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Homeowners Upset at State’s New Oil and Gas Rule

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by Dustin Bleizeffer | WyoFile.com

How far is Gov. Matt Mead willing to go to help protect homeowners from oil and gas development? About 150 feet, and no farther, according to some state residents. Not nearly far enough to satisfy landowners who find themselves living next to industrial-sized drilling and hydraulic fracturing activities.

Faculty Criticizes Lack of Women Among New Trustees

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Faculty Criticizes Lack of Women Among New UW Trustees

By Gregory Nickerson | WyoFile.com

University of Wyoming faculty leaders are upset that only two women will serve on the newly configured Board of Trustees, which meets for the first time this week in Laramie.

Planned Gas Field Risks 2,000 Wyoming Grouse

Planned gas field risks 2,000 Wyoming grouse

By Angus M. Thuermer Jr. | WyoFile.com

PINEDALE — A sage-grouse committee could not agree Thursday to protect newly documented grouse winter habitat, the largest in Wyoming, from gas development.

Legislature’s Bills Would Protect Domestic Sheep Grazing

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Picture via Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

A bill to remove or relocate 60 bighorn sheep if they curtail stockmen’s domestic sheep grazing on federal land amounts to “extortion,” a lawmaker said last week.

House Leaders Forgive Edmonds’ ‘Hell Freezes Over’ Amendment

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By | WyoFile.com

Rep. Harlan Edmonds (R-Cheyenne) will not face further reprimand for saying Friday that he wanted a bill prohibiting discrimination against gay and transgender workers to become law “when hell freezes over.”

Lawmakers Prep ‘A Budget Like You’ve Never Seen Before’

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Sen. Tony Ross

Wyoming lawmakers plan to use leftover funds and reach into short-term savings to cover a six percent deficit for the 2016 budget. They will rely on projected investment earnings to pay for special projects for the next two years. All of that money comes from state sources.

Legislature Kills Wyoming Medicaid Expansion Bills

Legislature Kills Wyoming Medicaid Expansion Bills

by  - WyoFile.com

The Wyoming Senate voted down Medicaid expansion today, ending the latest chapter in a multi-year effort to consider the program.

Committee Considers Medicaid Expansion Bills

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Sen. Michael Von Flatern (R-Gillette) filed Senate File 129 - Medicaid SHARE plan on Monday. He is shown here serving as Chairman of Committee of the Whole on Monday, a rotating position. (Gregory Nickerson/WyoFile)
by Gregory Nickerson - WyoFile.com

Wyoming’s debate over whether to expand Medicaid, and how it might be done, reaches a critical point this week.

Cheap Oil no Friend to Our Traditional Arguments

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Cheap Oil no Friend to Our Traditional Arguments

by Allen Best -WyoFile.com

Gasoline dipped below $2 per gallon after Christmas in Salt Lake City, Denver and other cities, and I’ve heard rumors of $1.75. Gas is selling for $1.70 in Laramie, Wyo. Most of us like this immensely. Not so the stock market, which was jarred by oil dipping below $50 per barrel. Cheap oil has also gummed up a variety of political arguments.

It Was a Year of Change in Wyoming’s Government

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Kerry Drake

By Kerry Drake - WyoFile.com

Wyoming generated much significant and surprising political/government news in 2014 that, for better or worse, will impact the state and its residents far into the future.

Police Departments Receive $5.7M in Military Gear

(Public domain photograph from defenseimagery.mil)

By Gregory Nickerson - WyoFile.com

Since 1997, law enforcement agencies in Wyoming have acquired $5.7 million in military gear through the Department of Defense 1033 Program.

Wyoming Medicaid Expansion Plan Faces Headwinds

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By Gregory Nickerson

Four years into his term as Wyoming governor, Matt Mead (R) has endorsed a plan to expand Medicaid to cover an estimated 17,600 uninsured adults in the state.

Study: Non-hunters Contribute Most to Wildlife

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Private lands, like the farm these goose hunters are on in Goshen County, provide essential habitat for wildlife. Some say federal lands, especially in the West, also are fundamental to wildlife conservation but haven’t been accounted for in the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Proponents of that theory estimate that hunters contribute only 6 percent to wildlife conservation nationwide. (Angus M. Thuermer Jr/WyoFile)

WyoFile.com - By Angus M. Thuermer Jr.

As Wyoming grapples with how it will fund wildlife conservation, hunters may lose some of their influence as other groups and interests are asked to increase their financial contributions.

Who Should Pay for Wyoming’s Wildlife?

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A hunter walks a ridge in the Bridger-Teton National Forest on Sunday in search of wapiti, Wyoming’s iconic big-game species. Whether hunters can, do and should pay for the bulk of wildlife management is a discussion that’s emerging as Game and Fish revenues from hunting and fishing license sales are overwhelmed by the needs of other programs. (Angus M. Thuermer Jr./WyoFile)

By Angus M. Thuermer Jr.

Wyoming should change the way wildlife management is funded, shifting the principal burden off the backs of hunters and insulating other revenue from political meddling, authors of a Wyoming Law Review article say.

University of Wyoming Opens Oil and Gas Drilling Simulation Lab

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The ribbon cutting of the WPX Drilling Simulator Teaching Lab. Left to right: Gov. Dave Freudenthal; WPX VP of land Jerry Barnes, University President Dick McGinity, and university trustee Jeff Marsh. (WyoFile/Gregory Nickerson)

WyoFile.com - Over the past two years, the University of Wyoming has installed a supercomputer, a virtual-reality cave with 3-D graphics, and now an oil and gas drilling rig simulator.

U.S. Senate Candidates Challenge 18-year Incumbent Enzi

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The Wyoming race for U.S. Senate in 2014 pits a well-funded incumbent against three candidates who have shunned money from political action committees. (WyoFile/Gregory Nickerson)

By Gregory Nickerson - Wyoming voters will have four choices for the U.S. Senate seat that is up for election this November, in a race where the 18-year incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi (R) has all the advantages of name recognition and a well-funded campaign.

After 40 Years, Water Claims are Settled in Bighorn Basin

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by James Wynn - The Wind River is not a monumental river by most of the world’s standards. It has no major shipping or ports; it has no commercial fishing; and for most of its length is not navigable by more than the shallowest drafted boats.

Complaint Filed Against DOE Asks for Records in Two Elk Case

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wyofile.com

WyoFile.com - Wyoming journalist and WyoFile contributor Rone Tempest has filed a complaint against the U.S. Department of Energy

Bighorn Basin Fossils Could Teach About Climate Change

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Paleontologist Ken Rose examines the fossilized jaw and some teeth of a Coryphadon, an extinct, galumphing, cow-sized herbivore from the Eocene. Four decades of work in the Bighorn Basin gives the fossil-hunting professor insight about what happens on earth when the climate changes. (Angus M. Thuermer Jr./WyoFile — click to enlarge)

By Angus M. Thuermer Jr. - wyofile.com

Fossil hunter Ken Rose pauses during a stifling day in the BLM badlands west of Worland to take in the variegated sunbaked cliffs eroding around him.

Retired Firefighters; Wildland Colleagues in Danger

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wyofile.com

By Angus M. Thuermer Jr.

— July 22, 2014

Five retired federal fire managers are criticizing a national wildfire group for failing to ensure firefighters’ safety by falling short on everything from decision-making to communications and even supplying crews with maps.