Unheralded

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — LOCK HIM UP!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019, is the deadline for submitting comments to the Bureau of Land Management on what it should do about the illegal bridge over the Little Missouri State Scenic River in Dunn County, North Dakota. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’re familiar with what I’m talking about. If not, click on this link and …


Unheralded

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Remembering Albert Sickler

Albert Sickler died last week. He was 94. You maybe didn’t know Albert. Let me tell you a little about him. The first time I met Albert (at least that I can remember) was in the summer of 2004, on the front steps of his aging house on a farmstead in Dunn County, N.D., some 25 miles northeast of Dickinson. …


JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Looks Like The Illegal Bridge Is Going To Stay (If You’ve Got Enough Money, You Can Get Away With Most Anything)

It seems like the threats to our Bad Lands never cease. Let’s go back and revisit Wylie Bice. He’s the rogue rich rancher up in Dunn County, on the eastern edge of the Bad Lands, who’s built himself a private bridge on public land, without permission, over the Little Missouri State Scenic River. Now it appears he is going to …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Do We REALLY Appreciate Our Public Lands?

My monthly column in Dakota Country magazine is dedicated to conservation and the protection of our western North Dakota public lands, especially the Little Missouri National Grasslands and Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I’ve been traveling this winter, and I’m going to share some thoughts on public lands and national parks this month. But first … In the January issue of …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — What Does A State Treasurer Do, Anyway?

There’s an old joke North Dakota Republican legislators tell about their worst nightmare: They’re walking down the Great Hall in the Capitol heading for the cafeteria on their short lunch break and they see Secretary of State Al Jaeger coming toward them. Knowing they’re going to get stuck in a boring 15-minute conversation, they pretend they forgot something back at …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — DAKOTA

I’ve got a problem. I need to write a column that is going to be kind of critical of three people I like, and I’m trying to figure out how to do it without making them all angry at me. Their names are Sara, Doug and Marvin. They’re all kind of half-ass friends of mine. And I’m not sure I …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Well, Excuuuuse Me! Not

Let me explain this article before you read it. It is an article that appears in the current (February 2019) issue of Dakota Country magazine. My editor there, Bill Mitzel, is kind enough to let me share my articles with my blog readers who don’t subscribe to Dakota Country or pick it up on the newsstands (although you should subscribe …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Strange Goings-On At The Legislature — I Think I’ll Go West

Before I depart for a month, leaving the North Dakota Legislature to its own devices, I’m going to comment on some of the strange goings-on over at the Capitol. I just can’t help myself. The best adjective to describe this session of the Legislature is weird. Maybe even awful. Much of the weirdness comes in the form of concurrent resolutions. …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Winter Notes No. 4: On Being Named Lillian

I was named Lillian after my maternal grandmother, my Norwegian ancestor. My mother tells me that when they handed me to her upon my birth, she looked down and saw her mother’s face, hence my name. I think I would have been given that name no matter who I looked like, but no matter. My mother loves to tell the …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — No Man’s Life, Liberty Or Property Are Safe While The Legislature Is In Session

It was newspaper editor Gideon J. Tucker who wrote those words in 1866. A bit of an exaggeration, perhaps, but we’re all well-advised to keep an eye on what goes on over at the North Dakota Capitol this winter. I’ve got my eye on a couple of pieces of legislation, one bad and one good, and I expect there will …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — If You’re Going To Talk Like Teddy Roosevelt, You Better Act Like Teddy Roosevelt

I’ve listened to a few State of the State speeches by North Dakota governors — probably somewhere between 15 and 20 — and even had a hand in writing a few of them, so I think I’m qualified to offer a few comments on the one Doug Burgum gave Thursday to the North Dakota Legislature. As they go, his was …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — North Dakota Has Its Own Version Of The Beverly Hillbillies

Here’s an update on the strangest, and most fascinating, story I’ve written in all the years I’ve been writing on this blog. This story appears in the current — January 2019 — issue of Dakota Country magazine, where it reaches a hell of a lot more readers than I have on this blog. But for faithful Prairie Blog readers, welcome …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Some Christmas Poetry: ‘Pure As The Soul Of Christ’

OK, if you came here looking for that sappy poem “Billy Peeble’s Christmas” that I usually put on my annual Christmas poetry blog, you’re going to be disappointed. Even Lillian rolled her eyes when I headed for my office to start writing. She didn’t say much, but I got the hint — aren’t you tired of that by now? Isn’t …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Notice: Comment Period Extended On Forest Service SEIS

UPDATE: The U.S. Forest Service will announce today that it has extended the comment period on the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Oil and Gas Leasing on our Little Missouri National Grasslands. The 30-day extension means comments will be accepted on the Draft SEIS, outlined below, until Jan. 16, 2019. Although the announcement comes Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Day, as …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Watching Out For Our National Grasslands —Protecting The Places We Hunt And Play

There are a million acres of public land in western North Dakota called the Dakota Prairie Grasslands, managed by the U.S. Forest Service. A management plan was written in 2001 to guide Forest Service employees, and in 2003, a “Record of Decision for Oil and Gas Leasing” identified lands open for lease and how oil and gas development should be …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Fracking And Flaring At Van Hook

Here’s an article I wrote for the December issue of Dakota Country magazine, which should be on the newsstands this week. If you’re not already a subscriber, you should be. Here’s the place to go to sign up. They’ve got a Christmas sale going on right now, and the price is right. A year and a half ago, I wrote …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Election 2018: Racists 1, Potheads 0

A couple final (?) thoughts on the Nov. 6 election in North Dakota. * * * * * Did racism play a role in the 2018 North Dakota election? As I’ve said repeatedly over the past few months, North Dakota Democrats needed to focus ALL their messaging opportunities on two topics: Trump’s trade wars and Republicans trying to take away health …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — A Thanksgiving Day Poem

Paging through an old book of poetry, I came across this poem by North Dakota poet Paul Southworth Bliss, from “Poems of Places.” The poems in the book were written as Bliss traveled the country in 1937. This one came from a stop in Oklahoma, which got oil a long time before North Dakota, but the similarities are striking, 80 …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Why The Republicans Control North Dakota Government

Pretty much every political pundit (including me) has declared the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party dead after this year’s election, and the debate continues to rage (well, maybe not rage, but to be discussed) among Democrats about what caused the demise of the party after so many years as a major political force in our state. Most of my friends have …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — John Wishek, ‘Father of McIntosh County,’ Charged With Espionage

This story in our World War I Centennial series is written by Dr. Gordon L. Iseminger, who teaches European history at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. His recent research is on the German-Russians of North Dakota’s McIntosh County during World War I. By Gordon Iseminger Known first as the Great War, World War I broke out in 1914. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Money Can’t Buy Me Love

As the Beatles sang in their 1964 hit, “Money Can’t Buy Me Love,” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s millions of dollars collected in the wake of her vote against Trump Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh weren’t enough to sway North Dakota’s Republican bias, and she took areal thumping in her race against Congressman Kevin Cramer for the U.S. Senate. Midterm elections are notorious …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Dr. Quain: A Hero To Nurses And Savior Of Soldiers

This story in our World War I Centennial series is written by Joseph T. Stuart, Ph.D., associate professor of history at the University of Mary in Bismarck. By Joseph T. Stuart Although the U.S. did not enter the Great War until 1917, a number of Bismarck residents left to serve in the conflict before then, fighting alongside British troops or as …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘The Specter’ Doughboy: Thomas Rogers

This story in our World War I Centennial series is written by Carole Barrett, PhD, professor emerita of American Indian Studies at the University of Mary in Bismarck. Calvin Grinnell is a historian for the Mandan Hidatsa and Arikara Nation in North Dakotya. He is a member and past president of the board of the State Historical Society of North Dakota. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — North Dakota Soldiers Were First-Generation Americans

This story in our World War I Centennial series is written by Joseph Jastrzembski, professor of History at Minot State University. By Joseph Jastrzembski When the great powers of Europe went to war in 1914, they drew not only on their own populations but those of their subject colonies around the globe. This meant that the armies of Europe represented …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — North Dakota Nurses In The Great War

This story in our World War I Centennial series is written by Barbara Handy-Marchello, Ph.D., is a historian and writer for North Dakota Studies who taught Women’s History and the American West at the University of North Dakota for 15 years. By Barbara Handy-Marchello Sarah Sand of Grand Forks was one of nearly 300 nurses from North Dakota who volunteered …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Great War Witnesses Startling Birth Of New Deities

This story in our World War I Centennial series is written by Joseph T. Stuart, Ph.D., who is associate professor of history at the University of Mary in Bismarck. By Joseph T. Stuart It desecularized the state and, instead of religion, made politics the highest expression of human values. The mobilization of entire societies during the Great War dramatically increased expectations …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — North Dakota Rhodes Scholar Was An Eyewitness To History

Today’s story in our World War I Centennial series is written by Tracy Potter, Bismarck, who travels widely with Laura Anhalt and writes in retirement from a career in heritage tourism. He is author of “Sheheke: Mandan Indian Diplomat” and “Steamboats in Dakota Territory.” By Tracy Potter North Dakota’s sixth Rhodes Scholar was David Nelson of Mayville, who went off …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The War That No One Wanted And Everyone Started: The Origins Of World War I

Today’s story in our World War I Centennial series is written by Albert I. Berger, professor of history at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. By Albert I. Berger Europe in 1914 had been at peace, more or less, for most of a century. That was remarkable. Europe had been an arena of war since the destruction of …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Here’s What The Democrats Meant To Say, I Think

You might have seen, or heard reference to, a goofy little ad North Dakota Democrats ran on Facebook the other day about hunters. I think it was only up on Facebook a few hours because the wording was a little unclear, and it was generally misunderstood by those who read it, and the party got a little heat from some …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — World War I Centennial Remembers The Forgotten War

Today’s story in our World War I Centennial series is written by Darrell Dorgan, a documentary film producer from Bismarck who is an Emmy-nominated and award-winning journalist and chairs the North Dakota World War I Centennial Commission. By Darrell Dorgan When I was a youngster growing up in Regent, N.D., there was an elderly World War I veteran who, weather …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Centennial Of ‘The War To End All Wars’

In 2017, the National World War I Centennial Commission asked North Dakota to establish a State World War I Centennial Commission here. All but two of the 50 states had functioning commissions, but North Dakota and South Dakota did not. Darrell Dorgan, a member of the American Battle Monuments Commission, was asked to serve as coordinator. As a member of the …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Last Hunt

I just learned this morning of the death last April of an old friend, a fellow named Tim Williams, from Ohio. I say “friend” even though I only knew him a little. His dad, Tommy Williams, also from Ohio, and my dad, “Doc” Fuglie from Hettinger, N.D., were friends and occasional hunting buddies. Tommy loved to hunt pheasants and ducks …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Sen. Heitkamp? Congressman Schneider? Maybe …

OK, against my better judgment, again, I’m going to weigh in on the 2018 election, just more than a week hence. Here goes. I told Democratic-NPL Congressional candidate Mac Schneider on Thursday that if Heidi Heitkamp wins re-election to the U.S. Senate on Nov. 6, he can expect to head to Washington, D.C., with her, as our next U.S. congressman. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Could A Facebook Screwup Determine Control Of The U.S. Senate?

Wouldn’t it be something if control of the U.S. Senate turned on a couple of misinterpreted Facebook posts by an overzealous supporter of an obscure senator from North Dakota named Heidi Heitkamp? Could happen. Heidi, who I would have rated last week as having at least a 50-50 chance of holding her seat in the Senate, is in big trouble. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Never Mind

Well, that was a waste of time. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a letter to North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak and sent copies to her fellow commissioners,, Randy Christmann and Brian Kroshus, asking them to assume jurisdiction over the Davis Refinery project being proposed for construction beside Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I also wrote here asking …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Ev’s Back!

Getting Bad News (From the Online Journal of Everett Charles Albers, Friday, Sept. 20, 2002) “A few weeks ago — but about 20 days past — I turned yellow, most jaundiced in eye and skin. Damning whatever gods may be, convinced I had somehow contracted infectious hepatitis, I went to see a general practitioner. I did tests, ultra-soundings, CT scans, …

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. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Don’t Do It, Julie; Don’t Back Down

A letter to North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak. Don’t do it. Don’t just blindly accept the recommendation of an administrative law judge to reject the idea that you could assume jurisdiction over the Davis Refinery, which Meridian Energy wants to build three miles from Theodore Roosevelt National Park. That judge based his recommendation on a strict reading of …

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 …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Sept. 11 Thoughts

Note: This is a re-run of something I wrote seven years ago today, Sept. 11, 2011. Yes, it has been a long 10 years. On Aug. 29, 2001, I sat beside my wife’s bed as she looked up at her doctor, exhausted, pale and gaunt after two years of unrelenting chemotherapy, and said, “No more. No more chemo.” Quietly, 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 — Comment Now On The ‘Bridge To Nowhere’

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote here about the proposed new bridge over the Little Missouri State Scenic River north of Medora, N.D., that is being shoved down our throats by a megalomaniac county commissioner who wants to spend up to $20 million of our gas tax dollars on a “Bridge to Nowhere.” At the insistence of the Federal …

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 …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘Honest, Officer, I Thought Owned That Land.’ Wrong

If you read The Bismarck Tribune on Tuesday morning, you read Amy Dalrymple’s pretty good story about Monday’s marathon Little Missouri Scenic River Commission meeting.  I’m going to write more about that later. I’ll just say, for now, be careful what you wish for. What I want to write about today is one of the things the commission discussed Monday …