Laramie, Wy – There's a big development in the wolf-delisting process this week. The federal government is proposing to make it easier to kill wolves in order to protect elk and other animals. Right now, states have to prove that wolves are the primary reason that elk herds are not meeting their population goals. With the new rules, wolves only have to be one of the major causes. Jenny Harbine is an environmental attorney who follows wolf issues. She says the bar has been lowered too much.
Powell, Wy – Hopes are dashed of filling one of several physician vacancies at the hospital in Powell. Officials at Powell Valley Healthcare say that a family practice physician had been eyeing the vacancy. But they say that the doctor decided to stay where he was, instead. Rod Barton is C-E-O of Powell Valley Healthcare. He says there seems to be fewer doctors available for hire and regional hospitals are facing the same thing. The hospital also is looking for a general surgeon and an
Laramie, WY – New research says sage grouse populations are suffering from energy drilling in the Wyoming's Powder River Basin.
Studies released this week by University of Montana professor Dave Naugle and other researchers say that sage grouse populations dropped by 86 percent from 2000 to 2005 in areas where there was coal-bed methane activity. The grouse populations outside those areas dropped by 35 percent.
The BLM says it will take the new information into account as it makes management decisions in the area.
Laramie, WY – Nationwide, July 4th often sees more highway deaths than New Year's Eve.
The University of Minnesota's Center for Excellence in Rural Safety tracks those numbers.
Researcher Tom Horan says perhaps that's because people are more aware of the risks on New Year's Eve than on Independence Day. "It's summer, holidays, visiting people, so there are plenty of good reasons to travel. We just want to make people aware that statistically, it's kind of a dangerous time," he said.
Laramie, WY – Wyoming's first case of West Nile virus this year has turned up in a man from Fremont county. Last year, the mosquito-borne virus infected more people in that county than in any other, sickening some and killing others.
State epidemiologist Doctor Tracy Murphy says the landscape may be the key -- the counties with more water have more mosquitoes.