Wyoming News Update

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YELLOWSTONE SUPERINTENDENT

HELENA, Mont. — National Park Service officials told Yellowstone's departing superintendent that he wasn't being forced out over a disagreement with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, but Dan Wenk said Thursday he still believes he is being punished by being forced to move up his retirement. Wenk, who will step down as Yellowstone's top administrator on Sept. 29 after a 43-year park service career, spoke to reporters in a farewell telephone news conference that lasted nearly two hours as he fielded questions on controlling the park's bison population, managing grizzly bears and the rise in park visitors.

GRIZZLY BEARS-MONTANA

BILLINGS, Mont. — Wildlife officials endorsed a plan Thursday to keep northwestern Montana's grizzly population at roughly 1,000 bears as the state seeks to bolster its case that lifting federal protections will not lead to the bruins' demise. The proposal adopted on a preliminary vote by Fish, Wildlife and Parks commissioners sets a target of at least 800 grizzlies across a 16,000-square mile (42,000-square kilometer) expanse just south of the U.S.-Canada border.

SPACE FORCE

WASHINGTON — Pointing to growing threats and competition from Russia and China, the White House on Thursday announced ambitious plans to create the U.S. Space Force as a sixth, separate military warfighting service by 2020. The proposal taps into the American public's long fascination with space — but with a military focus. The plan faces daunting hurdles and requires congressional approval. Military leaders and experts have questioned the wisdom of launching an expensive, bureaucratic new service branch.

UNIVERSITY-SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING — University of Wyoming officials have agreed to ask state lawmakers for at least $19.35 million in additional funding for the 2019-2020 fiscal biennium.

DRAINAGE DITCH BODY — Police say a man's body was found in a drainage ditch in Casper on Tuesday.

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