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Falkirk coal mine land to go back to crops

UNDERWOOD, N.D. (AP) -- More than 200 acres of crop land near Underwood that were mined for coal more than 20 years ago are set to be turned back to farming.

It will be the first time in the Falkirk Mine's 35-year history that any land will go back to agriculture.

State law requires coal mining companies to post bonds to ensure they properly reclaim the land after the mining is done. The state Public Service Commission has released other Falkirk-mined acres from reclamation bonds for such purposes as a golf course and a wildlife management area.

Jim Deutsch said that the 217 acres that likely will be formally released this spring are the first Falkirk coal mine acres that will be released for crops.