By on December 1, 2015

Dog fight

(Photo: Sen. barrasso Office)

(Photo: Sen. barrasso Office)

U.S. Senator Tom Barrasso (R-WY) has ruffled a few feathers over his efforts to strip wolves from federal protection. Barrasso co-sponsored a bill with Wyoming Representative Cynthia Lummis that would remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) status it received in 2012. It would allow Wyoming and other states (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan) to take back management of the species and open the door for hunting.

The Humane Society blasted Barrasso’s efforts with a statement that claims the bill shows a misunderstanding of the science and of the ESA in general. Humane Society public relations specialist Chloe Detrick pointed out in a letter backed by 70 scientists that states wolves have not enjoyed a recovery warranting their removal from the ESA.

Barrasso’s bill called on 26 scientists to support him. “I believe Wyoming is in the best position to manage the wolf, not Washington,” the senator said during a recent public appearance.

Meanwhile, Barrasso spent Thanksgiving with Wyoming troops of the A Battery, 2nd Battalion, 300th Field Artillery who are conducting shelling missions in Afghanistan.

Wyoming’s full of it: fertilizer

(Photo: jacob carnes, wsgs)

(Photo: jacob carnes, wsgs)

With coal, gas and oil on the decline in Wyoming, the state could turn to phosphate rock as a new source of revenue.

Phosphate rock? Wyoming is well known for secondary mineral commodities like trona and bentonite, wrote Mark Wilcox for Wyoming Business Report, but the state might be able to cash in on its reserves of potential fertilizer.

“Wyoming could add to the global production of phosphates as many of the state’s high-grade occurrences are located relatively close to existing processing plants in Rock Springs and eastern Idaho,” Jacob Carnes, a geologist for the Wyoming State Geological Survey, told WBR.

While phosphate is relatively abundant throughout Wyoming, Carnes said only one area – the Phosphoria Formation in Teton County – is rich enough to attract commercial interest. The hot pocket lies around the junction of the Hoback and Snake rivers. Recent efforts to drill in that area were thwarted after the Trust for Public Land secured oil and gas leases a few years ago for $8.75 million.

Pokes pride

(Photo: ryan dorgan, star-tribune)

(Photo: ryan dorgan, star-tribune)

College sports fans in Wyoming haven’t had much to cheer about this football season. Maybe the basketball team can spread some cheer in Laramie.

The good news for Pokes football fans is running back Brian Hill had a record-setting day last weekend. After rushing for 232 yards against UNLV, Hill broke a 21-year-old school record for rushing yardage in a single season. Hill finished the season with 1,631 rushing yards. Ryan Christopherson held the old record, set in 1994 when he racked up 1,455 yards on the ground. The bad news is, the Cowboys finished their season with a 2-10 record.

USA Today was flabbergasted by the gargantuan dunk of Cowboys guard Josh Adams. En route to an 82-68 victory over Montana State last Saturday, Adams’ slam over a 6-foot-8 defender caused the Wyoming bench to explode, wrote Nick Schwartz.

The eyes have it

(Photo: courtesy anca surdu)

(Photo: courtesy anca surdu)

Two Jackson-based eyewear companies made major announcements this past week.

Swim Elite, makers of a high-performance swim goggle, announced that Anca Surdu has agreed to endorse and model its eyewear. Surdu is a two-time World and European champion in performance aerobics.

“I’m used to using only high quality sports gear. The Swim Elite goggles met my high expectations,” Surdu said.

Jackson’s Rex Specs is fitting another kind of athlete with eye protection. Aiden Doane and Jesse Emilo founded the company that designs and sells sunglasses for dogs. The idea was born out of necessity. Doane and Emilo own two dogs both diagnosed with eye conditions believed to be a result of UV exposure.

After outfitting their pooches with glasses, Rex Specs was born. The company was featured in a news segment on Lewiston, Idaho TV station KLEW. PJH

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