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Aug 18, 2014 The Associated Press

State to enter horse lawsuit

CHEYENNE -- The state of Wyoming is moving to intervene in a lawsuit filed by wild horse preservation groups opposing the federal government's plan to remove about 800 horses from areas in the southern part of the state.

Gov. Matt Mead announced Friday that Wyoming has asked a federal judge in Cheyenne to allow the state to participate in the lawsuit.

Wild horse preservation groups are challenging the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's plans to start removing horses from lands within the Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek herd management areas starting Sept. 1. The groups claim the federal agency failed to follow environmental laws in planning the action.

Mead says wild horses must not be allowed to damage the lands or conflict with private property rights.

State gives Jackson $1M for slide costs

JACKSON -- The state of Wyoming is providing $1 million to the town of Jackson to help cover some of the damage done by a sliding hillside.

The town had applied to the State Lands and Investment Board for a $6.35 million emergency grant to help cover some of the $7.5 million in expected costs to stabilize the hillside.

But the state board voted Thursday to give the town a fraction of that sum. Board staffers said in a report that only the exposed water and sewer lines that are temporarily servicing the neighborhood on the butte above the slide qualify as emergencies and warrant immediate funding.

Jackson Mayor Mark Barron said the town plans to ask the state for more money.

Rig count jumps seven for week

HOUSTON -- Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose five this week to 1,913.

The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,589 rigs were exploring for oil and 321 for gas. Three were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,791 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Wyoming gained seven rigs, Colorado was up four, Louisiana, North Dakota and West Virginia three each, and Alaska one.

Texas declined by seven rigs, Oklahoma and Utah were down two each, and California and Ohio both decreased by one.

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