Conservationists hope to start 'conversations' about western ND energy development

Feb 2, 2018

Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Badlands Conservation Alliance and the North Dakota Wildlife Federation want to get a conversation started on oil, gas and energy development in North Dakota.

The two groups have produced a film called “Keeping All the Pieces,” in an attempt to get more public interest in the topic.

The groups say there's no planning document for development, or for reclamation.

"We have 14,000 wells now, and we're on our way to 50,000 to 60,000," said North Dakota Wildlife Federation past President Mike McEnroe. "What do we want out of this, 20, 30, 40, 50 years from now?"

Alliance Executive director Jan Swenson said oil development in the Bakken happens without a plan, and without regard to the Badlands and grasslands of western North Dakota. She said people need to get involved now.

"If we do not as a public, as North Dakota people, engage on this issue, and become vocal about it, we will lose it," Swenson said.

The group plans to get this message out statewide, in hopes people will comment more on the energy development plans. Swenson and McEnroe said the groups also hope to engage state government agencies in the conversation.

North Dakota Wildlife Federation former President Mike McEnroe and Badlands Conservation Alliance executive director Jan Swenson at a Bismarck news conference.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public