Billings, Montana – A federal judge in Montana has rejected a request by the government to delay a lawsuit seeking to place the gray wolf back on the endangered species list, saying he's "unwilling to risk more deaths." At least 39 of the Northern Rockies' 1,500 gray wolves have been killed since they lost federal protection in March. That action placed wolves under the authority of state wildlife agencies in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. All three states have relaxed rules for killings wolves that
Washington, DC – U-S Senator John Barrasso has not yet taken a position on whether energy development in the Pinedale anticline should slow down. Some believe that since high levels of ozone have been reported in Pinedale, that natural gas drilling should slow down, until things improve. Senator Barrasso says he has not yet formed an opinion, but says he is attending meetings and is studying the issue closely.
Denver, Co – A federal appeals court in Denver says that a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe who killed a bald eagle for use in his tribe's Sun Dance must stand trial. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday reversed an earlier decision by U.S. District Judge William Downes of Wyoming. Downes in 2006 had dismissed criminal charges against Winslow Friday. The judge said the federal government does no more than pay lip service to the religious needs of American Indians.
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – The executive director of the Idaho Water Users Association says the group is against a federal bill to designate portions of the Snake River as "wild and scenic" because it could harm historic water rights.
Norm Semanko says the group is dead-set against any federal protection designation for a 42-mile stretch of the Snake River below Jackson dam.
That portion of the Snake River flows mostly in western Wyoming before reaching Palisades Reservoir in eastern Idaho.
Laramie, Wyo. – The Western Organization of Resource Councils' Randy Joseph says the bill does not do enough to make the livestock industry more competitive.
He says large producers have too much control over the market.
"It's not a strict supply and demand and what happens is the little guy is not able to sell high," Joseph says. "He's only able to sell low. And that is part of the captive-supply issue we have been trying to address."
Laramie, Wyo. – The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has given UW president Tom Buchanan a 50-thousand dollar raise.
His base salary will be $350,000, effective July 1. UW trustee Dick Davis says Buchanan has strengthened the university academically and built relationships inside the institution and with the outside, including the governor's office and the legislature.
Cheyenne, Wyo. – Laramie County voters have rejected building a recreation center in Cheyenne.
Voters on Tuesday defeated a proposition that would have spent $55 million in sales taxes toward building a $58 million center.
Three other tax propositions with more than $50 million worth of projects throughout the county were approved. The projects include various community enhancements, street and water improvements and county buildings and infrastructure.
Washington D-C – The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today approved a bill designating 387 miles of the Snake River as "wild and scenic." The "wild and scenic" designation affords protection to parts of the river and its immediate environment. Idaho Sen. Larry Craig says the bill raises concern that the flow of the river would be affected once it gets to his state. Committee members defeated two Craig amendments intended to ensure that Idaho water rights are protected after the designation.
Jackson, Wy – The Teton County commission has imposed a temporary moratorium on large subdivisions. The action stops several housing projects involving hundreds of new homes. The moratorium on development applications of more than 20 acres was approved on a 3-2 vote. It will remain in effect until Dec. 31 or when changes to a joint Jackson and Teton County development plan are adopted. The moratorium does include a clause allowing for "reasonable exceptions." It also halts zone changes that would increase the
Laramie, Wy – Students graduating from the University of Wyoming this Saturday will likely see higher salary offers than last year's graduates. Director of Career Services, Jo Chytka says the down economy has not affected UW graduates yet. "I would say starting salaries are still increasing, compared to last years graduates, maybe not as exponentially as they were. Students need to factor in the location of the position and a lot of other things. But if you look at both national averages and what we're seeing for our students, I think they'll be pleasantly surprised."