Wyoming News Update

Posted in

AP-US-COAL-EXPORTS

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming and Montana are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on Washington State's denial of a permit for a port facility that could boost U.S. coal exports. The coal-producing Rocky Mountain states argue in a filing Tuesday the denial violates the U.S. Constitution. Washington State in 2017 denied a key permit for South Jordan, Utah-based Lighthouse Resources to be able to proceed with its $680 million Millennium Bulk Terminals project in Longview, Washington. Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon said Tuesday the denial is a “de facto blockade” on coal-mining states. A spokesman for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says Washington will continue to defend its decision.

TOWN CIVIL LAWSUIT SETTLED

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A town in Wyoming has settled a civil rights lawsuit filed by a former town employee who accused his supervisor of allegedly calling him racial slurs before firing him. Casper Star-Tribune reports that the town of Evansville will pay $90,000 to former employee Roy Mestas. Mestas' attorney Megan Hayes filed a request to dismiss the case on the basis of the settlement the same day the lawsuit was mentioned in a town news release Friday. Officials say the settlement does not require the town to acknowledge wrongdoing. Evansville Mayor Jennifer Sorenson says the alleged discrimination dates to 2013 and none of the people involved still work for the town.

Sleeping Giant Ski

CODY, Wyo. (AP) — Sleeping Giant Ski Area in northwest Wyoming is suspending winter operations after this season because of financial problems. The Cody Enterprise reported Tuesday the number of skiers and snowboarders who visited the area did not justify the business, which runs a deficit of more than $200,000 a year. In 2007, a local group launched a plan to acquire Sleeping Giant, which had shuttered three years earlier. The Yellowstone Recreations Foundation was established to reopen the ski area. The manager of the foundation called Tuesday's decision “agonizing but necessary."

COLORADO RIVER-ENDANGERED FISH

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Federal officials say an endangered fish found in the Colorado River basin is on the upswing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to reclassify the humpback chub as threatened. The fish with a fleshy bump behind its head is one of about a dozen that are native to the Colorado River system and four that are currently endangered _ a designation it received in the late 1960s. Federal officials say the numbers have been stabilizing and the fish no longer is on the brink of extinction. A large population lives in the Grand Canyon.

BOY SCOUT FRAUD-PLEA

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming man has pleaded guilty to taking more than $30,000 from the Boy Scouts while he was a scoutmaster. The Gillette News Record reports 42-year-old Jason Ray Barnum of Gillette pleaded guilty to three counts of theft for using bank account information to steal money the Boy Scouts received from donations and fundraising events such as popcorn sales. Court documents say he also pleaded guilty to taking $122,573 from a 76-year-old Gillette woman. Documents say Barnum requested and received money from the woman on 46 occasions, promising to pay it back with an inheritance that did not exist.

YELLOWSTONE GRIZZLIES-GRAZING

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Conservationists worried that continued livestock grazing in a Wyoming forest could endanger grizzly bears are preparing to sue the U.S. government. Western Watersheds Project, Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Yellowstone to Uintas Connection allege a 2019 decision to allow grazing to continue in a large area of Bridger-Teton National Forest violates the Endangered Species Act. The groups filed notice Tuesday they intend to sue the U.S. Forest Service within 60 days. Biologists have found many as 72 grizzly bears could be killed for harassing or killing livestock over a decade without harming the greater Yellowstone region's grizzly population. The groups question that finding. Forest officials say they're reviewing the notice.