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The moon rises over a coal silo at the Dry Fork Mine just north of Gillette. The Dry Fork Mine feeds the Dry Fork Power Station, where the Integrated Test Center is being constructed. (Andrew Graham/WyoFile)

Moonrise in coal country

In Gillette, people point hopefully to the uptick in mining activity as a good sign for the local economy, following a year-long slide.
Al Simpson and Warren Morton helped boost the mineral severance tax rate in Wyoming, leading to the establishment of the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund. With the downturn in the energy market, attention is returning to Wyoming’s tax structure and how revenues can be increased and costs cut. (Casper College Western History Center)

Severance-tax buddies

As talk turns to Wyoming’s tax structure, an old photograph reminds us of two who helped change the face of the state’s revenue stream.
Smoke from the Whit wildfire west of Cody helped color the sky this week. At least two homes have been lost to the fire, and dozens of homeowners have had to evacuate. (photo by Dewey Vanderhoff)

Fire on the mountain

Longtime Wyoming shooter Dewey Vanderhoff captured this image of a glowing orange sky, courtesy of smoke from the Whit fire and a setting sun, about 15 miles west of Cody.
Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologists together with volunteers released 35 black-footed ferrets outside Meeteetse, Wyoming this week. The milestone event comes after years of captive breeding as part of an effort to restore the species throughout North America. (Photo courtesy Wyoming Game and Fish)

Back to the burrow

The prairie dog’s natural predator, the black-footed ferret, nearly disappeared from Wyoming’s high plains due to disease and rodent control.
Firefighter and EMS staffer Cody Lara watches the rest of a Fourth of July parade after participating in the procession Monday in Jackson. He is one of 460 firefighters employed in Wyoming, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Angus M. Thuermer Jr./WyoFile)


460 firefighters are employed in Wyoming where a deadly 1937 forest fire generated the idea for smokejumpers.