BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling that dismisses a lawsuit brought by the state of North Dakota and several western counties that could have resulted in the construction of additional roads in parts of the Badlands.

The Badlands Conservation Alliance says the ruling protects some of the most pristine areas of the Badlands from traffic and potential oil development.

A three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals found the state’s and counties’ claim is barred by a 12-year statute of limitations that was passed years ago.