The North Dakota Industrial Commission decided to leave private property out of the special places policy - at least for now.
Governor Jack Dalrymple proposed the change.
All three industrial commission members voted for it.
About half of the land originally discussed in the special places proposal was private land.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem originated the special places idea.
He says he is aware of the rights of property owners...
<(Wayne Stenehjem/ ND Attorney General) When you're putting an oil rig within a unit, or in a spot. LEt's have a discussion about whether there are ways that you can reduce the impact by painting a rig, or by planting trees, or moving it a little bit. Lots of different things that can be done. That's entirely within the pervue of what this commission is supposed to do.>
The commission also decided to delay implementing any policy on public lands until it hears from more people.
A spokesperson for the conservation group - The Sierra Club - says the vote was a cop out...<(Wayde Schafer/ Sierra Club) Unfortunately I think we've seen a total lack of leadership on the governor's part. He had a real opportunity to strike a balance of oil development and protecting the lands out west that we really all appreciate and treasure.>
Governor Dalrymple says he read hundreds of comments over the past three weeks.
Many, he says, he hadn't heard before.
Those comments led him to propose the idea passed by the commission.