Natural Resources & Energy

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Uinta, Carbon, and Sweetwater County Maps With Parcels Up For Sale Highlighted. Land grant map listed as well.
Online GIS maps, Cooper McKim

Wyoming plans to move forward with a bid on a million acres of land and four million acres of mineral rights from Occidental Petroleum. After hearing from the public for the first time since the legislative session on the deal, the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB), made up of five elected officials, amended its motion to make room for more transparency.

Wyoming toad
Sara Armstrong / USFWS Mountain-Prairie

Imperiled species - species that are threatened or endangered - are seeing population declines that are much faster than they were 100 years ago, according to a recent study by researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Stanford University, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. While Wyoming is home to a relatively low number of imperiled vertebrate species, scientists warn that's no reason to be lax.

William F. Wood

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will decide whether wolverines should be listed as threatened by the end of August. 

This deadline comes after a long wait, said Andrea Zaccardi, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. 

Todd Thibodeau

Wyoming Pathways is partnering with Hot City Outdoor Alliance and the Bureau of Land Management to create a plan for a new trail system in Thermopolis.

Wyoming Pathways has already helped develop trails in places like Laramie and Lander.

Wyoming Pathways Director Tim Young said the plan is to create new trails and use existing roads.

On Monday, July 6, the State Land and Investment Board will decide whether it wants to move forward and bid on acquiring a million surface acres and four million acres from Occidental Petroleum. The board, which is made up of the top five state elected officials, is awaiting word from the international investment and financial services company Barclays on the value of the land.

Tyler Quiring / Unsplash

As humans around the world have limited their movement during the coronavirus pandemic, some animals appear to be changing their behavior. Biologist Christian Rutz may have seen one small example for himself.

Eagle Butte mine post-bankrutpcy
Cooper McKim

Employees at the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines came to work as usual on a Monday, July 1, 2019-a year ago today. Soon after arriving, miners were shepherded into a room and told the company would be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Photos courtesy of DEQ

As the summer season ramps up, so does the possibility of Harmful Cyanobacteria Blooms (HCBs). Also known as blue-green algae, cyanobacteria are found in many bodies of water worldwide. They're normally harmless, but when their growth explodes and forms a bloom, they can release toxic chemicals into the water around them. They can cause symptoms in people ranging from skin irritation to liver damage, and they can be deadly to animals.

As the country turned its attention toward the pandemic, something else was creeping into the Mountain West: drought conditions.

Spencer Pelton

An ochre mine in Sunrise, Wyoming may be one of the earliest mining sites in North America. Archaeologists have been working to preserve the mine, called the Powars Two Paleoindian Archaeological Site, since it was first discovered. In the last year, those archaeologists partnered with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality to make the mine safe for future excavations.

Ben Sale

If you're dealing with a miller moth invasion in your home or backyard, you're not alone. People from Colorado to Montana have noticed a larger number of the moths than usual this year.

All photos credit to Brittany Patterson, Ohio Valley ReSource

On a recent sunny weekday, Bill Currey proudly walks among 30 neatly stacked, brightly colored plastic kayaks. Birds chirp merrily, and the soothing sounds of the meandering Coal River permeate the background - nature's version of a white noise machine.

Mitch Tobin/waterdesk.org

The water has made development possible and is used for farms, homes and businesses. Meanwhile, recreation has risen to over 4 million annual visitors in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, with tourists bringing in over $420 million to local communities.

Two-thirds of Americans think the federal government should be doing more to reduce the impacts of climate change, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.


Uinta, Carbon, and Sweetwater County Maps With Parcels Up For Sale Highlighted. Land grant map listed as well.
Online GIS maps, Cooper McKim


On February 17, Gov. Mark Gordon announced the state was considering the purchase of about a million acres of surface land across southern Wyoming and 4 million acres of mineral rights from Occidental Petroleum. Now, the company has set a July 1 deadline for entities to make a bid. On May 6, Occidental confirmed it had 13 bidders.

The Great American Outdoors Act has passed the Senate with solid bipartisan support – but bipartisan doesn’t mean unanimous. A group of 73 voted yes while 25 voted no, including all of the senators from public land-heavy Idaho, Wyoming and Utah.


Roger Sylvia; This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Tourism is the second largest industry in the state. The summer of 2019 was a big year for the industry. More than three billion dollars were spent in the state and tourism generated $230 million in tax revenues. Wyoming Office of Tourism Executive Director Diane Shober said the state had set even loftier goals for 2020. But when Shober spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska, she said this year COVID-19 has hit tourism hard but there is hope that things could improve.

BLM Wyoming Photo by Mark Thonhoff via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Tracking wildlife in Wyoming is no easy task, but the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) is working to create comprehensive datasets on the state's animal populations.

Greg Nickerson, Wyoming Migration Initiative

A new study by the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Wyoming found mule deer migration is negatively impacted by global warming induced droughts.

Ellen Currano

University of Wyoming's paleobotany professor Ellen Currano contributed to a PBS documentary airing this summer. The documentary, "Prehistoric Road Trip," explores fossils throughout the Great Plains.

Jacob W. Frank / NPS

Tourism is the second largest industry in the state and has been hit hard by COVID-19. Wyoming Office of Tourism's Diane Shober said the tourism outlook for this summer was grim when COVID-19 first hit.

Alan Nash

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and United Steelworkers are now demanding emergency guidelines related to COVID-19 for the country's mines whether it's for coal, trona, gold or silver. They say voluntary guidance is not a substitute for mandatory and legally enforceable COVID-19 protocols.

Laura Vietti

PBS will air a three-part documentary this summer that explores Wyoming's geology and environment. The documentary, "Prehistoric Road Trip", brings together scientists across the state to investigate Wyoming's rocks and fossils.

Tom Koerner/USFWS

Researchers from Western Ecosystems Technology and the University of Wyoming have found how much land development a deer can actually handle in a recent study.

National Park Service

Tourism numbers are helping the state out at a crucial time.

That's according to Gov. Mark Gordon, who in a press conference on Tuesday, June 16, said, business owners across the state are reporting higher sales tax from tourism than what was expected under the ongoing pandemic.

courtesy of WYDOT

The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) may soon adopt technology that could give them an earlier warning when a "creeper" landslide is occurring and allows them to respond. 

Donald W. Boyd and David R. Lageson

This summer, PBS will air a documentary on the geology, ecology and environment of the Great Plains over billions of years. The first episode of the PBS documentary "Prehistoric Road Trip" features Kelli Trujillo, a Laramie County Community College professor and paleontologist.

Yellowstone Forever

The official nonprofit organization of Yellowstone National Park laid off more than 30 employees and closed its education branch.

Most businesses in the outdoor recreation industry are seeing sales decline because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and 88% are reporting that they’ve had to lay off or furlough employees.

barrasso.senate.gov

Wyoming's senators spent the week fighting a bill that would permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, along with funding a portion of the maintenance backlog at national parks across the nation.

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