NWLA sues North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. - A big court fight is brewing to determine if land ownership goes beneath the surface.

The Northwest Landowners Association is suing the state of North Dakota over a law that would redefine land ownership.

"The sad part of this for me is I don't believe any of this was necessary. Everything that needs to be done in energy production was being done through private contracts. I feel, and these are my words, this was an egregious and bald-faced taking that did not have to happen in this fashion," said NWLA Chairman Troy Coos.

The Association hasn't decided whether to file a preliminary injunction on the law, which goes into effect on Thursday.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem's office says the complaint is under review.