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More of Terry Peak is proposed for state special-lands protection

PIERRE - The state Board of Minerals and Environment has received an application to designate four sections of land on Terry Peak in Lawrence County for possible additional protections.

When the board can hold the hearing on the request from Dick Fort, president of ACTion for the Environment, is uncertain, however.

Fort still needs to compile a list of every holder of mineral rights on the properties before the board can consider adding the area to its preliminary list of special, exceptional, unique or critical lands.

Making the preliminary list requires the board to decide, upon receipt of a mining permit application, whether the land is unsuitable for mining or the effects of mining can be offset by restrictions and limits.

Fort's initial letter of application was received March 20. However he didn't submit the lists of surface owners and mineral owners with it. He subsequently filed on April 25 the surface-owners list that stretches 10 pages long.

The other wrinkle is that much of the land proposed by Fort already is on the list, according to state Office of Minerals and Mining personnel.

They said about 1.5 sections of land has been on the list for some time and a small part was cleared last year as part of Wharf's mining expansion application.

Board members wondered when the hearing might be held. "Hopefully later this year," OMM official Eric Holm said.