Apr 19, 2013 The Associated Press

Spring storms boost snowpack

CHEYENNE -- Spring snowstorms during the past two weeks have boosted Wyoming's mountain snowpack to near normal levels, especially in areas that saw skimpy snowfall during the winter, officials said Thursday.

The recent storms dumped a total of nearly 3 feet of snow in the mountains of central and southern Wyoming.

"I think it helped the state overall, some parts more than others, particularly in the southeast," said Ken Von Buettner, hydrologic technician with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Casper.

Wyoming depends on mountain snowpack for much of its water supply. Reservoirs around the state capture the melting snowpack each spring and summer. The reservoirs are tapped by cities and towns for drinking water and by farms for irrigation.

Von Buettner estimated the statewide snowpack has increased from 77 percent of normal at the beginning of last week to about 94 percent.

"It's looking a lot better than last year, and it's getting closer to being a normal year," Von Buettner said.

The Upper and Lower North Platte, Upper Green, Laramie and Wind river basins particularly benefited from the storms, he said.

On April 8, the Lower North Platte River basin was 58 percent of normal. But recent snowfall has been widespread and deep in the basin.

With historically low snowfall in 2012, much of the state was gripped by drought. On April 15, 2012, Wyoming's snowpack was 65 percent of normal and dropping quickly.

So far this April, the snowpack is rising.

"I wouldn't say the drought is over, but it went a long ways to helping alleviate some of that," Von Buettner said.

Von Buettner said spring snowstorms are particularly welcome because they generally contain more water content than storms in the middle of winter.

Wild horses up for adoption

DOUGLAS -- Two wild horses are up for adoption this weekend in Douglas.

The Bureau of Land Management said the yearlings will be adopted through a silent bid auction at the Big Wyoming Horse Expo from Friday through Sunday.

The chestnut stud and sorrel filly with a curly mane and tail were trained at the Mantle Adoption and Training Facility in Wheatland.

Both were born at the Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility, which reopened this week after its annual spring cleaning.

About 700 wild horses are housed there. Weaned foals, geldings and mares under 5 years of age are available for adoption there for $125 each.

Enzi predicts more gun bills

CHEYENNE -- Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi says there will be more efforts in Washington to impose gun control.

The Senate rejected various gun control measures on Wednesday, which Enzi opposed.

But Enzi says gun control advocates will continue trying to chip away at the Second Amendment.

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