A bill that would have appropriated $250,000 to survey the Killdeer Mountains battlefield area has been scaled back considerably.
Monday, the Senate Government and Veterans Affairs Committee voted 6-1 to approve the bill, but cut the funding to $4,999.
The bill, Senate Bill 2341, had its first hearing on Friday before the committee and had broad support from the archaeological community and some area landowners.
They want the area studied before more oil exploration is done in the area which is considered by some to be the most significant battle site between U.S. forces and American Indians in terms of people involved and land area.
The bill drew opposition from one landowner, Bryan Dvirnak, whose family has owned part of the battlefield since 1928. He said no one had contacted his family regarding the survey.
Another amendment to the bill stipulates the State Historical Society of North Dakota must have written permission from landowners, defining the scope and conditions of the survey and access to the land.
Artifacts discovered and preservation of the site would be up to the landowner under the amendment.