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CHEYENNE — A residents' group says more than 50 people have joined in the last week in hopes of negotiating surface rights of mineral leases in their neighborhoods.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports Sunday that residents of two subdivisions north of Cheyenne formed the Laramie County Surface Owners Association in November. During an informational meeting last week, association president Jim Ruby says 52 people paid their dues.

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Sitting atop the energy rich Niobrara oil shale formation, Ruby says residents of the North Star Ranch and Legacy Ridge subdivisions group formed to negotiate as a unified group with oil development companies.

Ruby says that representatives of one oil development company will attend the group's meeting in May.

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