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The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit that challenged the state Game and Fish Commission's authority to lease public land to natural gas companies so they can drill.

The Thursday ruling affirmed a circuit court ruling turned away James Dockery's claim that proceeds from the wells should go to the Legislature instead of the commission.

The commission voted in 2008 to lease drilling rights to Chesapeake Energy Corp. of Oklahoma City for $32.2 million. Dockery sued in Pulaski County the following year.

The leased areas include include more than 7,500 acres in the Petit Jean River Wildlife Management Area in Yell County and nearly 4,000 acres in the Gulf Mountain Wildlife Management Area in Van Buren County.



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