HELENA, Mont. -

Some conservationists are miffed they weren't consulted before Gov. Steve Bullock identified 5.1 million acres of national forest land as top restoration priorities.
    
Bullock announced the nominations this month for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to consider increasing the pace and scale of restoration efforts.
    
Some groups criticized the governor for a lack of public participation in the process.
    
Matthew Koehler of Wildwest Institute says the decisions were based on the recommendations of a group hand-selected by the governor's office and Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.
    
The group met five times with no public notice or meeting records.
    
Bullock spokesman Dave Parker says the deadline to make the nominations was short and there will be future opportunities for the public to weigh in.