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Aug 15, 2013 - The Associated Press

Hearing on power line conducted

BAGGS -- The Bureau of Land Management is holding public hearings on a proposed major transmission line to carry Wyoming wind power to the Southwest.

Discussion of the final route of the TransWest line was the main focus of a meeting Wednesday in Rawlins. Another hearing is scheduled Thursday in Baggs from 4 to 7 p.m.

TransWest, part of The Anschutz Corp., has proposed running the line from near Sinclair through Colorado and Utah to an area near Boulder City, Nev. Federal officials say a somewhat different route will minimize impacts to greater sage grouse and roadless areas.

The BLM is working to identify a corridor that can be used for other future power lines too to minimize their impact.

BLM sets coal lease sale

GILLETTE -- The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is planning to hold a lease sale for an estimated 167 million tons of coal in Wyoming's Powder River Basin.

The BLM says in its Aug. 8 notice the 1,250-acre Hay Creek II Coal Tract sale is being held in response to an application filed by Kiewit Mining Properties Inc. subsidiary Buckskin Mining Co.

Kiewit owns most of the 1,250-acre tract's surface estate, which is located 12 miles north of Gillette.

The coal lease sale is set for Sept. 18, with sealed bids accepted until the day before. The minimum bid is $100 per acre.

The BLM is taking comment on the proposed sale until Sept. 17.

Flaring OK'd at Chesapeake wells

Wyoming regulators have approved Chesapeake Energy Corp.'s request to burn off natural gas from five oil wells north of Douglas, while lamenting there isn't a pipeline in the area to take the natural gas to market.

The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on Tuesday capped the amount that could be flared at 150,000 cubic feet of gas per well per day.

Companies often flare natural gas from oil wells if there aren't pipelines to move the gas out of the area. Some landowners, conservationists and politicians want the gas to be sold at market, so the state could earn tax revenues on it and emissions could be reduced. A state legislative committee is considering taxing flaring.

Prior Flat Campground reopening

RAWLINS -- The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is reopening the upper loop of Prior Flat Campground in the Shirley Mountains. The area was closed last weekend because of concerns about a black bear in the area.

A bear had been getting into garbage cans at the campground, about 30 miles northwest of Medicine Bow. Workers with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department had tried to trap the bear.

Tim Novotny is assistant field manager at the BLM office in Rawlins. He says it appears the danger has passed. A hunter recently killed a bear in the area and officials believe it was the one that had been raiding the campground.

UW offers free counseling

LARAMIE -- Free counseling is available to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Campbell, Carbon and Laramie counties thanks to a program offered by the University of Wyoming Department of Psychology.

The Verizon Foundation has contributed more than $34,000 for the program, which is administered through the psychology department.

Department Head Carolyn Pepper says it's particularly challenging to provide quality mental health treatment in rural areas that lack hospital facilities.

The UW program uses secure, encrypted videoconferencing equipment so clients can receive confidential counseling without leaving their hometowns.

The program can typically connect clients with a therapist within 72 hours.

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