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Jul 29, 2012 - The Associated Press

UW participates in booze safety program

LARAMIE -- Students, faculty, staff and administrators from the University of Wyoming recently participated in a national meeting about high-risk drinking by college students.

The UW team joined similar teams from 32 institutions from across the country in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.

At the gathering they discussed improving the health of students by reducing harms associated with high-risk drinking.

The session is part of a unique program led by the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at Dartmouth College.

President Tom Buchanan says UW's involvement in the program has provided the university with new insights into helping students protect themselves.

Bear River Dam permit denied

BOISE, Idaho -- The Idaho Department of Water Resources rejected a proposal to build a dam on the Bear River.

The Bear River drains an area of 6,900 square miles in southwestern Wyoming, northern Utah and southeastern Idaho, carrying about a million acre-feet of water a year into the Great Salt Lake.

The Twin Lakes Canal Co. filed an application with the agency in 2007 to build a 700-foot-long, 108-foot-high dam in Oneida Narrows near Preston in eastern Idaho. The proposed dam would have created a reservoir with a surface area spanning more than half a mile.

The river already has three hydroelectric dams operated by PacifiCorp Energy, and the proposal for a fourth attracted vigorous opposition from anglers, recreationists and environmentalists.

Group wants buffer zone for wolf trapping

BOZEMAN, Mont. -- A conservation group wants a trap-free buffer in Montana to protect wolves roaming outside Yellowstone National Park.

The Greater Yellowstone Coalition says the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission shouldn't allow wolf trapping in three management units that cover southern Montana from the Absaroka Mountains to the Madison Range.

Montana wildlife commissioners earlier this month approved new wolf hunting rules that allow trapping and the killing of up to three wolves by one trapper to reduce the state wolf population by 60 percent.

Commission Chairman Bob Ream tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (http://bit.ly/P0sO2i) the agency considered the group's comments and is why it set a wolf quota for one of the management units.

Greater Yellowstone Coalition spokesman Chris Colligan says trapping could decimate the greater Yellowstone wolf population.

Report dead sage grouse, asks G&F

GREEN RIVER -- The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is asking all Wyoming residents to report dead sage grouse they find so the birds can be

Tom Christiansen is sage grouse biologist with the Game Department. He says there is no sign yet of an outbreak of West Nile virus in the state this year.

A recent limited survey in the Powder River Basin detected only low numbers a particular type of mosquito known to carry the disease.

Christiansen says that testing dead birds helps the department monitor the disease across the state. He says that birds that are obviously road kill shouldn't be reported for testing.

40-50-year sentence given in rape case

CASPER -- A judge has sentenced a Casper man to serve from 40 to 50 years in prison on a conviction of raping a 13-year-old girl.

District Judge Thomas Sullins of Casper sentenced 48-year-old Perry Bruce on Friday.

Detectives in Casper contacted Bruce in Florida after the October attack.

Defense attorney Chad Harden says Bruce pleaded guilty because he did not want to victimize the girl's family by forcing them to go through a trial.

Mustangs rounded up

POWELL -- Cloud, the famous mustang stallion, was not a happy camper as he watched members of his band caught.

But U.S. Bureau of Land Management personnel from Billings, Mont., believe they're the guys in the white hats as they capture excess wild horses so Cloud's 38,000 acre range in the Pryor Mountains, which straddle the Montana-Wyoming border, can feed a healthy herd.

There are around 175 mustangs on the range. The appropriate management level is 90-120 horses. Bureau employees hope to catch 30 or 40 mustangs from four bait-trap sites to put up for adoption, said a bureau news release.

Despite being incensed, Cloud was in his photogenic glory.

Rolling on his back, he whipped up dust like cantankerous baker flinging flour. Then he raced his band around the site like a cheesy 1950s Western movie.

The capture operation, which began earlier this month, resulted in 13 horses being captured and removed as of last Wednesday. If bureau officials wanted any 30 or 40 horses, it would be easy pickings. However, since they are selecting specific horses it is much slower, Bybee said.

The public can see the mustangs at Britton Springs. Viewing days and hours, updates and adoption days are listed at http://www.blm.gov/mt/st/en/fo/billings_field_office/wildhorses.html.

The starting bid is $125 for all mustangs.

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