Unheralded

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Time To Get Involved

A LOT of people read Monday’s post about the North Dakota Public Service Commission and the Davis Refinery on The Prairie Blog and Unheralded.Fish, and I had a number of requests asking how they could get involved. Here’s how: Write a letter. Elected officials react to public contact. Letters, e-mails, phone calls and attendance at meetings all influence their actions. …


Unheralded

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — A Refinery Moves One Step Closer To Our National Park, But It’s Not Too Late To Stop It

There are two ways to look at the recommendation of Administrative Law Judge Patrick Ward on Tuesday that the North Dakota Public Service Commission dismiss the complaint against that (expletive deleted) Meridian Energy for failing to get a site review from the PSC for its proposed refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park. First, If you believe that two or maybe …


DANIEL HAGLUND: Just The Facts, Man — Native Son In Blood, Not In Deed

Chief Amatoya Kanagaota Moytoy was a powerful 17th century Cherokee leader, born and died in what is now Tennessee. In translation, he was referred to as “emperor.” Moytoy married Quatsy of Tellico, a full-blooded Cherokee of the Holy Clan. She was also referred to as Nancy in other records. It is a common tome of myriad Native nations that the …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Conservation Groups To Refinery: ‘Cease And Desist!’

Lest we let the threat of an oil refinery beside Theodore Roosevelt National Park slip from our minds as we go about our busy fall lives, here’s an update on where things stand right now. Meridian Energy has started dirt work at the site beside Interstate 94 on the road into the park, flouting the attempt by conservation groups to …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Halcyon Days Are Gone

In the halcyon days of the 1970s in North Dakota, when the state was a quieter, kinder, friendlier, more thoughtful place, the Legislature passed a bill, and the governor signed it, designating the Little Missouri River as our state’s only official State Scenic River and creating a commission to look out for it. The Little Missouri Scenic River Commission did …

RON SCHALOW: Of Course, He Did

Well, at least he didn’t kiss the brutal dictator on the lips and/or grab him by his small organ. That’s something, I suppose. He didn’t sniff Kim’s butt, as far as we know. The action is tough to translate. Instead, our president just slobbered up a storm and beamed radiantly like a teen dork picking up his best girl. This …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘I So Declare It!’

My day started out OK this morning. My pillbox told me it was Thursday — it’s always nice to know what day of the week it is right away in the morning. I had a pretty good bowel movement — for you young readers, that‘s pretty important for someone my age. I got my belt through every belt loop but …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Another Set Of Eyes On Our Wild Bad Lands

North Dakota has more than a million acres of public land, most of it in western North Dakota, our Little Missouri National Grasslands, managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Most of it is grazing land, although it’s grazed by more than cattle and sheep. Pretty much every creature that lives in North Dakota has a presence there. For some — …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Wild Lands In North Dakota: A Red-letter Day In North Dakota History

Today was a red-letter today in North Dakota history, specifically N.D. conservation history. This morning, at the Bismarck Public Library, the film “Keeping All the Pieces” was released by the Badlands Conservation Alliance and the North Dakota Wildlife Federation. Presented by Jan Swenson, BCA executive director, and Mike McEnroe, of the North Dakota Wildlife Federation, this 15-minute film dramatically captures …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Charlie Creek To Belfield — A History Lesson

The last major threat to the visual integrity of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, at least that I can recall — though there have been many skirmishes with the oil industry — was in 1989, when the Western Area Power Administration came really close to putting a huge transmission line along the east boundary of the South Unit of the Park. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — What Will Happen To The Newest Bridge Across The Little Missouri State Scenic River?

Last summer, I wrote an article about a North Dakota Bad Lands rancher who built himself a big bridge across the Little Missouri State Scenic River on federal land without getting permission. I wrote then, last July, “The folks at the BLM office don’t seem to know anything about the bridge or the road or the water pits, but they …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Refinery Needs A Site Review

A pair of former Democratic-NPL state senators challenged the North Dakota Health Department to demand a site review by the State’s Public Service Commission before issuing an air pollution permit allowing Meridian Energy Group to build a refinery three miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park at a marathon public hearing by the Department Wednesday night. Former Sen. Connie Triplett of …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — We’ll See You In Court

At the end of the meeting between Meridian Energy Group executives and the North Dakota Public Service Commission a couple of weeks ago, Commission President Randy Christmann pretty much told William Prentice, Meridian CEO and the man who wants to build an oil refinery next to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, that the next time they meet will probably be in …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Refinery Near National Park Gets Preliminary OK

Tuesday’s announcement by the North Dakota Department of Health that it is preparing to issue an Air Quality Permit to Meridian Energy to build the Davis Oil Refinery three miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park should come as no surprise. Once again, the state of North Dakota rolls over to the energy industry, but this time it’s threatening more than …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Halek Sentence: Probation And A Halfway House

My old friend, Darrell Dorgan, and I decided to sit in on the sentencing hearing for Jason Halek on Monday morning. A couple of old, retired newsmen, we both went there thinking we were going to see the full measure of the law applied to a Texas con man responsible for one of the biggest pollution violations in North Dakota …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Maybe The Halek Case Is Over; Maybe

If everything goes as planned Monday morning (which would be unusual — nothing much has gone as planned in this case) Jason Halek will walk into the federal courthouse in Bismarck tomorrow morning as a free man, and walk out— figuratively, if not literally — in handcuffs, headed for a federal prison. You’ve read about Halek here many times before. …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — The Elkhorn Ranch: A Love Letter

In the last days of 2016, Jim and I sent a handwritten letter to President Barack Obama, a heartfelt plea to him to act in his last days to protect the Elkhorn Ranch. We were inspired to do this after a Christmas winter campout to that area. Here is a two-part series Jim wrote about that campout: Camping at the Elkhorn …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Toward a UNITED States Of All Americans

Anyone who believes this country is — and always has been — great had their confidence reinforced by the climate-changing events that have destroyed so many lives and so much property in the past two weeks. It is not the death and destruction that makes us great, of course. It is the way this country responded to provide help and aid wherever …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Refinery Company Is Still Blowing Smoke, Still Sleazy

Last week, William Prentice, the slickster CEO of Meridian Energy Group, which wants to build an oil refinery 2½ miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park, blew a bunch of smoke up the ass of a young reporter for The Dickinson (N.D.) Press, and the kid, who’s actually a pretty good writer, wrote a real puff piece about how great the …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Blame Humans, Not God

I​ ​hate​ ​the​ ​phrase​ ​“act​ ​of​ ​God.” ​In​ ​legal​ ​usage​ ​throughout​ ​the​ ​English–speaking​ ​world,​ ​an​ ​act​ ​of​ ​God​ ​is​ ​a​ ​natural​ ​disaster outside​ ​human​ ​control,​ ​such​ ​as​ ​an​ ​earthquake,​ ​hurricane,​ ​flood​ ​or​ ​tsunami,​ ​for​ ​which​ ​no​ ​person can​ ​be​ ​held​ ​responsible. As​ ​a​ ​pastor,​ ​I​ ​have​ ​always​ ​found​ ​it​ ​interesting​ ​that​ ​the​ ​only​ ​time​ ​God​ ​ever​ ​makes​ ​it​ ​into​ ​the …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — An Open Letter To Governor Doug Burgum, On The Occasion Of The Greatest Threat Ever To The Little Missouri State Scenic River

Dear Gov. Burgum, Let me quote from the conservation easement you signed for some ranchland you and your friends own in southwest North Dakota’s Bad Lands six years ago: “The Protected Property possesses agricultural, scenic, and historic, and cultural values. The Protected Property is located in the heart of the only Ponderosa pine forest in North Dakota, south of Teddy …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Act Today To Protect The Little Missouri State Scenic River

There are two or three days left in the legislative session. A lot of bad things are going to happen to North Dakota in that short period of time. I’ve been watching every legislative session since 1975, and this one is by far the most irresponsible I’ve seen. One of the worst things that could happen this week is the industrialization …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Blowin’ In The Wind

When my fellow Fish opinionator Tom Davies looks out at his backyard, he sees bald eagles, turkey vultures and courting bunnies. When I look out at ours, I see … plastic sacks. Yes, empty sacks — caught up near the tippy tops of the crabapple tree beside the deck and the maple in the corner. From ground level, one appears …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — State Agency Breaks The Law 600 Times; How Much Jail Time Do You Get For That?

The North Dakota State Water Commission has violated state law more than 600 times in recent years, by issuing permits for industrial use of water (read: fracking oil wells) from the Little Missouri State Scenic River. Employees there claim they didn’t know they weren’t supposed to do that. I believe them. But that’s no excuse. More on that in a …

MARTIN C. FREDRICKS IV: Four The Record — Put Your Sustainable Mind/Feet Where Your Mouth Is

Two Events Bringing Together Friends, Neighbors & Civic Leaders So you say you want to protect the environment. That you’re for clean air, safe water and a livable planet. Mr./Ms. Sustainability… that’s you. Well, then. You need to be at a couple of events coming up in Fargo, N.D., this month. They’re great opportunities to put your environmental action mind/feet where …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Frack You!

After some reading and TV reports on the relationship between fracking and earthquakes in oil county, I’m concerned. Studies have shown that oil extraction by hydraulic fracturing is behind a number of earthquakes in areas not usually associated with seismic activity, especially Oklahoma. There are two forms of man-induced earthquakes. One is clearly related to fracking. Hydraulic fracturing involves the …

MARTIN C. FREDRICKS IV: Four The Record — Green Assault

Safe drinking water. Clean air. Wild lands that maintain plant and animal diversity. The very health of the planet itself. They were all here, in great shape and in abundance before any of us arrived. In my judgment, they should all be here when we turn things over to our children and grandchildren. If you agree, start paying attention. Not …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Fallacies of the Dakota Access Pipeline ‘Argument’

There is a dreary predictability about the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy, especially in the words that come out of people unsympathetic to the protest. I’m listing those I hear most often: 1. There are lots of non-Indians down there. They have no business here. They discredit (here’s the special kicker in this argument) “what otherwise would have been a perfectly legitimate …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Taking The State Back

You are being rescued. Republican state legislators are taking North Dakota back. From themselves. In the immortal words of Stevie Wonder, who used to be a legislator from District 28, “Don’t you worry ’bout a thing, Pretty Mama.” And let me tell you, Al Carlson, another blind legislator, hates being called Pretty Mama. The mama part, anyway. There’s a lot …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Facts You Won’t Hear About The DAPL

Here are some facts that you won’t hear from the pipeline shills and propagandists: • The tribe was not offered millions to allow the pipeline. That planted rumor was denied by Dakota Access Pipeline folks themselves. A stupid rumor considering the pipeline follows an established corridor. • The tribes were consulted by the U.S. Army Corps on the water. Nope. …

Tony J Bender: That’s Life — Protesters Force Bulldozers Off Sacred Site

The following is a report on the events that are unfolding south of Mandan, N.D., near the boundary of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The story is by Tony Bender and his son, Dylan, and appeared today in the Ashley (N.D.) Tribune and Wishek (N.D.) Star. The accompanying video was shot by Dylan, who is a student at Bismarck State College. An …

CLAY JENKINSON: Standing Rock — A Plea To Keep This Pure — And Non-Violent

In the southern heart of North Dakota, we may be witnessing the beginning of a national and international pan-Indian renewal of First Peoples, Indigenous Peoples, Native Americans. Anything that helps rebuild Indian pride, cultural confidence and a firm and solid assertion of Native American rights is a good thing for all of us, for all Americans. It is past time …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — May YOU Live In Interesting Times

Today I am 69. It is a meaningless birthday, in a world and time when numbers that don’t end in zero or five are of little consequence. But it is significant in that I am still here. Males in my family don’t generally live this long. I kind of wish I had planned a little better. But I am grateful to still …

CLAY JENKINSON: I Respect The Protests At Standing Rock

It’s in all of our interests to show respect for the protests now under way at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation (and nearby). I acknowledge that the pipeline company has a right to extend its oil pipeline across the Missouri River (willing buyer — willing seller, the very essence of American capitalism). I acknowledge that the state of North Dakota has …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Who’s Looking Out For The Little Missouri?

I love the Little Missouri River. It is one of the longest, free-flowing rivers in America. In reality, I believe it IS the longest because the Yellowstone, which claims the honor, is full of low-head dams that create little pools and eddies all along its length, even though they don’t create giant reservoirs like the Big Missouri’s dams do. The …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Whither The Meadowlark? A Message For North Dakotans Who Enjoy The Outdoors

Here’s a question for some of you who spend a lot of time in the outdoors in the fall: How was your pheasant season? “Good enough, I guess,” would be my response. All of us who hunt pheasants in North Dakota are loathe to say anything gloomier than that, because saying “It wasn’t all that great” might mean admitting: We …

LINKS TO NEWS YOU MIGHT FIND INTERESTING: Something Is Really Wrong With The USA

Americans have lost confidence in just about everything The USA, Americans say, basically sucks right now. The latest Gallup Poll says Americans over the past two years have lost confidence in, well — name it: Congress (8 percent); the presidency (33 percent); Supreme Court (32 percent); big friggin banks (“institutions” that made $4 billion charging customers for money transactions … 28 …