Cody, WY – Winter flights on United Express from Cody to Denver are officially set to return this year. Winter trips to Denver ended when Great Lakes Aviation pulled out of Cody a year ago. On Monday, United formally announced it will expand its summer service into a year-round operation. Spokeswoman Jenna Obluck says community support for the summer flights and the work of the Cody Yellowstone Air Service Organization were keys to their decision. Obluck says the airline isn't concerned that winter traffic won't be the same as summer passengers.
Casper, Wy – Without heavy snow in the high country this winter, reservoir levels on the North Platte River will drop beneath already dangerously low levels. That's according to John Lawson of the U-S Bureau of Reclamation. Lawson says Seminoe Reservoir is only a third full and Pathfinder is just at 20 percent capacity. He fears Pathfinder could empty completely without a heavy winter snowpack. Lawson says irrigators in eastern Wyoming will probably be out of water by the end of this month.
Denver, CO – A federal appeals court has given environmental groups a victory over the issuance of three coal-bed methane leases in the Powder River Basin. The 10th U-S Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver has reversed the issuance of three leased to Pennaco Energy. Four conservation groups challenged a decision by U-S District Judge Clarence Brimmer upholding the Bureau of Land Management's issuance of the leases. Brimmer's decision overruled a ruling by the Interior Department's Board of Land Appeals.
Casper, Wy – State lawmakers have agreed to begin drafting legislation that would ban smoking in public places across Wyoming. A subcommittee of the Legislature's full Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Interim Committee voted yesterday (Tuesday) to send the bill to the full committee after it's written. The idea was brought before the subcommittee by Representative John Hastert, a Democrat from Green River. Hastert says state officials and some of his constituents think it's an important public health issue.
Wyoming – The federal Bureau of Land Management has issued a directive to its state offices: Make sure oil and gas companies do not lease more public land than they are supposed to. Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay reports this directive is especially relevant in the Cowboy State
Laramie, WY – The announcement last week of two brucellosis cases in Campbell County came as a shock to experts. The disease isn't supposed to be a threat to cattle in that part of the state, only around the elk feed-grounds of the Greater Yellowstone Area, where previous cases were found. But that may still be where the disease came from. Cattle could easily end up as the source of this infection, but there is a nearby elk herd. A herd that isn't actually native to Campbell County, according to longtime Game and Fish Wildlife Veterinarian Tom Thorne.
Casper, Wy – Voters can find out what legislative candidates stand on a number of issues concerning Wyoming's wildlife and natural resources. Wyoming Conservation Voters Director Jason Marsden quizzed those running for the legislature on a variety of issues. Marsden says one response that was interesting was the support for legislation to address the impacts that surface landowners face when mineral extraction takes place.
Gillette, Wy – A rancher and two lawyers have been nominated to fill a vacant Campbell County seat in the Wyoming House of Representatives. Longtime rancher Marion Scott and attorneys Tom Lubnau and John Cotton have been chosen as candidates to replace Republican Jene Jansen. Jansen resigned his House seat July 30th to take an education job in California. The Campbell County Commission will choose a successor from the three nominees to fill the remainder of his term.