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Award of Excellence
Ramin Rahimian Freelance

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Over the past seven years, gas companies have flocked to the vast deposits of natural gas in the desert surrounding Wamsutter, Wyoming. Today, this small, dusty town, situated amidst a stark landscape of sagebrush and parched earth, is booming. The roughnecks and townspeople work tirelessly, struggling to build a good life and community for their families. Yet, with the city's history of booms and busts, for many residents the realization of a permanent community has remained elusive. Like a tumbleweed blowing across nearby I-80, the town feels temporary and the people transient. Residents hope though that this boom will bring change and stability. They hope that the economic prosperity reaped by the gas companies and the state government will find its way back to help create a lasting Wamsutter.
"The Playground" Wamsutter kids play in a large lot in town after school. The kids of Wamsutter have very few options to pass the time. One popular place to hang out is a big lot of dried grass, a weed-covered basketball court, and rusting playground equipment sandwiched between rows of mobile homes. Most of these kids are from families that have relocated to Wamsutter from other cities in Wyoming or the Pacific Northwest so their parents can work in the booming gas business.


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