Cheyenne, Wy – A recent attorney general's opinion says money added to the Wyoming Permanent Mineral Trust Fund could be removed. Interest from the fund is used to help pay for government. Legislators have been adding millions of extra dollars to the fund to increase the payout. To protect that money the Joint Appropriations Committee voted to change the constitution. House Appropriations Chairman Frank Philp says money in the P-M-T-F should not be touched. Senator Jayne Mockler of Cheyenne is not so sure.
Laramie, Wy – The U-S Forest Service wants to prevent road vehicles from leaving designated roads and trails. The agency issued a new rule Wednesday to try and accomplish this goal. Previously the Forest Service has declared that unmanaged recreation is one of the top four threats to forests. This includes improper use of motorized vehicles.
Laramie, Wy – The Head of the Wyoming Stockgrowers Association is taking issue with a federal government report. The Government Accountability Office says federal agencies lose at least 123 million dollars a year keeping public lands open to livestock grazing. The Wyoming Stockgrowers Association's Jim Magagna disagrees. Magagna says if grazing fees are raised too high it could jeopardize some ranching operations. However, environmental groups say it backs up their argument that grazing should be limited.
Laramie, Wy – Conservationists and several scientists have released a reporting that says logging after a wildfire is a waste of money and does not restore forests. Forest ecologist Dominick Dellasala says dead and dying trees are beneficial, anchoring the soil and providing habitat for many species. He also says after huge fires like the ones in and around Yellowstone in 1988 the land is valuable, rather than a moonscape that is catastrophically destroyed. Dellasala says most forests are born out of fire and have evolved with fires for thousands of years.
Casper, Wy – A state legislator thinks some may be forced to choose between paying for heat or food this winter. That is why Casper Representative Ann Robinson has come up with what she calls a Heat and Eat bill. Her plan is to give sales tax breaks on food and utilities. Robinson says the average family of four would save somewhere around 300 or 400 dollars this year. Her plan is to make it available to everyone. Robinson says her bill would keep local governments from losing sales tax revenue.
Laramie, Wy – Governor Freudenthal has appointed Edward Wadda to serve as the tribal liaison between the Eastern Shoshone and the state of Wyoming. The 36-year-old Wadda has been an adjunct instructor at the University of Wyoming and Central Wyoming College since 2003. From 2004-05, he was also the Eastern Shoshone program coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club. Wadda says gus goals are to inform the governor and other state agencies about issues concerning the people of the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Laramie, Wy – The state could soon shell out almost one billion dollars a year for education. The legislature is reworking the school funding model with a consultant. The recommendations from the consultant would cost 142 million dollars more than what the state pays now. The Senate Chair of the Education committee, Hank Coe, says this includes more money for teacher salaries, but the exact raises would be up to local districts.