Laramie, WY – The largest elk herd in Yellowstone National Park continues to see declining numbers. From 2009 to 2010 there was a 24 percent decrease in the herd's population. Since wolves were introduced to the park in 1995 the herd has shrunk by 70 percent. Yellowstone biologist, Doug Smith, says wolves are not the only reason for this change and he points out that the herd spends some time in Montana where officials have increased hunting to get the population down. But, still Smith says the elk numbers should come back up in the future.
Laramie, Wyo. – Wyoming Governor Matt Mead delivered his first State of the State address to a joint session of the Wyoming Legislature this morning. Mead advocated a conservative approach to spending, and focused primarily on the state economy, business development, education, and health care.
Cheyenne, Wyo. – A special committee of the legislature heard arguments Wednesday about a newly sworn-in lawmaker's eligibility to serve.
Representative Matt Greene from Laramie defeated Seth Carson in the election last November. Carson formally appealed the election, saying Greene did not meet residency requirements. Under the Wyoming Constitution, a person must live in a district for a year before they can run for office from that district. But Greene was serving in Afghanistan for part of the year preceding the election.
Laramie, Wyo. – Wyoming cell phone users who want to switch to the iPhone might soon have their choice of carriers. Verizon Wireless announced Tuesday that it will start offering the phone next month. Bob Kelley is a regional spokesman. "We're very pleased that we can now say that, yes, you can get the iPhone 4 on the Verizon Wireless network," he said. "And that will happen beginning February 3rd for existing customers looking to upgrade. And February 10th the phone will be available online in our retail stores as well as Apple stores."
Cheyenne, Wyo. – The Wyoming House of Representatives has appointed a special committee to hear a complaint from a former state representative and other residents of House District 45 who are contesting the election of Republican Matt Greene.
Greene defeated former State Rep. Seth Carson, D-Laramie, in November. Carson claims Greene didn't live in the district for a full year before the vote, as required under the Wyoming Constitution.
Cheyenne, Wyo. – The state Game and Fish Department has authorized an extended elk hunting season in northern Wyoming.
Game officials say the extended hunt was authorized on an emergency basis in order to gain a better understanding of the prevalence of brucellosis among the elk herds in Park County. The harvested elk are being tested for the disease.
A herd of cattle and a herd of bison in Park County have been under quarantine after brucellosis was found in some of their animals.