State amphibian bill moves forward

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- UPDATE: Wyoming's governor will consider a proposal by high school students to recognize the state's only species of salamander. A bill designating the blotched tiger salamander as Wyoming's state amphibian cleared the Wyoming House on a 50-9 vote Monday.

Original Story:Wyoming has several state symbols, and currently there is a bill in the State Legislature that is being discussed about whether or not the Blotched Tiger Salamander should be the new State Amphibian.

The Amphibian Bill (SF0050) passed in the State Senate today and was introduced to the House of Representatives. Sen. Cale Case (R, District 25) who is one of the sponsors said, “We’re not on the home run stretch yet. But we’ve had a great first step.”

Students from Pathfinder High School in Lander, Wyo. were in town to make their case to the Senate about why Wyoming should have a State Amphibian. One student, Madison Slinkard said, “If you really care about someone and you care about their passions, because we all care about woolwine, so it was fun to see him passionate about salamanders and then we just kind of came onto this project with him.” Another student, Alyssa Woody, said, “I’ve learned about myself that if I can push myself enough then I can do it.”

Teachers who have assisted in the project are excited about what the students have accomplished so far. Ben Catton, said, “I’m just most proud of the initiative that they’ve taken and the leadership that they’ve shown and to see them step into this leadership role.” They know that there is still a chance that their bill may fail, but Dr. Chip Woolwine said, “We’re determined to see it to the end, you know, see it through. The kids are very excited and it’s just wonderful.”

To follow this bill and others, go to wyoleg.gov. For more information on the salamander, you can go to the National Parks website at nps.gov.