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Published December 07, 2009, 12:47 PM

Senator vows to block designation for Badlands

Sen. Byron Dorgan has told the U.S. Forest Service that he will block an attempt by the federal government to place the scenic North Dakota Badlands on the National Register of Historic Places.

Sen. Byron Dorgan has told the U.S. Forest Service that he will block an attempt by the federal government to place the scenic North Dakota Badlands on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dorgan, along with state and Billings County officials in southwestern North Dakota, believe the historic designation would restrict land use in an area where Theodore Roosevelt ran his cattle more than a century ago.

State and local officials believe the historic designation would add another layer of bureaucracy to the Badlands and could prevent oil and gas development, lessen the amount of land open for grazing and stymie plans for a proposed bridge over the Little Missouri River.

Sharon Small, a Forest Service spokeswoman in Bismarck, says the designation does nothing more than recognize the area's historic value.

Small says the agency is moving forward with its nomination, despite the opposition.

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