A Victory For The Good Guys. And The Bad Lands.

In a major victory for conservationists, and for the North Dakota Bad Lands they work hard to protect, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland of Bismarck ruled this week that the state of North Dakota and four western North Dakota counties have no right to go in and build roads in areas of the Little Missouri…
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The Sellout Of Van Hook Park

WARNING: In this article I’m going to rip some North Dakota politicians a new one. This isn’t personal, and it isn’t partisan. They’ve got it coming because of malfeasance in office. I’m not going to pull any punches. They deserve it. I know I’ve been pretty critical of some of our state’s leaders lately. Sorry.…
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The Little Missouri State Scenic River Is In Trouble Again

North Dakota’s Little Missouri State Scenic River lost most of its scenic protection this week when Gov. Doug Burgum reversed course and joined the members of his State Water Commission in opening the entire river to industrial water development. Last month, Burgum declared upstream areas of the state’s only official State Scenic River—the areas surrounding…
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Happy Father’s Day, Dad

I’m thinking about my dad, as we all do on Father’s Day. He became a father 70 years ago this fall. He was a father to me for 37 years, and to my six younger brothers and sisters for not as long, before he died young, in 1984. I wrote this article about him a…
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Our Rich Heritage. Our National Park.

Here’s a short follow-up to a story I did a couple weeks ago about the proposed Davis Refinery, the big industrial plant the California company Meridian Energy wants to build next to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. You’ll recall the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDOH) sent Meridian a letter a month ago questioning some of…
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Black Butte

I crossed off another item on my North Dakota Bucket List last weekend. With Lillian, her two sisters and her daughter, I hiked to the top of Black Butte, and, at the top, promptly declared, to the amusement of the ladies, that I was the oldest person ever to climb to North Dakota’s second-highest point.…
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Meridian Refinery Application Is On The Shelf. Where It Belongs.

The North Dakota Department of Health has called “Bullshit!” on Meridian Energy’s application to construct its Davis Oil Refinery three miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park. In fact, in a strongly-worded letter to Meridian, Terry O’Clair, Director of the Division of Air Quality, says he has actually stopped the review of the application until Meridian…
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A Trip Around Northeast North Dakota.

My wife Lillian and I just did a quick two-day trip on (almost) all 2-lane roads–you can’t get out of or into Bismarck without going on a four lane, but our exit and entrance was our only concession to four lanes)–around the northeast quadrant of North Dakota. It was wonderful. That is all I am…
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Herb Meschke: A Brilliant Mind In A Broken Body

They’ll bury Herb Meschke later this week. I don’t know if it will be in the North Dakota Bad Lands, where he was born and raised, or in Minot, where he spent most of his life. Wherever it is, his presence will enhance the stature of the cemetery. Herb was a cowboy, a lawyer, a…
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Who’s Looking Out For The Little Missouri State Scenic River – Redux

I’ve given some more thought to the issue of Little Missouri River water permits since I last wrote about it on May 3. I reported then that Gov. Doug  Burgum had signed into law an amendment to the Little Missouri State Scenic River Act, making industrial use of Little Missouri water legal for the first…
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