Gov. Mead dispatches National Guard for flooding
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Gov. Matt Mead called up the Wyoming National Guard on Friday to help combat flooding that forced scores of people to evacuate their homes along the Big Horn River in Washakie County.
The National Weather Service says ice jams just west of Worland backed up the Big Horn River and forced the evacuation of about 80 people. There were no reports of injuries.
Minor flooding also has been reported in western Wyoming, including the Jackson, Afton and Kemmerer areas. Flooding also has occurred along the Niobrara River in the Lusk area of east-central Wyoming.
Worland Police Chief Gabe Elliott issued a statement Friday evening saying flooding in residential areas subsided through the day, but some areas remained susceptible to more flooding overnight.
Game and Fish plans higher flows in Platte River
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is warning anglers to be aware of planned higher flows in the North Platte River for 10 days later this month.
The game department says it will increase releases out of Gray Reef Reservoir from 500 cubic feet per second up to 4,000 cubic feet per second starting March 17.
The department says the higher flows will help maintain fish spawning habitat and increase production of the invertebrates that fish eat.
The flows will increase up to 4,000 cubic feet per second each day in the early morning and then decline back to about 500 cubic feet per second later in the day. The releases will continue through March 26.
YELLOWSTONE BISON SLAUGHTER
Yellowstone: Bison slaughters done for the season
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Yellowstone National Park ended shipments of wild bison to slaughter for the winter on Friday after almost 600 were removed in an effort to shrink the number of animals that cross into Montana during their annual winter migration.
Park officials say 258 bison were shipped out for slaughter by contract haulers and American Indian tribes that agreed to take the animals for their meat. Hunters killed at least 264 bison through Friday, and 60 more were captured and placed in a U.S. Department of Agriculture animal contraception experiment.
The removals were part of an ongoing effort to reduce Yellowstone's herds to about 3,000 animals under an agreement with Montana officials.
Ranchers outside the park have a low tolerance for bison because of concerns the animals could spread disease and edge out cattle for grass. They've resisted efforts to allow bison to migrate into Montana and roam freely on adjacent public and private lands.
COAL LEASING DEFERRED
Wyoming coal sale hiatus takes hold in weak market
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Diminished domestic demand has produced a virtual moratorium on federal coal sales in Wyoming's Powder River Basin.
No federal reserves in the basin have sold since June 2012, and none is expected to sell until at least 2015. That's partly because the massive, open-pit mines generally have enough reserves to last some years, but also because coal companies aren't making long-term investments to buy more.
National Mining Association spokesman Luke Popovich says companies appear to be holding out for a solid, sustained resurgence in global demand.
Last April, 21 environmental groups asked Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to impose a moratorium on new federal coal leasing in the basin. They cited greenhouse emissions as well as reports on shortcomings in U.S. Bureau of Land Management coal leasing practices that have cost the government more than $200 million.
The Interior Department hasn't issued any moratorium - but a de facto one is shaping up.
Man suspected of attempted manslaughter arrested
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - A 19-year-old man who was wanted in Wyoming on suspicion of attempted manslaughter has been arrested in northern Colorado.
The Larimer County Sheriff's Office says a SWAT team arrested Wyatt James Fluty east of Fort Collins on Thursday evening on felony charges stemming from a Rawlins Police Department investigation. He also was wanted in Larimer County for failing to appear to serve a jail sentence from a DUI arrest in 2013.
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