Washington, DC – An appellate court in Washington, D.C. Tuesday refused to suspend a ruling that curtailed snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park. The appeals court is considering several appeals and says the state of Wyoming, and others who had asked for a stay, did not satisified the stringent standards needed for a court to grant it. The appeals themselves now go forward, but could take months to decide. In December, US District Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the Park Service to drop a plan to allow snowmobiling to continue in Yellowstone and Grand Teton.
Cheyenne, WY – The Director of Workforce Services told the legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee Monday they have formed a committee to better track some of the business training grant money the agency provides. Senators Irene Devin and Rich Cathcart expressed concern there might have been abuses. But agency Director Kathy Emmons says this workgroup will take a closer look at exactly what they are providing. Emmons says it's critical the grant funds have oversight because the program is used as a recruitment tool for new businesses thinking of relocating.
Cheyenne, WY – The U-S Fish and Wildlife SErvice is expected to rule soon whether Wyoming's plan to manage gray wolves is acceptable. U-S Interior Department officials aren't saying expactly when their decision will be announced. Wyoming Chief Deputy Attorney General Mike O'Donnell says the rule could come as early as Thursday. The agency has been reviewing wolf management plans submitted by Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. All three states must have acceptable plans before the gray wolf can be removed from the endangered species list.
Washington, DC – The Justice Department has filed a notice of appeal in a lawsuit over whether snowmobiles should be allowed in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The notice was filed Monday in the U-S Circuit Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia circuit. The notice preserves the Bush administration's right to lodge an appeal in the case after U-S District Judge Emmet Sullivan reimposed a Clinton-era plan to phase out snowmobiles in the parks.
Billings, MT – The US Fish and Wildlife Service rejected Wyoming's wolf management plan Tuesday. One of three areas the federal government had problems with was Wyoming dual classification plan. That would classify wolves as predators in much of the state and leave the animals open to unregulated killing.
Laramie, WY – The University of Wyoming will have its' budget request heard before the legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee Tuesday. U-W President Phil Dubois says he'll be presenting legislators with a combination of what they requested, keeping in mind what Governor Freudenthal proposed in his budget. Dubois expects the most questions he'll face will be about salaries and athletic facilities and operations.
Laramie, WY – The University of Wyoming's student government President cautioned Trustees Friday about a proposed double-digit fee increase. Jack Edwards says student senators are concerned about "a dramatic fee increase" of 11 percent because of how it affects the cost of an overall college education. Edwards says many students are now non-traditional students who have families, rents and other costs than a college education. U-W President Phil Dubois says the driving force is anticipated salary and health increases increases for employees.
Laramie, Wy – A newly formed organization is planning an anti war rally this weekend in Casper. Chairman Tom Blemming says he founded Wyomingites United Against War in Iraq and the Patriot Act last week. He says the goal is to change leaders in Washington D-C because the current government is focused on war over other priorities. Blemming's group plans a protest this Saturday in Casper. He says it will not be a Democratic party rally, but people with all views will attend, including Republicans.