Regents paying $2M, archaeological rights to ranch

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The state Board of Regents has agreed to pay $2 million for the rights to archaeological and paleontological artifacts on a northern Hill County ranch that the state is purchasing to expand recreational opportunities.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation have agreed to pay $5.8 million to buy 4,500 acres along the Milk River owned by brothers David and Verges Aageson.

The Independent Record reports (http://bit.ly/TIoojT) the regents have added nearly $2 million to the transaction.

The University of Montana says an appraisal by a Seattle firm valued the archaeological rights at $5.2 million and the paleontological rights at $7.5 million. The brothers agreed to donate the rest of the value to the university.

Opponents say the state is overpaying for the land.

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Information from:

Independent Record, http://www.helenair.com

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