Interior bill contains money for state

Interior bill contains money for state

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CHEYENNE — The Interior Department spending bill approved by the U.S. Senate contains money for monitoring earthquakes in Jackson Hole and for other Wyoming projects.

The bill, which passed by voice vote, now heads to a House-Senate conference committee to settle differences between the two chambers.

"The Interior Department appropriations bill is one of the most important spending measures to Wyoming when you consider the impact it has on our public lands, natural resources, and multiple use policy," Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., said.

Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said he was "pleased that, in spite of budget constraints, we were able to fund as many Wyoming projects as we could and that the Senate worked through this bill in a fairly short amount of time."

In addition to funding federal agencies such as the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the U.S. Forest Service, Thomas and Enzi said they were successful in addressing key Wyoming spending and policy initiatives.

The Senate version contains $250,000 to improve seismic monitoring in the Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park areas.

There is also more money for the Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center at Casper and nearly $8.5 million in funding for the Western Research Institute in Laramie.

The bill also contains $5.9 million to restore the Old House at Old Faithful Inn, $1.88 million for the reconstruction of the west entrance to Yellowstone and $400 million for forest fire suppression.

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