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Published August 25, 2009, 10:06 AM

Man says he'll auction ND ranch mineral rights

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Montana man who threatened to mine gravel on the Badlands ranch where Theodore Roosevelt once ran his cattle says he'll auction the mineral rights.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Montana man who threatened to mine gravel on the Badlands ranch where Theodore Roosevelt once ran his cattle says he'll auction the mineral rights.

Roger Lothspeich of Miles City, Mont., claims most of the mineral and gravel rights beneath the 5,200-acre ranch in western North Dakota.

The Forest Service bought ranch from the Eberts family for $5.3 million but the purchase did not include mineral rights.

Forest Service spokesman Jeff Adams says the agency is investigating mineral ownership on the ranch.

Lothspeich earlier offered drop the plan to mine gravel on the ranch if the Forest Service or conservation groups paid him $2.5 million. He says he now plans to auction the mineral rights next February in Bismarck.

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