Bison transfers planned for US park, Indian reservation
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Hundreds of wild bison would be transferred from federal lands to a South Dakota American Indian Reservation and a North Dakota national park under the latest initiative to restore the burly animals to Western U.S. lands. Bison once roamed North America in the tens of millions, but they were driven to near-extinction in the 1880s. Tribal officials say up to 200 bison could be transferred to South Dakota’s Rosebud Sioux Reservation this fall. An unspecified number of bison would be moved from Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Arsenal to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt this week announced a 10-year initiative to advance bison restoration efforts.
MINING COMPANY SHOVEL DISPUTE
Company seeks its shovels back from two Wyoming coal mines
GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — A mining equipment company based in Wisconsin has requested to either be paid or take its equipment from a Wyoming coal mining company that continues to operate a pair of its large coal shovels. The Gillette News Record reported that Komatsu Mining Corporation filed a motion Thursday seeking to immediately lift an automatic stay on assets that prevent the company from reclaiming its property. Company officials say the stay was placed last year after Blackjewel LLC filed for bankruptcy, which included two Campbell County coal mines. Eagle Specialty Materials acquired the mines and previously claimed losing the shovels would force a mine closure.
Wyoming lawmakers consider coronavirus business relief bill
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming lawmakers are considering a bill for an upcoming special session that would provide $50 million in grants and loans to small businesses affected by the coronavirus. The Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee plans to vote Monday after discussing it Thursday. The full Legislature would then take up the measure during a special session next Friday and Saturday. Gov. Mark Gordon has announced Wyoming’s first special legislative session since 2004 to allocate $1.25 billion in federal funding to help business and others affected by public-health orders to limit spread of the virus.
Wyoming special legislative session to address COVID-19
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming lawmakers will hold a two-day special legislative session in response to the COVID-19 illness. The May 15 to May 16 special session announced Thursday by Gov. Mark Gordon will begin on a day when the state plans to further relax restrictions intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The new rules could allow more restaurants and bars to reopen, with servers wearing protective masks and patrons spaced more than 6 feet (2 meters) apart. Except for a handful of recently approved local exemptions, most bars and sit-down restaurant dining establishments in Wyoming have been closed since March.
Judge allows lawsuit to ban bear baiting in Idaho, Wyoming
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal court says a lawsuit seeking to ban using bait for hunting black bears in national forests in Idaho and Wyoming can continue. The court ruled Thursday in favor of three environmental groups who contend the practice has led to hunters killing federally protected grizzly bears. The U.S. government policy targeted in the lawsuit allows states to decide if hunters can use bait for black bears in grizzly habitat. Idaho and Wyoming allow the practice. The two states have restrictions on where bait can be used to hunt black bears. The U.S. Department of Justice, which defends federal agencies in lawsuits, didn’t respond to an inquiry.