Laramie, WY – Two new reports suggest that global warming is likely to greatly increase spending on fighting wildfires and greatly reduce salmon habitat in the Northwest. The University of Oregon's Institute for a Sustainable Environment projects that an average wildfire year for Oregon in the 2020s will see 50 percent more acres of forest burned than during the 20th century. By the 2040s the increase will be 100 percent. And annual state spending to fight wildfires is likely to increase from the current range of $40 million to $64 million to up to $96 million in the 2020s.
Jackson, Wy – The number of elk in Wyoming has increased to 99-thousand-867. That's nearly 16-thousand-700 more than what the state Game and Fish Commission would like to see. The number of animals were counted during the annual winter census. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department said hunters killed 21-thousand-685 elk last hunting season. That's an increase of more than 300 compared with the average from 2001 to 2005. The goal for 2007 is to kill nearly 23-thousand elk.
Laramie, Wy – Colorado and Wyoming will get a grand total of two more weeks to study a federal plan for wide-scale oil shale development in the region. The two states had requested an additional four months to review the draft environmental impact statement.. Governors of both states have said they needed more time to assess the potential social, environmental and economic impacts of commercial oil shale development in the three states. But Bureau of Land Management officials say they're already behind the schedule mandated by Congress.
Sheridan, Wy – Sheridan county has bought 50 acre feet of water from two big horn reservoirs. County commissioner Steve Maier says the county is looking ahead partly because of growth and partly because of climate. Maier says population growth is projected at around 1 to 3 percent which is not so much a concern for water resources. But they want to shore up their reserves. He also says the purchase of water from Dome Lake in particular is a coup for the county because it is privately owned.
Torrington, Wy – Spring storms have increased flows on the North Platte River enough to cover the state's obligations for last year's irrigation around Torrington. Deputy State Engineer Harry LaBonde says inflow from recent storms has roughly filled up the state's water storage account at Glendo Reservoir. LaBonde says increased storage will allow the state to release enough water this summer to cover last year's pumping of some 300 private agricultural wells near Torrington.