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Wyoming News Briefs

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is telling Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead that he shares the governor’s desire to end federal protections for Yellowstone grizzly bears. Salazar wrote to Mead last week saying he expects the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies will finish their court-ordered analysis of the effect of the decline of the whitebark pine tree on bear populations by early 2014.

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana officials are proposing an easing of restrictions on where bison can roam adjacent to Yellowstone National Park. The plan announced yesterday would allow bison to remain year-round in the Hebgen Basin and surrounding areas west of the park and in the Gardiner Basin to the north. For decades migrating bison have been slaughtered or hazed back into the park to prevent them from passing disease to cattle.

MOOSE, Wyo. (AP) — A 27-year-old man fell about 1,000 feet while climbing the Middle Teton Mountain in Grand Teton National Park in northwest Wyoming. The National Park Service says Justin Beldin, of Benicia, Calif., died about noon on Sunday after he and two climbing partners summited the 12,800-foot mountain and were beginning the descent.

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming sophomore quarterback Brett Smith has been named to the 2012 Manning Award Watch List. Smith is the only sophomore quarterback in the nation named to this year’s list. He is also one of only two Mountain West quarterbacks named to this year’s list. The other is Fresno State junior Derek Carr.

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