Rock Springs, WY – Democratic congressional candidate Ted Ladd has changed his stance on lower royalties for trona producers. Last spring, Ladd criticized Republican Representative Barbara Cubin's proposal to decrease in the amount of royalties trona mines pay. After visiting trona operations in Sweetwater County this week, Ladd says he was wrong and now supports the idea because the industry is in need of help.
Lararmie, Wy – The amount of water in Wyoming's streams and rivers was well below normal in August. U-S-G-S Hydrologist, Kirk Miller says generally streamflow was at 64 percent of the 30 year average for the month. And, he says that is up from last year for a couple of reasons: one is that there was cool weather in the spring that prevented all the snow from melting too fast. The second reason is that rain during the summer reduced demand for stored water for irrigation and lawn watering.
Washington, DC – Friday marked the 40th anniversary of the National Wilderness Act and the 20th anniversary of the Wyoming Wilderness Act. In 1964 Lyndon Johnson signed the original legislation after it was passed by Congress. It set aside over nine million acres of land as wilderness, meaning motorized equipment and vehicles are prevented from entering the areas. In 1984 President Ronald Reagan signed the Wyoming Wilderness Act. This legislation set aside areas such as the Gros Ventre, Platte River, and Cloud Peak Wilderness, as well as nine other pieces of land.
New York, NY – Wyoming delegates to the Republican National Convenstion in New York City had nothing but praise for Vice President Dick Cheney's acceptance speech Wednesday night. Jan Larimer of Jackson heads up the Wyoming delegation. Larimer called Cheney the right man in the right job at the right time and that he shares Wyoming's values. Wyoming Senator Craig Thomas believes Cheney's speech will go over well in battleground states such as Ohio. Thomas says Cheney has been the most active Vice President in the history of the United States.
Aladdin, WY – Firefighters in Crook County made significant progress Thursday on a wildfire burning just outside the town of Aladdin. Fire Information Officer Brenda Bowen says the Basin Draw Fire is now 85% contained. Containment was 0% Thursday morning. Bowen says the forecast called for a dangerous combination of strong winds, high temperatures, and low humidity. But she says thankfully that wasn't the case and that a red-flag warning was cancelled. Bowen says full containment is expected Friday afternoon.
Cheyenne, Wy – Next Wednesday, Wyoming will begin development of a Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan. The state has had a plan since the late 90's, but state Public Health Prevention Specialist Chris Thomas says it needs to be updated to include such things as treatment. The Centers for Disease Control is paying for the program, in an effort to get all 50 states to come up with a new Cancer Control Plan. Thomas says part of the idea is to get providers from throughout the state sharing ideas. The first meeting is Wednesday morning at the Casper Holiday Inn.
Gillette, Wy – A fourth Campbell County cattle herd has tested negative for brucellosis. That leaves just one more whole herd to be tested for the disease in the county. Tests were ordered on five Campbell County cattle herds after two cattle on a ranch tested positive for the disease. The five herds have been under quarantine since the brucellosis cases were discovered in July. Officials are relieved that four of the five herds have returned negative test results. But ranchers are concerned that the diseases
Cheyenne, Wy – Attorneys for the states of Montana and Wyoming today (Thursday) asked a judge to strike down a Clinton-era rule banning snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. The lawyers said that doing so would provide certainty for businesses that rely on winter use of the parks. They also want to prevent a federal judge in Washington, D-C, from resurrecting the snowmobile ban a second time. The prohibition was eventually set aside and new rules were drafted allowing snowmobiling to continue, but last December, U-S
Saratoga, WY – A lethargic and apparently sick eagle found in the Saratoga area was taken to a rehabilitation center and treated for West Nile Virus. The young eagle had a four foot wing span and was found Sunday afternoon. Results of the West Nile test are not yet available. Bureau of Land Management Ranger Dean Reasoner says he was on routine patrol when he was flagged down and told about the eagle. Reasoner says when he arrived, the eagle could flap its wings, but couldn't fly.
Laramie, Wy – The Albany County Coroner believes seven people probably died in the August 19th crash on I-80 near Laramie. Julie Heggie is basing that on missing person's reports. She is still in the process of trying to identify four victims and they are awaiting D-N-A testing. She says considering the crash, it is not unusal to not have all the remains.
Cheyenne, WY – A new State Veterinarian for Wyoming was announced Wednesday. Dwayne Oldham will be taking over a position that has received its fair share of attention recently with the state's brucellosis cases. Oldham is from Lander and currently runs a mixed animal veterinary practice in New Mexico. He replaces Jim Logan, who is returning to private practice.
Laramie, Wy – Assistant Interior Secretary Rebecca Watson insists that the Bush Administration is heavily considering renewable energy and impacts on wildlife as they move forward with energy development. In fact, Watson contends that they have even gone as far to closely review comments by the Wildlife Community to make sure that development on public lands does not have a negative impact on wildlife. She says it led to a recent policy shift where B-L-M managers may now defer energy leasing if there is a potential conflict.
Laramie, Wy – A bird watching group has made a rare discovery. A Brown-capped Rosy-Finch nest was found inside a crack in the Snowy Range. The Audubon group saw a usual bird flying in and out of the crack near Lewis Lake. A search led by University of Wyoming Associate Zoology Professor David McDonald found four chicks inside chirping. McDonald believes only six or seven such nests have ever been found in North America. He says they took blood samples and banded the nestlings and should be able to monitor them in the future.
Laramie, WY – University of Wyoming officials expect enrollment to be fairly close to last fall's student body numbers. Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Sara Axelson says numbers should be fairly comparable, if not up a few students. University officials set an enrollment goal of 13 thousand students by 2005. Axelson says they met that goal at the end of last fall. She says they're currently re-evaluating the goal and working with academic colleges to make sure appropriate space exists in different academic majors.
Lander, WY – For its modest beginnings, the Jackson Hole Bison Herd has grown to a size that concerns the state Game and Fish Department. In the late 60's there were 16 free-ranging animals, now the population is double the herd objective, almost 800. Game and Fish Regional Wildlife Supervisor Steve Smith says he expects the Jackson Hole Bison Herd to continue its growth. Projections put it at 1,500 animals by 2008. Hunting is only allowed on National Forest Land and has been a largely ineffective population control tool. Just 40 animals were successfully harvested last year.
Laramie, Wy – Wyoming opens its football season this weekend, and Head Coach Joe Glenn is already calling it a must win for his program. Glenn says it is critical that his team gets off to a good start this season, and it begins Saturday against Appalachian State. The Mountaineers are a one-double A school, that has played in the post season five of the last six years. They are ranked 20th in the country in their classification. Glenn says they are worthy of respect and are a team that plays a lot of division one schools.
Wind River, Wy – The Chairperson of the Shoshone Business Council says his tribe plans to pay its share of the cost of the tribal liaison in the governor's office. Vernon Hill says they think the position is beneficial and they have the money ready. Officials from the Northern Arapahoe Business Council said they would not comment for this story. The governor's press secretary says they have not heard from either tribe about this situation during the last two months. The money to fund the tribal liaison position was due on July first.
Cheyenne, Wy – The five candidates running for the state legislature that missed the deadline for filing campaign finance reports will have their names on ballots in November. One Wyoming law says any candidate that failed to get a report to the Secretary of State on time would not be able to run for office. But, Attorney General, Pat Crank, studied this situation and says there are other parts of statute to consider, plus he had to keep in mind the fact the law is new. He says all candidates have until this Thursday to file their campaign finance reports.
Laramie, Wy – A Montana Rancher thinks an agreement between a Natural Gas Developer and a conservation group could be a model for future agreements. Mark Fix of Montana's Northern Plains Resource Council says his group reached agreement with a Gas Developer calling for better coalbed methane water discharge monitoring. He thinks it could be a model and could solve a lot of ranching concerns.
Cheyenne, WY – Enough signatures submitted by the Ralph Nader and Michael Peroutka campaigns have been certified for the Presidential candidates to appear on the November ballot in Wyoming. The Wyoming Secretary of State's office says both campaigns met the 3,600 verifiable signatures needed to place the candidates on the ballot. Peroutka is the Constitution Party's nominee, but will be listed on the ballot as an Independent because the party has not met the requirements to be recognized in Wyoming. Nader is running as an Independent.
Moose, WY – Wildlife managers have been putting in overtime to prevent wolves in Grand Teton National Park from killing cattle, following the first such incident in the park earlier this summer. Agents with the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service have camped overnight with the cattle herd and used bright lights and firecracker-like blasts to scare wolves away. And it seems to be working. Ranchers have not reported any more depredations since the initial attack on a 400 pound calf August 10th.
Douglas, WY – A peaceful Sunday afternoon in Douglas was interrupted by a small earthquake. The National Earthquake Information Center says a tremor measuring 3.8 magnitude occured just before one o'clock. The center classified the quake as minor and one fairly shallow in depth. The epicenter was about ten miles north of Douglas. No damage was immediately reported, but the earthquake was strong enough to bring people out of their homes to compare notes with neighbors.
Campbell County – How two cows in Campbell County ended up with brucellosis is still a mystery to those looking into the cases. Investigators say they don't even have a solid lead at this point. Their early findings were shared Thursday at the Wyoming Brucellosis Coordination Team meeting in Lander. Wyoming Public Radio's Aaron Alpern reports.
Torrington, Wy – The state Department of Agriculture has closed a grain warehouse in Torrington because it did not apply for license renewal. The warehouse is operated by Mountain States Commodities Incorporated. The company's license expired June 30th, according to Roy Reichenbach, who is manager of technical services for the state Department of Agriculture. Reichenbach says each grain warehouse license is renewable upon completion of a state audit, which is done each year.