Wyoming News Update

Posted in

Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment.

WOLF POACHING

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming officials say they caught a man with a wolf he'd shot illegally.

The man has been cited for hunting during a closed season, failure to tag the animal and shooting from a roadway.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department warden Jon Stephens says he got a tip in early December about a man pursuing wolf into an off-limits area outside Jackson.

Stephens tells the Jackson Hole News & Guide he intercepted the alleged poacher driving his pickup truck. Stephens says the man admitted to the crime after Stephens saw the dead wolf in a box in the pickup truck.

State officials aren't disclosing the suspected poacher's identity. Wyoming law prohibits identifying anybody who shoots a wolf legally. They say the man's case hasn't been adjudicated yet.

LEASE REVENUE

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming's revenue from leasing land to oil and gas companies grew by more than 800 percent this year.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports the state netted about $146 million this year from leasing more than a half million acres of federal and state land.

State lands alone brought in $60 million this year — much higher than the typical revenue that stayed between $5 million and $7 million in past years.

The revenue from lease sales from the Bureau of Land Management and the auctions from the Office of State Lands added up to about $16 million last year when oil and gas activity was still in a downturn.

State officials say the Wyoming's decision to switch to an online auctioning system may have played a role in increasing revenue.

MONTANA UTILITIES-TAX OVERHAUL

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's utility regulators want to make sure utility customers benefit from the recently passed tax overhaul that reduces corporate tax rates.

The Public Service Commission on Wednesday directed regulated utilities to calculate the change in tax liability they expect under the new tax bill and, by the end of March, offer proposals for how it would apply the savings.

NorthWestern Energy's electric and natural gas utilities are subject to the requirement as is the electric service of Montana-Dakota Utilities. Energy West's natural gas and MDU's natural gas utility will have their rates adjusted for the effect of the new tax law as part of rate cases pending before the PSC.

The commission issued the order before the new tax law takes effect to preserve its authority to determine how the additional revenue should be spent.

EDUCATION FUNDING

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead is recommending about $66 million less in state funding for education due to the revised school funding formula and counties projected being able to kick in more.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports the Republican governor is proposing that the Legislature provide $1.76 billion to the state Department of Education's school finance department for 2019-20 — an amount less than the $1.83 billion the department received for the current biennium.

Department of Education officials say state lawmakers earlier this year enacted a new law pertaining to school funding, which accounts for about $36 million of the reduction.

Officials say the remaining amount is because of the expected increase in county revenue.

Officials say the final amount for education will be determined during the legislative session next year.

WYOMING-TUITION

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — The University of Wyoming may consider reducing its tuition for out-of-state students in an effort to increase its enrollment.

The Laramie Boomerang reports the university's ongoing capacity study points to appealing to prospective students from neighboring states, especially people from Nebraska and Colorado, as a way to grow.

The study by Huron Consulting Group suggests lowering the current $15,500 baseline tuition for out-of-state residents to the about $10,000.

The study says that increasing the university's housing capacity would likely help draw in more students as well.

According to the study, the university currently has capacity for up to 1,700 more students with residential capacity being the greatest limiting factor for expansion.

AVALANCHE WARNING-UTAH

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Avalanche Center has extended an avalanche warning into Wednesday for most of the mountainous backcountry of northern Utah.

The warning is in effect until 6 a.m. Wednesday for the Bear River Range, western Uintas and all the Wasatch range including Ogden, Provo, Salt Lake City and Park City.

The warning issued Monday was set to expire Tuesday. But the center operated by the Forest Service says avalanche danger remains high due to recent snow and wind atop widespread areas of unstable snow.

More than a foot of snow fell in the Park City area Sunday night.

The center says human triggered avalanches are likely and can be triggered remotely from long distances above and below a snowfield.

The warning does not apply to ski resorts where avalanche hazard controls are deployed.

SheridanWyoming.com

Send us a News Tip!

Have a news tip?
Use our anonymous form to let us know.