Wyoming digest

Jul 21, 2013 The Associated Press

Date set for Hill case

CHEYENNE (AP) -- The Wyoming Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Aug. 20 in state schools Superintendent Cindy Hill's legal challenge to a new state law that stripped her office of many of its powers.

Hill filed her legal challenge immediately after Gov. Matt Mead signed the bill into law earlier this year.

The change occurred in the middle of Hill's four-year term. The superintendent remains one of the five statewide elected officials but no longer oversees the Wyoming Department of Education.

Hill says the law made a fundamental change to state government and should have required an amendment to the state Constitution.

The state contends that the Legislature has the constitutional authority to determine the powers and duties of the superintendent.

Most horses to be rounded up

RAWLINS (AP) -- The Bureau of Land Management has decided to round up 85 percent of the wild horses in the Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek herd management areas.

The BLM announced Friday that the roundup in Sweetwater and Carbon counties will gather about 1,229 horses and remove 586, leaving 861 mustangs in the complex.

Removing the mustangs would reduce the current population to 861 to 1,165.

The 1,618,624 acre complex is located in the checkerboard pattern of mixed public, private and state land ownership. The area stretches from Interstate 80 south to the Colorado border.

The ATSW Complex was last gathered in October 2010. This gather is tentatively scheduled to start in October 2013 and expected to conclude in November.

All gathered mustangs get veterinary examinations. Released animals can be adopted.

State's rig count rises again

HOUSTON (AP) -- Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 11 this week to 1,770.

The Houston-based company said Friday in its weekly report that 1,395 rigs were exploring for oil and 369 for gas. Six were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,935 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained nine rigs, Colorado, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wyoming each gained two and California and Pennsylvania each added one.

Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio and Utah each lost one. North Dakota was unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.

Zip line OKd

CODY (AP) -- The federal government has approved plans for a new zip line course and tubing hill at the Sleeping Giant Ski Area west of Cody.

The U.S. Forest Service announced the approval Friday.

The decision is subject to appeal, but it gives permission for the construction of a zip line course within the existing ski area footprint for summer use and construction of a tubing hill within the developed footprint of the ski area.

As the nation's first national forest, the Shoshone National Forest has 2.4 million acres.

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