effects on Big Piney to the more recent energy boom. The largest impact she feels happened to the Big Piney area was the large number of vehicles on roads and reckless driving. She mentions a major effect of the more recent boom on Big Piney schools was the influx of Mexican-American and Mexican families with children to the area. She emphasizes the preparations in place in Big Piney infrastructure for energy booms. She provides her opinion of effects of school funding redistribution on small Wyoming towns, such as Big Piney and LaBarge. Lastly, she describes the work of the BLM Pinedale Anticline Working Group’s Cultural Resources Task Force and her experience as a member of that task force.
Jonita was interviewed at the Sommers' Ranch on October 31, 2010, by Ann Noble.
Listen to Part 1 (14 minutes, 2 seconds)
Listen to Part 2 (1 hour, 1 minute, 24 seconds)
Interview Transcript (PDF)