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.