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Jun 5, 2013 - The Associated Press

Lawmakers to consider tax on flaring

CHEYENNE -- Lawmakers will consider a proposal that would tax oil producers on the natural gas they burn off from their wells.

The interim Joint Revenue Committee voted Tuesday to have a bill drafted that would impose severance taxes on gas flared for more than 15 days.

Natural gas that comes up with oil is often burned off at the well by operators that don't have a system to capture and transport the gas. Operators say the flaring is better for the environment and for production since work would have to wait until a gathering system could be installed.

But others say the state is losing millions of dollars in potential tax revenue.

The committee will decide at a future meeting whether to sponsor a bill during the 2014 session.

Park lifts limits on some fish

POWELL -- People fishing in Yellowstone National Park are now being encouraged to take non-native fish in some areas order to protect cutthroat trout and other native species.

The park is removing limits on the amount of rainbow or brook trout than can be caught in the park's Native Trout Conservation Area. That includes all park waters except the Madison and Firehole rivers, part of the Gibbon River and Lewis and Shoshone lakes.

The supervisor for Yellowstone's fisheries program, Todd Koel, said the removal of rainbow trout from downstream areas of the Lamar River in particular will help preserve cutthroat trout upstream.

Other native fish include mountain whitefish and Arctic grayling. All native fish caught in Yellowstone must be released.

Teachers might get special training

An interim legislative committee is considering the idea of requiring Wyoming educators receive suicide prevention training.

The Legislature's Joint Education Committee unanimously agreed Monday to discuss at its next meeting a proposal that would require training for school staff members that would include how to recognize suicide warning signs.

Democratic Rep. Cathy Connolly, of Laramie, said the training could make all the difference in preventing a student from committing suicide.

The decision came after the committee heard and discussed a report on what's known as the Jason Flatt Act, which is a law enacted by some states that requires educators to complete two hours of annual training in youth suicide awareness and prevention.

Wyoming is consistently among the top states in annual suicide rates.

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