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Oct 13, 2013 - The Associated Press

Ranchers ask help after stock losses

GALLATIN GATEWAY, Mont. -- A couple of Montana groups are asking ranchers in the region to help South Dakotans hit hard by last weekend's snowstorm by donating production cattle and sheep. Citizens for Balanced Use and the Bar Quarter Circle Ranch say they're working with the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association.

They're asking Montana, Wyoming and Idaho livestock producers to donate one or more head of cattle or sheep, so South Dakota ranchers can rebuild their herds.

UW head count down slightly

LARAMIE -- Fall enrollment at the University of Wyoming has declined slightly from last year's record high.

UW census data shows 12,928 students enrolled for the fall semester. That is a decrease of 194 students, or 1.5 percent, from the 2012 fall semester.

New freshman enrollment is essentially stable, with 1,581 new freshmen this year compared to 1,584 last year. The average high school grade point average of the freshman class rose substantially, from 3.48 last year to 3.67 this year.

For the sixth consecutive year, UW's international student enrollment has increased. Some 815 international students are studying at UW, a 3.3 percent rise from last year.

The racial and ethnic minority population also has increased to 10.3 percent of the student body, rising 5.4 percent to 1,335 students.

B-T Forest down to skeleton crew

JACKSON -- The Bridger-Teton National Forest in northwest Wyoming has told its concessionaires to close because of the federal government shutdown.

Campgrounds, picnic areas and offices have been closed on U.S. Forest Service property since funding was cut off Oct. 1.

Bridger-Teton Jackson District Ranger Dale Deiter says at this point in the fall Bridger-Teton personnel ordinarily would be completing trail work, patrolling to ensure food storage rules are being followed and winterizing facilities at campgrounds.

Deiter just nine employees have escaped being furloughed.

No change in state rig total

HOUSTON -- Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. decreased by 13 this week to 1,743.

Its weekly report Friday that 1,367 rigs were exploring for oil and 369 for gas. Seven were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,835 rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Oklahoma gained seven rigs, Alaska and Pennsylvania gained four, New Mexico gained two and Arkansas and Ohio gained one. Texas lost eight rigs, Louisiana lost six, Kansas and West Virginia lost four, California lost two and North Dakota lost one. Colorado, Utah and Wyoming were unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981.

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