The Badlands Conservation Alliance Board of Directors held its winter retreat on January 17-18, 2015 at the Logging Camp Ranch. The Logging Camp Ranch is located 25 miles south of Medora on the Little Missouri River and has one of the few stands of Ponderosa Pine in North Dakota. The hosts were John and Jennifer Hanson who have been very welcoming of BCA in the past. The following Directors were in attendance: Rich Brauhn, Lillian Crook, Christine Hogan, Craig Kilber, David Kingman, Lynn Morgenson, Tama Smith, and Connie Triplett. Jan Swenson, BCA Executive Director and Bonnie Palecek, the BCA grant writer, were also in attendance.
New officers for 2015 were elected: Christine Hogan (President), Craig Kilber (Vice President), Lynn Morgenson (Treasurer), and Rich Brauhn (Secretary). Connie Triplett was recognized for her outstanding service as the past president and will remain on the Board in an advisory capacity for one year.
The Tortuga Foundation has again included BCA in their grant program, and new funds were received from Friends of the Badlands, the World Wildlife Fund, Patagonia Gear, and the National Parks Conservation Association. BCA also benefits from funding through the ND Community Foundation. Most importantly, membership dues and contributions remain key to our funding opportunities. BCA has sufficient funds to maintain its operation at the same level as last year but needs to broaden its funding base in the future in order to be expand our influence and outreach.
The Board focused on growing opportunities resulting from BCA’s coalition building efforts, both within the North Dakota conservation community and with national organizations. It is the Board’s intent to focus on proactive measures while sustaining our watchdog status on public lands issues. Furthermore, a concerted effort is planned to broaden public education, bringing a heightened awareness of western North Dakota landscape and wildlife impacts to eastern North Dakota citizens.
Ongoing issues were presented to the Board by Swenson and will be watched closely during the upcoming year. These issues include the ongoing construction of the Basin Electric transmission line south of the Killdeer Mountains and through the Highway 85 corridor, proposed expansion of Highway 85 to four-lanes through the Eye of the Needle, possible development of the gravel pit east of the Elkhorn Ranch Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park on the USFSmanaged Elkhorn Ranchlands, applications to use Little Missouri River water near the Long X bridge for industrial use, and all such future oil and gas development impacting the National Grassland, all units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and ND state lands. Swenson will also be monitoring the 2015 legislative session and is registered as BCA’s lobbyist.
Members are urged to follow these issues and report any activity which might negatively affect the Badlands. The Board spent quite a bit of time strategizing how to meet these challenges.
The Board Committees were organized for the upcoming year.
- Funding and Development: Craig Kilber (Chair), David Kingman, Connie Triplett and Bonnie Palecek
- Education Committee: Tama Smith (Chair), Lillian Crook, and general member Tom Schmeichel
- Communications Committee: Rich Brauhn (Chair), Craig Kilber, and Lynn Morgenson
President Christine Hogan is an ex-officio member of all the committees.
These committees will be calling upon the general BCA membership for ideas and support during the upcoming year.
The Board Retreat proved to be most beneficial and provided the framework for the upcoming year’s activities and action. Members are invited to contact Board members with their input and ideas.