Cheyenne, Wy – The Wyoming legislature will move forward with wolf legislation in an effort to resolve a feud with state and federal officials. Following another meeting with U-S fish and wildlife Director Steve Williams Wednesday, Representative Mike Baker of Thermopolis introduced one house bill and will offer a second later this week, to try and reach a compromise by yielding to the federal position on wolves.
Cheyenne, WY – The minerals industry scored a major victory in the Wyoming House Tuesday. Representatives killed a measure designed to work out differences between mineral rights holders and surface land owners. The bill was touted by supporters as a way to solves disputes in gas development areas. While Representative Pete Illoway admits there have been conflicts that shouldn't have happened, he thought this bill went too far.
Cheyenne, Wy – An increase in small school funding and in an area called external cost adjustment will mean a major increase in funding for state schools. The school funding bill, when combined with other education committee funding bills, will mean that no school districts will lose money. Meanwhile, the committee agreed to add in a six million dollar grant program for full day Kindergarten. This prompted committee chairman Jeff Wasserburger to say that education funding reform is just about over.
Laramie, Wy – Yellowstone and Grand Teton are changing their rules for snowmobiling again. Yellowstone Superintendent Suzanne Lewis made the announcement Wednesday morning. She said 780 sleds are now allowed in Yellowstone each day and 140 sleds can enter Grand Teton every day for the rest of the winter. The changes come in response to a decision by Judge Clarence Brimmer issued Tuesday night. That basically overturned a decision by a Washington D-C judge to cut down the number of snowmobiles allowed in the parks this year and ban them next year.
Cheyenne, WY – Snowmobiling in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks is on again. Tuesday night, U-S District Judge Clarence Brimmer issued a temporary restraining order setting aside a ban on snowmobiles. Brimmer says without the order, companies that rely on park snowmobiling would suffer irreparable harm due to lost business. He ordered the Park Service to develop temporary rules for the remainder of the 2004 season. Brimmer's ruling apparently conflicts with an order by a US District Judge in Washington, DC.
Wyoming – Cities and towns are out in force to get funding for local government needs. These needs range from infrastructure to a guaranteed revenue stream to local governments. Some of this is addressed in the state budget, but a variety of issues will need to be addressed in legislation. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck reports that community leaders are anxious about their financial
Cheyenne – State officials are continuing to stand up to the federal government on the wolf management issue. Yesterday the director of the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service visited the state capitol to try and come up with a compromise, but Wyoming Public Radio's Renny MacKay reports that was unsuccessful.
Cheyenne, WY – Federal and state officials could not come to a compromise Tuesday on how Wyoming should manage wolves. This means the two sides are probably heading towards a legal battle. Almost a month after his agency declared Wyoming's wolf management plan unsound the director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service flew to Cheyenne. He met with the governor, state officials and leaders from the legislature. Immediately after the meeting Governor Dave Freudenthal said there was little movement. If the parties can reach a compromise they have to do it before Friday.
Cheyenne – The 57th session of the Wyoming Legislature got underway yesterday with the state of the state address from the governor. He called on lawmakers to take advantage of the opportunity they have and make a serious impact on the future of the state. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck reports on how the speech went over.