Articles written by Angus M. Thuermer Jr.

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Creeks tainted by drilling unable to sustain aquatic life, regulators say

Wyoming DEQ acknowledges years of built-up pollution from Moneta Divide field but has no plan to remove black sludge 6 feet deep Two creeks tainted by decades of dumping from Moneta Divide oilfield dr...

 

UW to lead workshops on BLM plan that would protect resources, cost jobs

Residents can weigh in on controversial effort to conserve elk birthing areas, buffalo jump, rock art, golden eagle nests and other sensitive sites. As Wyoming residents gather this week to weigh in on how to manage federal public land in the Rock...

 

Rockfall changes world-famous Teton skyline forever

A 'big chunk of the mountain' fell off last fall, altering the profile of the Grand's East Ridge so drastically that people can see the difference from the valley floor. A giant rockfall has forever...

 

Game & Fish: West Fork Dam would cause 'substantial negative impacts'

Wyoming Game and Fish Department comments cast doubt on irrigators’ claims that a 264-foot-high dam proposed in Carbon County will benefit fisheries, riparian zones and wetland-wildlife habitats. The dam proposed for the West Fork of Battle Creek abo...

 

Senators kill 'physical force' trespass-termination bill

Senators have killed a bill that would have legalized “physical force” to “terminate” a perceived trespass, rejecting an expansion of criminal statutes backed by 57 representatives. House Bill 126 – Trespass-removal of trespass ran into heavy cri...

 

Bill would allow 'physical force' to 'terminate' suspected trespass

The Legislature has advanced a bill that legalizes use of physical force by a landowner or landowner’s agent to “terminate” what they believe is criminal trespass. HB-126 — Trespass–removal of trespasser would update the current Wyoming criminal...

 

Cost of proposed Alkali Dam has doubled to $70M

Cost estimates for the proposed Alkali Creek Dam in Big Horn County have jumped to more than double the original $35 million price tag. It will take some $70 million to $75 million to build the dam and reservoir, the interim director of the Wyoming...

 

Born in a Wyo blizzard, Breezy Johnson skis up a World Cup Storm

VICTOR, Idaho - U.S. women's downhill ski champion - Wyoming native Breezy Johnson - races into three World Cup events in January after storming the podium earlier this season and nipping the heels...

 

Judge prevents drilling-site work, citing threats to sage grouse

A federal judge has prevented drilling and construction on 449 oil and gas leases covering 334,762 acres in Wyoming, saying the federal government didn’t examine potential effects to imperiled greater sage grouse when it leased those lands in 2...

 

Groups appeal plan to pump oilfield waste into aquifer

Conservation groups are challenging Wyoming’s approval of an energy company’s plan to inject oilfield waste into an underground aquifer, telling federal regulators the state plan fails to meet Clean Water Act requirements. The Powder River Basin Reso...

 

Adverse solar bill advances after heated subsidies debate

Lawmakers on Tuesday advanced a bill authorizing regulators to set reimbursement rates for home-generated solar power and requiring them to “prevent subsidization” of small renewable-power installations. Supported unanimously by the Senate Corporatio...

 

Volunteers begin Grand Teton National Park goat shoot Monday

Grand Teton National Park has selected 70 teams of volunteer wildlife shooters and is ready to launch a mountain goat culling operation Monday. Volunteers randomly selected for the first week’s cull will participate in a mandatory orientation S...

 

U.S. Justice Department 'actively monitoring' Wyo health orders

The U.S. attorney for the District of Wyoming has told health-order critics he is monitoring state- and county-imposed restrictions to stop the COVID-19 pandemic but stopped short of saying he found any violations of the U.S. Constitution. Although...

 

Two prominent Wyoming gas drillers in financial peril

A top financial ratings service has listed western Wyoming gas drillers Ultra Resources and Jonah Energy among issuers of “top bonds of concern” whose securities could face “imminent” default. Fitch Ratings named the two companies that operate...

 

EPA knocks Wyo plan to bar public's water pollution data

Wyoming can’t ignore water pollution data submitted by the public or academic institutions when that’s the only information available to determine whether streams, lakes and rivers are polluted, the U.S. EPA has told state officials. That was one...

 

FROM WYOFILE: Employers face worker-safety challenges during pandemic

With many employees still reporting for work during the COVID-19 pandemic, employers may have to adopt new measures to comply with regulations requiring safe workplaces. Employers have an obligation to protect workers from “recognized hazards that ar...

 

Wyoming doc works around COVID-19 testing bottleneck

A shortage of viral transport medium has slowed COVID-19 testing in Wyoming and nationwide. Now, at least one Wyoming doctor is working around the bottleneck by using a simpler, more common, CDC-backed, substitute: medical saline solution. Dr. Brent...

 

Game and Fish documents first agency trap-related grizzly death

Wyoming Game and Fish department staff discovered a dead grizzly bear in one of the agency’s baited traps early Sept. 30 — a first-of-its-kind capture-related fatality that nevertheless sparked dismay among conservations and other bear advocates. A d...

 

DEQ backs off plan to dump more oilfield pollutants into Boysen

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has backed off a plan to allow Moneta Divide oilfield operators to increase pollutants they dump into creeks above Boysen Reservoir, and proposed new monitoring of existing salty effluent. Aethon Energy...

 

DEQ to investigate whistle-blower complaints about Black Hills Bentonite

Wyoming environmental regulators will investigate complaints that a bentonite mining company regularly violated rules and escaped proper oversight, Gov. Mark Gordon’s spokesman confirmed. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality will i...

 

Elk populations 'above objective' as hunting season heats up

Elk are plentiful in Wyoming as the state’s famed elk hunting season gets underway, according to Game and Fish Department estimates. The agency early this year estimated populations to be 29 percent above objective for those herds it counts, accordin...

 

Wyoming sage grouse count falls by 21 percent

Trained observers across Wyoming counted an average of 21 percent fewer male sage grouse on breeding-ground leks in 2019 compared to 2018, the state’s sage grouse biologist said Wednesday, an expected decline that continues a three-year trend. This y...

 

Governor makes sage grouse 'expansion' voluntary in new order

Gov. Mark Gordon has drawn praise from conservationists in adopting “the vast majority” of recommended changes to his greater sage grouse protective order. But in the new executive order Gordon signed last week, he balked at a recommendation that cal...

 

Groups: Current Moneta oilfield discharges violate law

Two conservation groups allege that existing flows of produced water from the Moneta Divide oil and gas field violate federal and state environmental laws, this amid a contentious public debate over the proposed permitting of additional discharges. T...

 

Lawmakers explore storing spent nuclear fuel

Wyoming legislative leadership voted by email Monday to explore temporarily storing spent nuclear fuel rods in the state, a prospect one senator says could bring in $1 billion a year. A legislative committee has appointed six of its members to...

 

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