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Submitted by Newsroom on January 6, 2012 – 4:23 amNo Comment

AP-WY–Right Now/1162
Latest Wyoming news, sports, business and entertainment

WYOMING WOLVES

1 of 5 scientists takes issue with Wyo. wolf plan

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — One of five scientists retained by the federal government says he sees shortcomings in Wyoming’s proposed wolf management plan.

While four of the scientists generally approved of the plan, wolf researcher John A. Vucetich of Michigan says it’s vague on how to reconcile conflicts between wolves and elk and may overestimate the mortality wolf populations can sustain.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service retained the five scientists to evaluate Wyoming’s wolf plan.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar agreed last summer to end federal protections for wolves in Wyoming.

Their deal calls for Wyoming to maintain at least 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves. Wolves would be protected as trophy game animals in northwestern Wyoming but classified as predators that could be shot on sight elsewhere.

WILDLIFE TRUST

Study: Wyoming wildlife trust creates 500 jobs

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — An economic analysis estimates the relatively young Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust has created more than 500 jobs a year and about $21 million in worker income in the state since 2006.

It also estimates that every dollar invested in conservation easements returns $4 in economic value.

The trust is an independent state agency that was created in 2005. It funds projects that enhance and conserve wildlife habitat and natural resource values throughout the state. It has allocated more than $35 million to more than 320 projects across the state.

More than 200 separate entities have contributed money to help fund the projects.

The economic analysis of the state’s investment in the trust was done by the University of Wyoming’s Ruckelshaus Institute and The Trust for Public Land.

SNOWMOBILER DEATH

Colo. snowmobiler dies after being hit by tree

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — A 70-year-old Colorado man has died after being struck by a falling tree while snowmobiling in the Snowy Range Mountains in southern Wyoming.

The Albany County coroner says William A. Rice, of Lakewood, Colo., died from internal bleeding.

The accident happened shortly before 12:20 p.m. on Dec. 29.

Authorities say high winds knocked down the 60-foot tree.

Sheriff Dave O’Malley says that three deputies on routine forest patrol responded quickly and found Rice conscious and talking but in a lot of pain.

O’Malley says that while waiting for emergency medical responders to arrive, Rice lost consciousness and quit breathing.

Efforts to revive him failed.

BODY FOUND

Coroner: Rock Springs teen died of hypothermia

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Authorities say a Rock Springs teen died of hypothermia after crashing his car and trying to get to shelter last month.

Sweetwater County Coroner Dale Majhanovich determined that 18-year-old Vernon Johnson did not die from wounds sustained in the Dec. 30 crash, nor was alcohol involved.

The sheriff’s office says Johnson was headed to see the city lights from White Mountain with two 17-year-old girls when he crashed. The three tried to walk out of the area and ended up sleeping in a draw by the side of the road.

In the morning, the girls tried to help Johnson stand, but he collapsed and died.

FAMOUS BEAR FAMILY

Famous Grand Teton grizzly delays hibernation

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — One of the best known grizzlies in Grand Teton National Park has postponed her hibernation by more than a month this winter.

Grizzly 399 and her two cubs were spotted Monday near Pilgrim Creek, possibly headed to her den.

Most female grizzlies in the Yellowstone area start hibernating in November but 399 has been known to stay out until Dec. 12 before.

The lack of snowfall may have delayed 399′s hibernation this year. The park’s senior wildlife biologist, Steve Cain, said the elk hunt have also allowed her to feed off carcasses and remains left by hunters.

399 is well known for spending time near roads and developed areas with her cubs, attracting a following of scientists and tourists alike.

MISSOURI-COACH

Missouri hires Grinch to coach safeties

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Alex Grinch, the secondary coach at Wyoming the last three seasons, is returning to Missouri to coach the safeties.

Grinch served on coach Gary Pinkel’s staff as a graduate assistant from 2002-04. Wyoming coach Dave Christensen was the longtime offensive coordinator under Pinkel at Missouri.

Grinch replaces Barry Odom, named defensive coordinator at Memphis last month. Wyoming led the Mountain West Conference in pass defense last season and was tied for fifth in the NCAA with 31 turnovers produced.

Grinch was a third-team All-America safety and was a member of three NCAA Division III championship teams at Mount Union, and also coached at New Hampshire from 2005-08.

 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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