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The Industrial Commission Has A List. What Next? How About A Breather? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jim Fuglie   
Friday, 16 August 2013 15:56

IMG_6279b

(Cross-posted, with permission, from The Prairie Blog)

Well, okay, now there’s a list. On paper. Well, at least on a computer screen. It’s a list that the North Dakota Industrial Commission is “considering for at least one Commission member to tour” as they look at protecting places that have particularly sensitive archeological, paleontological, historical, recreational or environmental characteristics. That’s a start.

I wrote about this before. Back in May, the Industrial Commission, at the urging of Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, decided to make a list of special places and go on a tour to see what makes them special. And then this group of three important state officials, who issue all the oil and gas drilling permits in the state, would decide if any of those areas should be protected from oil development. The list, which you will find below, “is tentative and is being revised as scheduling is worked on.”

Okay, so what next? Actually, the better question is, what has happened recently? Since the Commission decided to do this, with much ballyhoo and great media coverage, probably 500 or more drilling permits have been issued to oil companies with no regard to the places on this list, at least as far as I can tell. Who knows how many of them are in, or on, or next to, the places on this list? Nobody, to my knowledge.

Then, at their last regular meeting, the Commission decided not to take a group tour, but to try to get to see as many of them individually as possible when their travels took them to western North Dakota. When will that be? Of course, nobody knows. Meanwhile, the Commission keeps on issuing drilling permits—at last count, as of Friday afternoon, 137 of them so far this month. And the month is just half over.

Is the list a complete list of places that ought to be considered “off limits” to oil activity? Not by a long shot. It’s a pretty good compilation of state and national parks, important historic sites, roadless areas treasured by hikers and hunters, and some wildlife habitat areas. But there’s a lot missing from this list. For example, there are about 30 North Dakota Wildlife Management Areas—places set aside to help provide wildlife habitat to our game and non-game species—in the area known generally as the “Oil Patch.” Only six of them are on the list. There are about ten National Wildlife Refuges in the same area. Only three are on the list. Hunters, birders and hikers ought to be pretty concerned about that.

We’ve got serious wildlife problems already out west, especially among mule deer, antelope and sage grouse populations. Those species are not making babies like they used to. They’re finding it pretty hard to get romantic with oil trucks running through their bedrooms.

I’m not even sure where this list came from. I asked officials at affected state agencies today if they had seen it, and none had. So those state agencies—Parks, History and Wildlife—haven’t even had any input yet. That seems strange. You’d think the Industrial Commission would want their paid experts to weigh in on this. I’d sure like to hear what they have to say.

So back to my question: What’s next? Here’s my suggestion.

Using this list as a starting point, bring in the state agency experts, add the wildlife areas and any missing significant cultural and recreational sites, and then hire someone to sit down with a map and a computer and make a database of the legal descriptions of all these places. That shouldn’t take more than a few weeks. The list isn’t that long.

Then every time a request for a drilling permit comes in, run the legal description against the database. If you get a match, set the application aside and have a good discussion, at an open meeting, with all interested parties present, about whether that permit ought to be issued or not. If it’s in a sensitive wildlife area, bring in Terry Steinwand’s folks and see what they think. If it’s an Indian burial ground, bring in Merl Paaverud. You get the idea.

Meanwhile, until the list is updated and the database is completed, I suggest we issue a moratorium on any further drilling permits. I guarantee they would get that database done in a hurry if they did that.

I’m dead serious about this. Like I said, it shouldn’t take more than a few weeks to decide on a list and make the database. Until then, just stop issuing drilling permits. That won’t shut down the oil industry. It won’t even slow it down. There are plenty of undrilled permits out there right now. The drillers will be plenty busy. They’ve probably got work stacked up for a year into the future, or longer, right now.

But it’s a good idea in any kind of game to stop and take a breather once in a while. This is the kind of breather we could all use right now—putting some thought into where oil wells should be located, instead of this mad frenzy we’ve been going through the last few years. It would show that the state is serious about protecting special places. After all, Jack Dalrymnple, Wayne Stenehjem and Doug Goehring said they were serious about it back in May. But nothing has happened since then. It’s time to make this happen. Otherwise, many more months, maybe years, are going to go by, and many hundreds, maybe thousands, of drilling permits are going to be issued, with no regard to this list of special places. That just seems goofy to me.

Here’s the list. What would you add?

Antelope Creek Wildlife Management Area

Black Butte

Bowman Haley Dam and Recreation Area

Bullion Butte

Chalky Buttes

Custer Campsites

Davis Dam

Deep Creek Bottoms

Ft. Dilts

Fort Union National Historic Site

Hofflund Wildlife Management Area

Initial Rock south of Fryberg

Kendley Plateau or is it spelled Kinley Plateau

Killdeer Battlefield

Killdeer Wildlife Management Area (Primitive Area)

Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge

Lewis and Clark State Park

Little Missouri River State Park

Lone Butte

Long X Divide

Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge

Medicine Hole on the Killdeer Mountain

Och’s Point Wildlife Management Area

Ponderosa Pine

Pretty Butte

Schnell Recreation Area

Sheyenne Grasslands

Square Butte

Stewart Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Strom Hanson IRA

Sulllivan Wildlife Management Area

Sully Creek State Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park—North, South and Elkhorn Units (Elkhorn Ranchlands)

Tracy Mountain

Trenton Wildlife Management Area

Twin Buttes

White Butte

Writing Rock south of Alkabo

All Little Missouri River National Grassland Roadless Areas


Comments (15)add comment

Mary said:

...
I don't see Fort Buford or the Confluence area on this list - Fort Buford is a state historic site 2 miles east of Fort Union Trading Post NHS, 25 miles west of Williston.
 
August 16, 2013
Votes: +1

Norma Louise Carter said:

My Reaction to this Article of Brilliance
Dear Mr. Fugile,

I think you are absolutely right not only in your assessment, but also in your suggestion. If every one had a concerned heart and an intelligent mind like you certainly do possess, then, I see no reason for your plan of action to be hindered by any obstacles, but rather it should prosper to the desired end.

I think you should try your best to accomplish this brilliant plan of yours by bringing it about step-by-step. If it does not come about as it should, as you desire, then, it will not be your fault, neither will it be your failure.

I am a realist. There is an evil in the hearts of men. It is the evil of greediness---of wanting more and more. It is covetousness. And such covetousness is not to be desired by anyone, yet it is in the very nature of man. Man is led by it when he strives to obtain all that he can during his life's little day. It seems in his eyes today that it will amount to a lot, but in his last day, only then he will realize how poor he is. And that he has ran in vain, for there will be no glorious finish line for him to cross, and no fans to cheer him on; for naked he came to this life, and naked he shall leave this life.

They are going to ruin North Dakota for the oil. They do not care. There are evil-hearted men of great power behind the scene, who do not care about Teddy Roosevelt, the Indian burial grounds, nor do they care if our water becomes poisoned, or our houses shake in the night.

But who knows you might be the man to turn this coming darkness into light. To give us one more chance from suffering our soon-to-be demise, that is, to give the organic compounds life to be renewed to prosper once again, and our historical past hope to be revived as the living history it indeed is.


 
August 16, 2013
Votes: +1

nimrod said:

Harrummphh.
Half-assed would be exaggerated praise.
 
August 17, 2013
Votes: +1

Norma Louise Carter said:

Development of Your Thought
Dear Nimrod,

I think you need to take the time to make yourself clear to your audience when you post your comments. To make yourself clear, you must practice developing your thought by illustrating and defining by use of comparisons and contrasts.

Your short sentence does not explain to me anything. Maybe you are still in junior high school and have not had much practice in writing clearly to express your opinion. It would be wise for you to use this site to practice expressing your opinion to the audience of this site's readership by developing your thought clearly with preciseness. It will not do to just type a few words that just makes your audience just wonder who are you, and what are you trying to say.

You will never be able to persuade the majority of your audience if you type bad language. Most people are offended by it, and it cheapens not only your person, but also cheapens any persuasive argument pro or con that you present especially to a mature, educated audience.

The only following you will receive when you base your opinion on bad language use are from those people who have had an ungodly home upbringing, that might had included drugs, alcohol, homo-type living, criminal elements, television 24/7, and bad word upon bad word in every conversation that took place in their pitiful, ungodly households.

I hope you will hear and take heed for the sake of the future betterment of your person.
 
August 17, 2013
Votes: -3

Norma Louise Carter said:

Development of Your Thought
Dear Nimrod,

I think you need to take the time to make yourself clear to your audience when you post your comments. To make yourself clear, you must practice developing your thought by illustrating and defining by use of comparisons and contrasts.

Your short sentence does not explain to me anything. Maybe you are still in junior high school and have not had much practice in writing clearly to express your opinion. It would be wise for you to use this site to practice expressing your opinion to the audience of this site's readership by developing your thought clearly with preciseness. It will not do to just type a few words that just makes your audience just wonder who are you, and what are you trying to say.

You will never be able to persuade the majority of your audience if you type bad language. Most people are offended by it, and it cheapens not only your person, but also cheapens any persuasive argument pro or con that you present especially to a mature, educated audience.

The only following you will receive when you base your opinion on bad language use are from those people who have had an ungodly home upbringing, that might had included drugs, alcohol, homo-type living, criminal elements, television 24/7, and bad word upon bad word in every conversation that took place in their pitiful, ungodly households.

I hope you will hear and take heed for the sake of the future betterment of your person.
 
August 17, 2013
Votes: -2

nimrodent said:

August 17, 2013
Votes: -2

No Fracking Way said:

...
Add to that list...

North Dakota has the smallest forested area in the United States. There are five state forests managed by the North Dakota Forest Service. They are:
Turtle Mountain State Recreational forest, which is the largest with only 7,814 acres. The remainder include three with an area of less then a square mile.
Homen State forest covers 4,184 acres.
Tetralt Woods,
Mouse River State forest, and
Sheyenne River State forest.
 
August 18, 2013
Votes: +2

Norma Louise Carter said:

I have said it many times, and I will say it again, and probably again and again as long as I live in North Dakota
Dear nimrodent,

It is true, and I have noted this fact many times especially concerning my peer group and younger who were born, raised and are living now in North Dakota, yet if any of these are exempt from this fact that I am about to note again, they can exclude themselves. The fact is that there is a junior high mentality that is expressed in their speakings.

For example, there is a man or a woman named nimrodent, who is being directly addressed in this letter, who posts on North Decoder, the most influential political blog in North Dakota, so-advertised, yet I just do not see a great number of comments per article posted.

Anyhow, besides this site's advertisement being promoted as an influential truth, this person named nimrodent is certainly not a mouse, a rat, nor a squirrel, yet he or she thinks it is cool to be one of these filthy animals that carry disease; hence, the chosen username.

Furthermore, he or she thinks that by dressing up a bad word to make it a so-called clean word is acceptable to the betters of this here society, yet it is truly just bad taste altogether. It is like dressing up a filthy mouse in a motorcycle helmet and putting him on a bike. He is still a dirty rodent. Or it is like dressing up a rat by spraying glow-in-the-dark paint on him. He is still viewed as the filthy rat that he indeed is. The same for a squirrel, that is, donning sun glasses on a squirrel does not hide his identity.

Yes, it is true, that I have to put up with the immaturity of the mental midgets of junior high mentality no matter where I go in North Dakota, and it does grieve my dear and gentle heart, since I see clearly that they only mirror the poor education they received in the schools of North Dakota. If I had children I would never send them to schools that turn out mental midgets of junior high school mentality.

Yet, to be fair, these poorly-taught mental midgets possess that talent to make an entire class of students laugh and laugh until no one is listening to the teacher, who probably says bad words or dresses these words up to be an acceptable person around his or her betters, and it just might be that he or she uses these words a lot more than the student body uses them in their speech and in their writing assignments. Not that all teachers are bad, but it seems to me, when you take the Bible and God out of a classroom, what good do you think will actually come about in the end?

I think what will come about as time proceeds, besides the depravity of humanism, is a North Dakotan population of mental midgets with a junior high school mentality, and before we know it every North Dakotan will post dressed-up bad words in their comments to any so-called influential North Dakota site, whether that site is Democrat or Republican. Gone are the days of a well-constructed essay.

Nonetheless, no matter what the outer circumstances are, I can endure all the mental midgets of junior high mentality in North Dakota. I know how to suffer well in grace. And who knows there is always hope, that is, maybe I can be a good influence for their growth to maturity, positively speaking. But it might just be too late, since so much damage has been done already.
 
August 19, 2013
Votes: -3

Norma Louise Carter said:

Why do my posts keep posting again and again when I only click on the post tab once?
It is not my fault. I only click on the post tab once. Please delete my extra posts. I am thinking I might need a new mouse, that is, a mouse that is not a rodent.
 
August 19, 2013
Votes: -1

nimrod said:

tsk, tsk
Sister Norma Louse,

Pardon me, but your troll slip is showing. You advocate civil discourse, yet quickly resort to name-calling in an effort to denigrate me and my comment. You use the term "midget" in a derogatory manner, indicating that you lack empathy for short people. This is truly remarkable for a person with such well-developed sensitivities.

All the best, your fellow cartoon character,

Brother Nimrod aka Brother nimrodent.
 
August 19, 2013
Votes: -1

Norma Louise Carter said:

Fellow Cartoon Character?
Dear Nimrodentia, and Nimrodonian,

I do like your recent post a lot better than your bad word post and your bad word dressed-up post. I am sorry that you were offended by my posts. Yet, I have no regrets, because they did a job well done in bringing out more detailed expression of who you are in your most recent post.

It is not right for you to call me a troll. I am not a troll. But you can call me a troll as much as you would like to, because I am fine just standing by the truth that I am not a troll.

I am not derogatory towards short people as you state. My own dear angel mother who is now in heaven was a lot shorter that I am, and I loved her dearly and hope to be with her soon to join her in that joyful heavenly throng before that eternal throne of glory and majesty.

I, as a free person on this earth, am allowed to make use of all the words not only in American Standard English language, but also in English Standard English, German High or Low, Classical or Common Latin, Modern, Classical or Koine Greek, etc. I am free, free, free from all the word police of this world, just as you are free, free, free to use all the bad words or dressed-up bad words to express your mentality at present.

You might be a cartoon character, but I am a real person. I am not your fellow anything.

Why do you wish me all the best, when you do not mean it? I think it is because you did not know how else you could had ended your kind letter to me.

Wishing you will be my good internet friend someday,

Sincerely, that real internet person of flesh and blood, who is so unloved in North Dakota,

Norma Louise Carter
 
August 19, 2013
Votes: -2

nimrod said:

Let us re-cap
Brothers and sisters,
In the Biblical creation story of the Judeo-Christian tradition, God proclaims each piece of Creation good, and the whole of it -- when viewed together and in relationship -- very good. We humans are charged with stewardship of this gift -- this fragile Earth, our island home. This stewardship responsibility demands our best efforts. The policy of the Industrial Commission has been to pump as much oil in as short a time as possible from our state-owned lands, and damn (excuse me, Sister Norma) the consequences to water resources, soil resources,recreational resources, and cultural heritage. I infer that the Industrial Commission then employed a sixth-grader with an iPad and a wireless internet account, who produced a list of 50 places worth preserving, after spending 45 minutes using the Google search engine. Why 50? Why not 51? Why not 100? Transparency and employment of objective criteria? Pubic participation? Expert consultation?

Best efforts, Industrial Commission? I think not.

Signing off without traditional formalities that might be misconstrued,such as "yours truly,"

Brother Nimrod
 
August 19, 2013
Votes: -1

Norma Louise Carter said:

How nice....
Dear Nimrod,

It is nice to know before I take my leave that you are very intelligent, yet there is no need for you to use the "D" word in the sense that you make use of it. You can use it respectfully if you use it in its other definition, that is, in its past tense sense, such as those who are to be damned in death eternal in the fire of that lake that burns with brimstone for ever, or you can also use this word respectfully if you say the ungodly will suffer eternal damnation.

Do not take it personally against your person what I have written against you. You were only an example used for instructional purposes only.

 
August 19, 2013
Votes: -1

Norma Louise Carter said:

How nice....
Dear Nimrod,

It is so nice to learn that before I take my leave that you are very intelligent, yet there is no need for you to use the "d" word in the sense that you make use of it. It is respectable for you to use this word, however, if you were to use it in its past tense form as, for example, those who do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will be damned in the eternal lake of fire that burneth with brimstone for ever and ever. You can also make use of it in its noun form, that is, the ungodly will suffer eternal damnation. The "d" word becomes a good word to use in the past tense form and in its noun form theologically speaking. It is clear to me that you are a very creative, intelligent person, and a person of good humor. Yet, in your political work, please be more sensitive to women, who are of the godly sort if you intend to persuade them to your viewpoint.

Take care,

Norma Louise Carter
 
August 19, 2013
Votes: -2

Dr. Heywood Jablomi said:

...
I think we've seen this movie before: It's called Business as Usual for Mrs. Carter. Anything that has her sponsorship or support should immediately be quashed on the basis of her desire to plant strife and chaos. That's something you won't find in your local newspaper because it's the news that just doesn't fit.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Mrs. Carter defends the real needs of the working class. Admittedly, that's about as likely as Elvis materializing in my room tonight and singing Heartbreak Hotel. Still, the possibility does help one realize that there is a genuine coldness, a chill, that pervades the land, as people are scared to death by Mrs. Carter's sick-minded diegeses. I won't dwell on that except to direct your attention to the treacherous manner in which she has been trying to represent Heaven as Hell and, conversely, the most wretched life as paradise. In a nutshell, this is a prescribed thought vs. free inquiry issue, an anti-democracy vs. democracy issue, and yes, a police state vs. free society issue.
 
August 27, 2013
Votes: +1

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