FARGO, N.D. (AP) _ The state of North Dakota is supporting
arguments by four western counties that they have the right to
build roads along section lines.
A section line marks off a square mile of land. Section line
roads could be used for oil companies to get to drilling locations.
Billings, Golden Valley, McKenzie and Slope counties are suing
the federal government, claiming they have the right to build roads
along section lines. Now the state has made similar claims in its
own federal lawsuit.
Environmentalists worry the lawsuits could allow more oil
drilling in the Little Missouri grasslands in western North Dakota.
The U.S. Forest Service manages the grasslands. The Forest Service has
refused to give some mineral rights holders permission to build
access roads for drilling.