Wyoming news briefs for May 14

Posted 5/14/21

News from across Wyoming.

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Wyoming news briefs for May 14


County feeling pinch of higher steel price

RIVERTON – Skyrocketing steel prices have caused the Fremont County Road and Bridge department to reorganize its cattle guard and culvert-buying schedule. 

According to Road and Bridge director Billy Meeks, the price of steel has gone up about 60 percent since last April. As a result, cattle guards, which normally cost around $8,000, now have been quoted to the county at more than $11,000. 

Meeks’s contact at True North Steel, a Casper company that fabricates road fixtures, estimated that the third fiscal quarter of the year will see lower prices. 

“It’s getting tough,” Meeks told the Fremont County Commission during his Tuesday presentation. 

Meeks said the Riverton yard has five complete cattle guard sets, which could be enough to reach the third quarter safely. 

“We’re a little short on 15- and 18- inch (culverts),” Meeks added. 

The county uses between six and eight cattle guards a year, on average. Meeks said the challenge is choosing whether to delay ordering more materials, on the hope that prices will improve, or order several now — albeit at the larger price — in order to save on freight costs by buying in bulk. Meeks said he hoped to wait. 

Fremont County Commission Chairman Travis Becker agreed, adding “I tend to believe your salesman is probably correct.”


Wyoming continues fight against Biden’s leasing ban

LYMAN – Governor Mark Gordon worked with the Attorney General to file a lawsuit against the Federal de-facto moratorium on oil and gas leasing. 

This week, the State of Wyoming filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in its lawsuit. 

In the filing, Wyoming asks the Federal District Court of Wyoming for an injunction that orders the Secretary to hold quarterly oil and gas lease sales in Wyoming while the case is being considered, and orders the Secretary to hold the March and June 2021 Wyoming federal oil and gas lease sales as soon as reasonably possible. 

“The current de facto leasing moratorium is bad policy for Wyoming and contrary to law,” Governor Gordon said. “This is a key action to protect the interests of Wyoming and her people.” 

Filed March 24, Wyoming’s lawsuit states that the Biden Administration’s Executive Order “pausing” oil and gas leasing on Federal lands violates the National Environmental Policy Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Mineral Leasing Act and the Federal Land Policy Management Act. 

The Federal government has until June 1, 2021 to file a response brief. A copy of the motion may be found on the Wyoming Attorney General’s website.


Statewide public health orders remain in place

CHEYENNE — Wyoming’s statewide COVID-19 public health orders will remain in place through the end of the month, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.

Mask use and physical distancing requirements related to educational institutions remain. Indoor events of more than 500 people may be held at 50% of venue capacity, with specific mask protocols for large indoor events.

WDH recommends masks in indoor public places for people who aren’t fully vaccinated when common-sense physical distancing cannot be maintained among those who don’t live in the same household.

The updated orders, which go into effect May 17 and remain through May 31, can be found online at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/covid-19-orders-and-guidance/.

Information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in Wyoming can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/immunization/wyoming-covid-19-vaccine-information/.