Moose, WY – Grand Teton National Park officials say the first calf to be killed by a wolf happened earlier this week. Officials says the Hereford calf was attacked late Tuesday or early Wednesday on the Elk Ranch grazing allotment near Moran Junction in the northeastern part of the park. Two federal wolf managers discovered the carcass and a federal wolf expert verified the calf was killed by a wolf. Officials say wolves have denned in the area since 1999 with virtually no incidents regarding livestock.
Cheyenne, Wy – Unusually warm and dry weather this spring prompted state fire managers to prepare for the worst, but cool and wet weather this summer has resulted in fewer wildfires than usual. State Forester Bill Crapser says the likelihood of severe fires has diminished considerably around Wyoming. He says things could still flare up from the end of August through September. But from here on out firefighters will have the advantage of shorter days and cooler nights. The state Forestry Division battles fires on state land and
Jackson, Wy – The body of a missing hiker has been found in the Teton Wilderness just south of Yellowstone National Park. Authorities confirmed the body was that of 24-year-old David Anderson of Richardson, Texas. Teton County Coroner Bob Campbell says the man died of hypothermia. Bridger-Teton National Forest officials said the remains were discovered yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon -- two days after he went missing. Early reports of the man being mauled by a bear were confirmed,
Laramie, Wy – Republican U-S House candidate Bruce Asay says Wyoming has not benefited from its own energy development as much as it should have. Asay says the federal energy policy has ignored Wyoming's full potential because it has only focused on extraction. But Asay says the state could be using its own resources and ship electricity and similar resources across state lines. He notes that one of the biggest impacts would be the evening out of the states constant boom and bust energy development cycle.
Laramie, Wy – Environmental groups are calling this weeks ruling by a federal appeals court extremely important. The appeals court ruled that the Bureau of land Managements environmental assessment of some leases in the Powder River Basin were faulty. The environmental groups say this now casts doubt on other leases in the area. Powder River Basin Resource Council Director Kevin Lind says this should refocus B-L-M, who has mostly been concerned with developing more natural gas.
Cody, WY – Winter flights on United Express from Cody to Denver are officially set to return this year. Winter trips to Denver ended when Great Lakes Aviation pulled out of Cody a year ago. On Monday, United formally announced it will expand its summer service into a year-round operation. Spokeswoman Jenna Obluck says community support for the summer flights and the work of the Cody Yellowstone Air Service Organization were keys to their decision. Obluck says the airline isn't concerned that winter traffic won't be the same as summer passengers.
Casper, Wy – Without heavy snow in the high country this winter, reservoir levels on the North Platte River will drop beneath already dangerously low levels. That's according to John Lawson of the U-S Bureau of Reclamation. Lawson says Seminoe Reservoir is only a third full and Pathfinder is just at 20 percent capacity. He fears Pathfinder could empty completely without a heavy winter snowpack. Lawson says irrigators in eastern Wyoming will probably be out of water by the end of this month.
Denver, CO – A federal appeals court has given environmental groups a victory over the issuance of three coal-bed methane leases in the Powder River Basin. The 10th U-S Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver has reversed the issuance of three leased to Pennaco Energy. Four conservation groups challenged a decision by U-S District Judge Clarence Brimmer upholding the Bureau of Land Management's issuance of the leases. Brimmer's decision overruled a ruling by the Interior Department's Board of Land Appeals.
Casper, Wy – State lawmakers have agreed to begin drafting legislation that would ban smoking in public places across Wyoming. A subcommittee of the Legislature's full Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Interim Committee voted yesterday (Tuesday) to send the bill to the full committee after it's written. The idea was brought before the subcommittee by Representative John Hastert, a Democrat from Green River. Hastert says state officials and some of his constituents think it's an important public health issue.
Wyoming – The federal Bureau of Land Management has issued a directive to its state offices: Make sure oil and gas companies do not lease more public land than they are supposed to. Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay reports this directive is especially relevant in the Cowboy State
Laramie, WY – The announcement last week of two brucellosis cases in Campbell County came as a shock to experts. The disease isn't supposed to be a threat to cattle in that part of the state, only around the elk feed-grounds of the Greater Yellowstone Area, where previous cases were found. But that may still be where the disease came from. Cattle could easily end up as the source of this infection, but there is a nearby elk herd. A herd that isn't actually native to Campbell County, according to longtime Game and Fish Wildlife Veterinarian Tom Thorne.
Casper, Wy – Voters can find out what legislative candidates stand on a number of issues concerning Wyoming's wildlife and natural resources. Wyoming Conservation Voters Director Jason Marsden quizzed those running for the legislature on a variety of issues. Marsden says one response that was interesting was the support for legislation to address the impacts that surface landowners face when mineral extraction takes place.
Gillette, Wy – A rancher and two lawyers have been nominated to fill a vacant Campbell County seat in the Wyoming House of Representatives. Longtime rancher Marion Scott and attorneys Tom Lubnau and John Cotton have been chosen as candidates to replace Republican Jene Jansen. Jansen resigned his House seat July 30th to take an education job in California. The Campbell County Commission will choose a successor from the three nominees to fill the remainder of his term.
Sheridan, WY – Contrary to some press reports, the city of Sheridan remains in the running to be home to the state's new medium security prison. But Sheridan Area Development Alliance Director Bill Bailey says they need to hear community support for a prison before they pursue it with the state. Bailey says he's unsure if that backing is there. He told the Sheridan Press that he hasn't heard of much support. But he says that comment was only in regard to the limited conversation he's heard. Bailey says the clock is ticking if they are going to formally enter the prison competition.
Lararmie, Wy – The Bush Administration has sent a directive to the state offices of the Bureau of Land Management. The directive is regarding a law limiting how many acres an oil and gas company can lease in any one state. The spokesperson for the Wyoming office, Cindy Wertz, says the directive clarifies an existing regulation, but she acknowledges it will change how some things are done in the state.
Jackson, WY – Two wildlife biologists theorize that grizzly bears may be to blame for the growing number of black bears getting too close for comfort to Jackson Hole homes. Steve Cain with Grand Teton National Park and Erick Shorma with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department says grizzlies could be encroaching on black bears' natural habitat, forcing them to find new territory. The Game and Fish Department has this year moved seven black bears and killed five others that became too familiar with human habitat. Shorma says at least part of the problem is home development in bear habitat.
Gillette, WY – Coal bed methane development in the Powder River Basin will be the focus of a story on C-B-S' "60 Minutes Two." News anchor Dan Rather and a crew from the program visited the Sheridan area last WEdnesday to film interviews and scenes that may appear in the program. The crew continued filming in Gillette Thursday and Friday. Rather says the story of the methane gas boom and the development of methane as a growing source of energy is "pretty interesting." The segment likely will air in late September or early October.
Casper, WY – Higher than average rainfall this summer has done little to lessen the effects of five years of drought on the North Platte's reservoir system. The Bureau of Reclamation says Pathfinder Reservoir stored less water last month than it had in 35 years. Seminoe Reservoir held just 32 percent of its capacity while Pathfinder was 25 percent full. Power generation from both dams also was down. Pathfinder Dam put out the fourth lowest amount of power it has produced in the last 30 years.
Sheridan, Wy – Governor Freudenthal says he is NOT sure if he will endorse the Kerry-Edwards ticket. Freudenthal -- who is a Democrat -- says the issues that are vital to Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain region are not getting much attention from the Democratic nominees. He says he has found very little on Kerry's Web site that specifically addresses such topics as forest policy and energy development. Freudenthal says he's not certain if a Kerry administration would be more supportive than the Bush administration has been with
Laramie, WY – Some students and a professor from Rice University in Texas want to learn the truth about gas development in Sublette county. Doctor Marc Epstein and two students are doing a study on the impacts of natural gas drilling. Epstein hopes they can provide independent research to companies, the government and conservation groups to aid in decision-making. He says it's been clear from his telephone and on-site interviews that not enough information is known to make good decisions.
Laramie, WY – Democrat Ted Ladd says addressing expensive health care coverage for Wyoming people is a must. Ladd is running for Wyoming's lone Congressional seat. He said over the weekend that after traveling the state, he notes there are a lot of workers who are struggling. Ladd says Wyoming ranks 42nd out of 50 states in median wages and health care premiums eat up a significant portion of Wyoming's low paychecks. He is proposing a plan that would provide more health care coverage to uninsured people.
Lararmie, Wy – The state office of the Bureau of Land Management can now charge Coalbed Methane producers a higher amount for bonds. The associate field manager in Buffalo, Richard Zander, says the agency just got clarification that it is alright to get money from producers to cover the cost of reclaiming any water reservoirs.
Laramie, Wy – A University of Wyoming Public Policy expert doubts that concerns over the wolf issue will ever reach the U-S Supreme Court. The state has sued the Department of Interior over Wyoming's wolf management plan. The feds especially have a problem with the term predator in the plan. But Wyoming officials contend that the reasons for turning the plan down are improper and have sued because they say the plan is science based. But U-W Political Science Professor Greg Cawley believes this is more about supporting constituent groups then anything else.
Laramie, WY – Several conservation groups want to take part in the lawsuit Wyoming filed against the federal government. The state sued the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service for rejecting Wyoming's wolf management plan. A coalition of five conservation groups has filed to intervene and defend the federal position. One of the groups is the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance. Director Franz Camenzind says they got involved because they believe the agency's decision was the right one based on sound science. He says the groups are disappointed by Wyoming's lawsuit.
Lararmie, Wy – A Creighton University business survey shows Wyoming's economy is expected to see continued growth in the next three to six months. Steve Elledge from the Wyoming Business Council's Casper Regional Office says that optimistic outlook is reflected in his area's business community. Elledge says specifically the manufacturing sector continues to show signs of gains. The Creighton report says new orders in Wyoming were strong while production and employment were also showing growth.
Gillette, WY – About 350 head of cattle in Campbell county will be tested Friday for brucellosis. The cattle come from a herd from which two cows tested positive for the disease ealier this week. Six other contact herds with about 15 hundred head of cattle will be tested within the next couple of weeks. The two infected Campbell county cows were discovered after a group of 50 cows were sent to a livestock sale in South Dakota.
Laramie, Wy – The U-S Energy Department has awarded nearly one-point-two-million dollars in grants to Wyoming to help low-income families weatherize their homes. The agency says poor families spend an average of 14 percent of their income on energy, compared to three-and-a-half percent for the average American family. The Energy Department says that weatherization can reduce energy costs by 218 dollars a year. The money for Wyoming is part of 95-million dollars awarded to 20 states.