Volume 6, Number 22 - August 24, 2006
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On Aug. 17, the National Veterinary Services Lab, in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the first case in the nation for 2006 of vesicular stomatitis virus. The disease was found in a 10-year-old quarter horse mare on a ranche ast of Casper near the Natrona/Converse county lines.
VSV is a viral disease that can affect horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats. Typically the disease causes blisters (vesicles) or ulcers in and around the mouth or feet. While caused by a different virus, the lesionsare similar to those caused by foot and mouth disease. All diseases that cause blisters and sores of the mouth and/or feet are potentially serious and need tobe reported to the state veterinarian’s office, or the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service office.
The number of hired workers on farms and ranches in the tri-state region during the week of July 9-15 was up 3 percent from a year ago, according to Nancy Hussey with the Wyoming Agricultural Statistics Service. During this period, 30,000 hired workers were working on farms and ranches in the Northern Rocky Mountain Region, which includes Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. The total excludes agricultural service workers
Of this year’s 30,000 hired workers, 21,000 were expected to work for 150 days or more and 9,000 were expected to work 149 days or less, compared with 20,000 and 9,000 last year. The average number of hours worked during the survey week was 42.3, compared with 45.0 last year and 44.1 in April 2006.
The average wage rate for all hired workers in the tri-state labor force during the survey week was $9.14 per hour, up 35 cents (4 percent) from last year, but down 8 cents (1 percent) from April 2006. Hired field workers were paid an average wage of $8.41 per hour compared with $8.39 last year. Hired livestock workers averaged $9.06 per hour compared with $8.51 last year.
A federal judge in Utah dismissed a decade-old lawsuit challenging rights-of-ways across public lands last week. The judge dismissed the 1996 suit filed against the Bureau of Land Management by a coalition of environmental groups, including the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and the Sierra Club. Judge Bruce Jenkins granted a motion offered by Utah counties to dismiss the case, citing a ruling handed down by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals last fall.
The litigation began in 1996 when road crews employed by Utah’s San Juan, Kane and Garfield counties graded 16 roads located in southern Utah. The BLM later filed claims against the counties, alleging that their road construction activities constituted trespass and degradation of federal property. The counties claimed the road maintenance activities were lawful because the activities took place within valid RS-2477 rights-of-way. The district court ruled that federal law, as interpreted by BLM, dictated critical legal definitions in the case relating to the establishment, scope and maintenance of the “highways.”
Temperatures cooled off in the northwest part of the state last week while the remainder stayed unseasonably warm, according to the Wyoming Agricultural Statistics Service. High temperatures were mostly in the low 80s to upper 90s. Low temperatures were mostly in the low 30s to low 50s. Thunderstorms were scattered across the state. In many areas gains in precipitation were offset by higher-than-average temperatures. Accumulative precipitation for the year remains below normal for all stations except for Sundance and Casper. Last week’s high temperature at the Big Piney airport was 85, with a low of 33. The cumulative year-to-date precipitation at Big Piney is just over three inches, which is 1.95 inches below normal.
Rangeland and pastures again declined with only four percent rated good, two points below last week. Almost half was rated in very poor condition. Cattle continued to be being moved off permits around the state as the grazing season was prematurely shortened.
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