BISMARCK (AP) - Public lands officials in North Dakota have adopted recommendations to protect wildlife habitat on 54,000 acres developers have proposed for mineral leasing, but some conservation advocates say it's not enough.
The land falls under at least partial control of the North Dakota Department of Trust Lands. Officials will auction mineral leases on the western North Dakota properties Tuesday in Medora.
Many of the tracts are near wildlife habitat or natural landmarks such as White Butte, the highest point in North Dakota, The Forum newspaper reported.
The state Game and Fish Department has recommended restrictions on many of the tracts to limit impacts on wildlife.
"We didn't dispute any of their findings," State Lands Commissioner Lance Gaebe said.
Other agencies, including federal wildlife and historic preservation officials, also have submitted comments expressing concern about some of the locations proposed for leasing.
In response, state lands officials have imposed restrictions or alerted developers that restrictions could apply to protect historical, paleontological or archaeological resources.
Jan Swenson, a spokeswoman for the Badlands Conservation Alliance, and Jim Fuglie, an avid hunter and conservation advocate, said they think some of the land should not be leased at all.
"Soon, all we'll have left is a couple of little islands - the two units of (Theodore Roosevelt National Park) - in a vast sea of development, changing the Badlands forever," Fuglie said.