An auction of 54,000 acres of land for mineral leases on public land throughout North Dakota (with by far the biggest section being 17,000 acres in Slope County) is scheduled for Tuesday, August 6, in North Dakota has prompted various organizations to express concerns about its potential impact on wildlife and the state’s landmarks including White Butte, Bullion Butte, and Pretty Butte.
Included in the auction are rights to drill in Stewart Lake National Wildlife Refuge. which is about 12 miles southwest of White Butte.
White Butte is well south of the Bakken Formation, which is the source for North Dakota’s oil and gas boom. The auction is just on public land. Private landowners can sign their own agreements.
Among those expressing concerns are the North Dakota Game and Fish Department which has written comments about public lands that may subject to additional rules.