The North Dakota Bad Lands: Still On The Brink

  In the early 1990s, a group of 17 conservation organizations, as diverse as the National Wildlife Federation, the Bismarck-Mandan Bird Club, the North Dakota Wildlife Society and the Fargo-Moorhead Audubon Society, gathered under a symbolic big tent, and produced a document outlining the dangers facing the North Dakota Bad Lands, and offering a plan…
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How Long Will Trump Last? Make A Guess!

Okay, at first it was just a sly hint, a trickle of wishfulness, but it’s become a pretty serious subject of open discussion now, both on social media and on the street: How long do you think Trump will last as President? Some say he’s going to commit an apparently impeachable offense, and Congress will…
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Slick

In high school we called him “Slick.” He was handsome, swarthy, athletic, a bit of a rebel, with slicked back hair and cool clothes. He was Fonzie before Fonzie was invented. He didn’t seem to mind the nickname Slick back then, but after we all grew up and moved away and fought in wars and…
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The Long, Strange Saga Of Jason Halek Comes To An End

Well, it looks like Jason Halek is finally going to the pokey. Remember Jason? He’s the fellow who dumped more than 800,000 gallons of salty, oilfield wastewater into an abandoned oil well southwest of Dickinson in Stark County, North Dakota, and then attempted to cover it up. And his partner in crime, Nathan Garber, might…
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The Little Missouri Crossing: How To Take A Bad Idea And Make It Worse.

A thousand trucks a day. That’s what Billings County Commission Chairman Jim Arthaud bragged to the Dickinson Press one day, a number of years ago, when he was asked how many vehicles would use a new bridge over the Little Missouri River north of Medora. A lot of water has flowed beneath that proposed bridge…
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New Little Missouri Bridge Site Selected–And No One’s Going To Be Happy

The engineering firm drafting the Environmental Impact Statement for Billings County’s request to put a new bridge across the Little Missouri River north of Medora has determined the best place to put the bridge is just 17 miles north of Medora, about a third of the way—as the crow flies—between the two current bridges near…
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Beware The Ides Of March

An apology to my readers. I was born with a weak spine. Literally, but not figuratively (I hope). So I’ve had these recurring back problems since I reached middle age. They’re usually fixable, but it takes some time, and I’m in one of those time periods right now. The doctors started working on it in…
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Re-Run

I think I’m just going to re-run this column from the Unheralded.Fish website from two years ago about this time of the year in every odd-numbered year from now on. Nothing seems to change. Why should I spend a bunch of time writing something new? Nobody seems to be paying any attention anyway. JIM FUGLIE:…
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Bullion Butte Wins Another One

A few of you might remember a big dust-up about 5 years ago over the State Land Board’s decision to offer, for lease, the right to drill for oil on the west side of one of southwest North Dakota’s major landmarks, Bullion Butte. The butte and some of the acreage around it are owned by…
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I know, I know, a bunch of my readers have been waiting for me to do a little North Dakota post-election analysis. I’ve been waiting to see how the new governor starts out. He’s started. Here’s what I think. So far. Doug Burgum is a lot smarter than me.  So I’m not going to use…
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