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Officials with the Biden administration have visited a Louisiana wildlife refuge touting plans to clean up and plug “orphan wells.” Around 2 million abandoned oil and gas wells across the U.S. pose pollution threats. But their operators are bankrupt, can’t be found or otherwise cannot be made to clean up the sites. The Biden administration plans to tackle the problem with $4.7 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed in late 2021. A Louisiana wildlife official says wells there could leak residual oil, polluting chemicals or methane gas at any time. The federal program includes $13 million for cleaning up 175 wells on national wildlife refuges in Louisiana and Oklahoma.

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The study, conducted to help manage a declining Upper Powder River mule deer herd near Kaycee, will give biologists like Cheyenne Stewart, Game and Fish Sheridan region wildlife coordinator, an idea of the biggest problems facing the herd.

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If heading off to a cozy cabin is more aspirational than doable, you can still achieve the chalet vibe. A few birch logs placed in a galvanized steel or enameled planter, with pine or cedar boughs and some faux or real moss bedding the pot, will look inviting with or without a strand of warmly hued fairy lights.

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Rancher Shelagh Wulff Wisdom writes:

The saddle nourishes the best of memories and fosters a frame of reference. My heart is warmed by those memories it inspires and nudges me to be more like my dad, and hold dear that first ride, which started it all.

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