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Aug 15, 2012 - The Associated Press

Water wildlife, G&F suggests

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is urging ranchers and other landowners to consider leaving water in their tanks to help wildlife in the current drought even after they move their livestock off the land.

Laramie Game Warden Bill Haley says many areas inhabited by wildlife are now without water. He says that means animals need to travel farther to get a drink, which puts more stress on them.

Haley says that landowners who have waters sources on their property could help wildlife by leaving pumps and windmills in operation. He says that will help not only big game animals but smaller mammals and birds as well.

Yellowstone visits down slightly

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK -- The number of people visiting Yellowstone National Park declined slightly in July, compared to a year ago.

The National Park Service reports 888,335 visitors to the park last month.

That is down 2.1 percent from the nearly 907,000 visitors in July 2011.

Still, the number of recreational visitors entering Yellowstone for the first seven months of this year is up compared to 2011. The park has recorded 1.9 million recreational visitors from January through July, compared to 1.8 million during the same period in 2011.

No new oil and gas chief yet

CASPER -- Wyoming is having trouble finding people qualified to become the state's next oil and gas supervisor.

Interim oil and gas supervisor Bob King told the Wyoming Oil and Gas Commission on Tuesday that 25 people have applied for the job but only six or seven fit the state's qualifications.

Candidates must be professional geologists or engineers who are licensed or registered in Wyoming.

King said some applicants had the right training but didn't have licenses or certifications in Wyoming although they were willing to get them.

He said they shouldn't be ruled out yet.

The commission won't take any action until mid-September. Commissioner Ryan Lance said that will give Gov. Matt Mead time to weigh in on who should advance to the next round.

Torrington will pay to settle lawsuit

CHEYENNE -- A former state senator says the city of Torrington will pay him $25,000 to settle his First Amendment lawsuit for city officials banning him from city buildings.

Russell Zimmer had filed the lawsuit in federal court against the city of Torrington, Mayor Michael E. Varney and Police Chief Bill Janes.

According to Zimmer, he was banned from city buildings after he attended a city council budget session in April where he approached the mayor on budget matters and raised his voice a little.

Zimmer served about 20 years in the Wyoming Legislature and was Senate president in 1989 and '90.

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