Wyoming – Starting February 10th, brucellosis testing will be required by all Wyoming Ranchers selling female cattle used for breeding. The emergency action is meant to clam buyers in other states who worry about the potential for Wyoming to export brucellosis after 31 cases were discovered in Sublette County. The testing will make it more expensive for ranchers to sell cattle. And Wyoming Public Radio's Aaron Alpern reports this comes at a time when BSE, or mad cow disease has dramatically cut into beef prices.
Boulder, WY – Governor Freudenthal is setting up a task force to respond to the brucellosis cases in a Sublette County cattle herd. One item that will get plenty of attention is the elk of the Greater Yellowstone area that are known brucellosis carriers. Efforts to vaccinate elk have not been too successful. Plus many winter feedgrounds seem to be areas where the disease can spread easily. Joel Bousman is a Sublette County Rancher, whose neighbor owned the brucellosis-infected cattle.
Casper, WY – Do not add State Senator Keith Goodenough to the list of those surprised by the federal government's rejection of Wyoming's wolf plan. Goodenough, a member of the Legislature's Travel, Recreation, and Wildlife Committee, also does not favor fighting the federal government over Wyoming's wording. Goodenough believes they were warned that predator status could be a problem, and now that the plan's been rejected, he thinks the state has no choice but to meet federal demands.
Boise, ID – The US Fish and Wildlife Service says a gray wolf found dead in central Idaho was killed by a poison. The wolf carcass was found in May and testing found the presence of a poison known as Compound 10-80. The agency says the chemical, which is used to kill coyotes, is toxic to wild animals, family pets and humans. The service is offering a $2,500 reward for information on the killing.
Cheyenne, Wy – Wyoming's Revenue picture continues to improve. The states Consensus Revenue Estimating Group says this years revenue picture should improve by another 12 million and next years increase will come close to tripling that. State Economist Jim Robinson says improvements in Natural Gas and Oil Prices are big drivers behind the adjusted forecast. Robinson adds that half the projected revenue is already in the bank, and some members of the group think the state will do much better then they are saying.
Laramie, Wy – The President Elect of the American Medical Association says Wyoming will keep losing doctors if it does not place a 250-thousand dollar cap on non-economic medical malpractice cases. Doctor John Nelson is urging legislators to take the first step in changing the constitution to make the change. Currently Wyoming does not have a cap and trial attorneys argue that a cap is not needed because Juries in the state don't hand out large awards. They also say that premiums are high because of economic factors that have little to do with jury awards.
Jackson, WY – A conference in Jackson this week will examine the culture, environment and economy of the greater Yellowstone area. Chartrure Institute Director Jonathan Schechter says "The Greater Yellowstone Power of Place" conference will hopefully become an annual event. Schechter says the conference is a unique opportunity to delve into the issues from many different angles. He says past conferences have focused on the economy or the environment. Schechter says this one will include the arts, community character, economy and wildlife and environment.
Denver, Co – Four conservation groups today sued the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service. They want the Yellowstone cutthroat trout listed as a threatened or endangered species. Plaintiffs are the Center for Biological Diversity, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, Ecology Center, and Pacific Rivers Council. The lawsuit was filed in U-S District Court in Denver. Plaintiffs say the Yellowstone cutthroat trout is beset by non-native trout, habitat degradation, fragmenting of the trout population and disease.