Unheralded

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Quick Takes, Fast Tracks And The Destruction Of A Historic Ranch And A State Scenic River

“(Commission chairman) Jim Arthaud and the Billings County commissioners have the fight of their lives ahead of them if they plan on using eminent domain to put a bridge across our land.” That was Sandy Short, wife of the late Con Short and daughter-in-law of former U.S. Congressman Don Short, in an interview with The Bismarck Tribune three years ago. …


Unheralded

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Badlands Trip Series No. 4

“Milky Way Night In The Badlands,” that’s what Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner calls these images, taken from 11 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. one recent day in the North Dakota Badlands. He was fortunate to have no clouds in the sky with no wind and a clear cool night with no heat waves to get a nice view and these images …


DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Badlands Trip Series No. 1

Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner was out in the North Dakota Badlands this past week for a few days hiking around taking photos and exploring different areas in Theodore Roosevelt National Park and other locations outside the park. Dave says these images looked best in the black-and-white format with all the structure and deep contrasts of the scene.

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — Badlands Beauty

Grand Forks photographer did his part to keep up with social distancing last weekend, traveling to where the deer and the antelope play — Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the North Dakota Badlands. Not only did Russ capture images of those critters made famous in the song “Home on the Range,” he also managed to find a few other species …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Winter Notes No. 5

January and February are a time when I turn to indoor chores and savor the fallow time of rest and restoration. I read books from the nearly toppling piles and I write. I shovel snow as needed and watch the winter birds from my office window while I write. This January and February have been anything but “normal,” whatever that …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — A $30,000 Check And A $100,000 Bond

It looks like Wylie Bice is going to have to write a check for $30,000 to the U.S. government and tuck away $100,000 in a bond bank somewhere as his penalty for building an illegal bridge on public land in the Bad Lands. (If you’re not familiar with this story, here’s the background.) Those are the numbers being floated around …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — A Long-Overdue Wild Badlands Day

My family journeyed west earlier this week for a long-overdue wild Badlands day. Our first stop was to view the ongoing bison round-up at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The corrals were full of bison and from outside the fence, we watched the trailers being loaded, and we could hear the racket those massive beasts make when their bodies meet steel. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Why The Bad Lands Are Important To Me

When I was a boy growing up in southwest North Dakota, I used to tag along with my dad on his pheasant, grouse and deer hunting trips, mostly along the Cedar River in Adams and Grant counties. Dad was an optometrist in the small town of Hettinger, the county seat of Adams County, and many, if not most, of the …

CLAY JENKINSON: In Search Of America — ICBMs, Wall Drug And The Badlands

I made a false start, but only by a couple of miles, doubled back to gather a few items, then drove south from Mandan, N.D. No destination in mind, but I reckoned I might get as far as Nebraska, certainly southern South Dakota. The great luxury of this sort of travel is that you don’t have to barrel through. I …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Wild Badlands Weekend

It has been a long and tiring winter and spring has been slow to arrive. We both have been ailing. Jim slipped on the ice and fractured three ribs and I’ve been struggling with Lyme disease since our February Channel Islands National Park adventure. Thus, it was that we were both delighted to be able to pack up the car …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Mother-Daughter Date To Theodore Roosevelt National Park

My daughter and I had a Theodore Roosevelt National Park getaway Thursday. She hadn’t been out there since Labor Day, and she described the day as “rejuvenating.” She loves the Bad Lands as much as I, and she is particularly in love with the wild horses that inhabit the South Unit of TRNP. She is a photographer and a member …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Read Bluemle’s New Book

John Bluemle’s new book, “North Dakota’s Geologic Legacy” (actually published in 2016 and now in its second printing), is a culmination of a career of more than 40 years he spent with the North Dakota Geological Survey, researching all facets of North Dakota’s geology, carrying the title of state geologist. It’s his fourth in a series of books designed, as …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Autumn Aspen On BCA Annual Meeting Day

It has truly been a lovely autumn here in Bismarck. On Sunday, our small aspen grove rewarded us with golden glory. Three of the aspen trees were a gift from dear Sheila Schafer, as a tribute to Jim’s late mother. Sheila came over to watch Cashman Nursery plant the trees. She loved to see trees planted and frequently gave these …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Dakota Night Astronomy Festival

“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.” — Theodore Roosevelt Gentle reader, if you are looking for the perfect autumn getaway in North Dakota, I suggest the fifth annual Dakota Night Astronomy Festival, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in beautiful Medora, N.D. From the Theodore Roosevelt National Park press release: “People have been marveling at the …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Taking The Bad Lands For Granted

Many people take the breathtaking beauty of the Bad Lands for granted, going on with their lives and assuming it will always be as it has been for thousands of years. Well, gentle reader, it ain’t so! Stalwarts have been diligently working for decades to protect the remaining wild landscapes so future generations can enjoy the grandeur. The effort culminating …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — 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 National Grasslands that have been inventoried …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — Badlands Weekend

Grand Forks photographer Russ Hons and his wife, Paulette, took a trip to Medora, N.D., over the weekend. While there, they spent much of the time checking out the wildlife and the scenery in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  According to Russ, “I love this place!” What’s not to love? (Check out more photos from Russ Hons here.)

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Of Cougars, Dipshits And Teddy Roosevelt

When was the last time someone called you a dipshit? I swear, I hadn’t heard that word in 20 years, or maybe 30 or 40, until this week, when somebody called me that in a comment at the bottom of my blog. I remember it as a word we used back in the 1950s or ’60s, to describe someone we …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Camping At The Elkhorn, Part 1

I’ve written a two-part series about winter camping at the Elkhorn Ranch Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park for Dakota Country magazine. Here’s the first part. The Elkhorn Ranch Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a tiny 218-acre island in a vast million acre sea of Bad Lands, broken prairies, scoria roads, cattle ranches and oil development. The fact that even …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Getting Ready For 50,000 Oil Wells

Setting aside protests for a while, let’s look at a planning effort that’s being done right. Here’s an article I wrote for this month’s Dakota Country magazine. Is it too much for North Dakota citizens to expect that they should be provided a reasonable forecast of the environmental effects of 20,000 to 50,000 oil wells on our western landscape? Hmm. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Protecting Humans, Critters and the Little Missouri River Valley

U.S. Highway 85 is North Dakota’s deadliest highway. If you’re not familiar with it, it is the road that runs north and south along the western edge of the state, from our border with Canada to our border with South Dakota, through the North Dakota Bad Lands, some of the state’s most scenic and fragile landscapes. Even though it passes …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Why My Dad Would Be Thinking Bad Words Today

A month or so ago, in an article I first wrote for Dakota Country magazine and posted later here on my blog, I talked a bit about my father and his love of North Dakota’s outdoors. If you missed that, you can read it here. I need to share a few more words about my father — and growing up in …