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May 20, 2013 - The Associated Press

Court upholds forest plan

PIERRE, S.D. -- South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says the federal court in Wyoming has upheld a management plan for the Black Hills National Forest.

The plan was developed in 1990 and amended in 2005, taking into account a mountain pine beetle epidemic and providing for logging, prescribed burning and other control methods.

Environmental groups who sued worry about damage to plants and wildlife habitat in the 8,125-square-mile forest in northeastern Wyoming and western South Dakota.

Jackley says the federal court in Wyoming upheld the plan late last year and has now rejected a request by the environmental groups to reconsider the ruling. The groups can still appeal.

University sticks with Pepsi

LARAMIE -- Pepsi manufacturer and distributor Wyoming Beverage Inc. will remain the exclusive beverage provider at the University of Wyoming for the next 10 years.

UW and the company have agreed to a new contract that begins Aug. 1.

UW officials say the contract will provide an estimated $4 million to $5 million in financial and supplementary benefits to the university.

The 10-year agreement includes renewal options and matching dollars to help remodel Arena-Auditorium. Wyoming Beverage also will install new vending and fountain machines on campus.

The final agreement is being finalized and concludes a nine-month search for a beverage distributor that the university began last fall.

State rig count grow by three

HOUSTON -- Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. remains unchanged this week, at 1,769.

The Houston-based company said Friday in its weekly report that 1,408 rigs were exploring for oil and another 354 for gas. Seven were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,986 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, North Dakota and Wyoming each gained three rigs and Alaska gained one.

Oklahoma lost three rigs, New Mexico and Pennsylvania each lost two and Colorado and Texas each lost one. Arkansas, California, Louisiana and West Virginia were unchanged.

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

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