WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 17, 2011, 03:10 PM

ND farm group opposes federal grassland proposal

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Farm Bureau is opposed to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposed Dakota Grassland Conservation Area.

The Fargo Forum reports that the federal plan is aimed at

conserving migratory bird habitat in parts of the Dakotas and

Montana. The conservation area would include 1.7 million acres of

grassland and 240,000 acres of wetlands.

The federal government has proposed buying perpetual easements

from private land owners to preserve the areas.

Farm Bureau spokeswoman Sandy Clark says the group opposes the

perpetual easements and believes the $588 million cost to buy them

would only dig a deeper hole for the federal debt.

The proposal is still open for public comment through July 25.