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Apr 17, 2012 - The Associated Press

Senators oppose 'Buffett rule'

CHEYENNE (AP) -- Wyoming Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso opposed a Democratic proposal to raise income tax rates on wealthier Americans.

The so-called "Buffett rule" proposal was derailed Monday when it failed get enough votes on the Senate floor.

Enzi and Barrasso said the plan would have raised taxes on many small business owners while not solving rising gas prices, high unemployment or trillion dollar deficits.

The two Republicans say the proposal is nothing more than a political gimmick intended to distract Americans from the Obama administration's failed economic policies.

Some park roads to reopen

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (AP) -- Roads into the north and west sides of Yellowstone National Park are scheduled to reopen for the season this Friday.

The roads will be open from the park's North Entrance at Gardiner, Mont., and the West Entrance at West Yellowstone, Mont., to Norris, Madison, Canyon and Old Faithful.

Park officials say visitors still have a good chance of encountering cold weather and snow this time of year in Yellowstone. Also, many park services and amenities remain closed.

People visiting Yellowstone will be rewarded with free admission next week, which is National Park Week. Entrance fees will be waived April 21-29 to encourage people to visit America's 397 national parks.

Grizzly trapping to begin

CODY (AP) -- Scientists will begin trapping grizzly bears south of Meeteetse as part of an ongoing study of the bears across the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Scientists will capture the bears with snares and culvert traps. The animals will be immobilize while DNA, blood, hair, tooth and tissue are collected to help determine aging. Adult bears will also be fitted with a radio-collar for tracking.

Brian Debolt of Wyoming Game and Fish says trapping will take place in the Grass Creek drainage from Monday to May 23.

Debolt says the region sits on the fringe of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem between Meeteeste and Thermopolis, where bears are expanding in both number and distribution.

At least 700 grizzlies live in the ecosystem.

Snowpack drops to 59 percent

CHEYENNE (AP) -- Wyoming's snowpack continues to decline.

The U.S. Agriculture Department's Natural Resources Conservation Service reports that snowpack is 59 percent of average this week. That's down from 63 percent last week and 119 percent last year at this time.

The Belle Fourche basin doesn't have any snow left at all. The Madison basin has the most snow at 96 percent of average.

Record mountain snowmelt caused disastrous flooding across Wyoming last year but this year federal hydrologists foresee below average runoff because of the lower snowfall.

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