Billings, Mt – Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit over National Park Service plans to allow snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park for the next three winters. The groups say the government ignored the effect that roads groomed for snow machines have on wildlife, particularly bison. The complaint brought by The Fund for Animals, Bluewater Network and three individuals names Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Park Service Director Fran Mainella as defendants. The lawsuit was filed
ElPaso, Texas – Nineteen-year-old Mark Robert Walker of Rochester, New York, was nabbed while crossing into El Paso from Mexico. He faces a detention hearing Friday in El Paso. Walker is charged with providing support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, Walker faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Walker was apprehended Saturday by a U-S agent -- based on an alert describing him and his car. The feds were made aware of Walker after his roommate at Wyoming
Laramie, Wy – So, far in Wyoming there has only been one reported case of the flu. That's the word of Department of Health epidemiologist, Nicole Lindsey. She says they still do not have any indication of when the flu season will begin in earnest in Wyoming because influenza is so unpredictable; sometimes starting early in the winter and other times not until February.
Laramie, Wy – The current Speaker of the House says the legislature's Tribal Relations committee had to mend some fences during a meeting in Lander this week. Fred Parady says that's due to the fact that the governor's tough language in dealing with the Northern Arapaho tribe. He says that's probably due to the fact that the governor is a prosecutor and is used to speaking in strong language, but Parady says that is not advancing common understanding.
Laramie, Wy – Some environmental groups have intervened in a lawsuit filed by agriculture and outfitter organizations concerning Wyoming's wolf management plan. The state has also sued the federal government who rejected the states plan for managing wolves because the Department of Interior is concerned that too many wolves could be killed if they wandered outside of a boundry surrounding the national parks. Among those intervening is the Wyoming Chapter of the Sierra Club. Director Steve Thomas says the state simply needs a new plan.
Pinedale, Wy – A legislative committee will go forward with a plan to set up a Wildlife Habitat fund. The committee looked at three bills, including one by the Governor and will try and meld the three together. House Recreation, Parks and Natural Resources Chairman Mike Baker says it is something that has been tried in the past and seems to be gaining momentum this year.
Laramie, Wy – The U-S Department of Justice has released figures showing that the number of people in Wyoming prisons increased by nearly eight percent in 2003. The actual increase in the number of prisoners is up by almost 150.
Cheyenne, WY – Governor Dave Freudenthal believes the legislature revisit the idea of a Rainy Day Account. Lawmakers formed such an account during the revenue boom of the 1970's. Freudenthal says such a fund makes more sense then putting money into the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund. He says that fund has $270-300 Million going into it by viture of how the state consitution works. Freudenthal thinks the good revenue times will eventually end and the state should have a fund to draw on then for needed operating revenue.
Pinedale, WY – Sublette County's natural gas boom has kept motels in Pinedale busy. Motels that used to have year-round occupancy rates of around 50% are now enjoying rates of 90% or more. The prices for those rooms are also going up. $65 to $100 a night at the Rivera Lodge cabins, for example. The current motel situation may not be sustainable, though. Soon, many gas workers are likely to be living in "man camps" that are slated to go up around the area. One camp is expected to have 102 beds after the first phase and 106 after the second.