The Annual Fall meeting of the BCA was held on November 1, 2015 at the Discovery Center of the Bismarck Dakota Zoo. Forty members attended including the following Board members: Christine Hogan (president), Rich Brauhn, Lillian Crook, Craig Kilber, Lynn Morgenson, and Tama Smith. Also in attendance were Jan Swenson (executive director), Connie Triplett (past president), and Bonnie Palecek (grants person). After a pot-luck dinner and introductions, the business meeting was convened by President Hogan at 2:05 PM CST.
A. Minutes of the November 1, 2014 Annual Meeting read and approved.
- Motion to approve the minutes was made by Jim Fuglie, seconded by Debi Rogers; motion approved unanimously.
B. Annual Financial Report
- Executive Director (Jan Swenson) outlined the financial report which was provided in the documents given to the membership. The report covers the period from December 31, 2014 through October 24, 2015.
- Jan reported the following figures: Total Receipts-$129,006.79; Total Expenditures-$30,850.68; Balance remaining for unrestricted use-$54,320.11.
- A question was raised regarding whether the gift from the Tortuga Foundation would be continued. Jan informed the group that the family owned foundation has or will soon be changing directors. The Tortuga Foundation Board will be meeting in November and BCA should have an answer regarding continued funding by the end of the year.
- Motion to approve Financial Report made by Connie Triplett, seconded by Mary Ann Brauhn; motion approved unanimously.
C. Comments from President Hogan:
- President Hogan acknowledged all the work that Jan Swenson, Executive Director, has done on behalf of BCA.
- She further commented that conservation groups in North Dakota will have greater impact on tempering the oil play and preserving natural resources in the coming years because of all the groundwork done by these groups and with growing national awareness.
D. Report by Past President, Connie Triplett:
- EPA enforcement priorities will include looking at the negative impact of effluent and emissions from oil production and refining.
- The practice of self-reporting of emissions and effluent will be re-examined.
- The EPA has sent out an alert to the energy industry regarding compliance of emissions and effluent regulations.
- The North Dakota Department of Health has oversight of this regulation and will need to enhance their efforts in this regard.
E. Report from the Executive Director, Jan Swenson:
- Board member Craig Kilber and BCA member Tom Schmeichel were recognized for their efforts organizing the Elkhorn Ranch camping outing which included several young people from Fargo.
- There will be public meetings in Belfield and Watford City regarding the proposed widening of Highway 85 from Belfield to Watford City. This likely will include proposed widening of the highway through the Long X bridge area and the eastern edge of the North Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Also jeopardized will be the proposed Wilderness areas Long X Divide and Lone Butte. BCA members are urged to attend these meeting and express their concerns regarding the negative impacts on the Park, adjacent National Grasslands, and the environment in general.
F. Election of Board Members:
- Board member Tama Smith counted the ballots for the three Board positions open and reported that the new Board member would be Laura Anhalt and that two former Board members, Lynn Morgenson and Rich Brauhn, were re-elected for their second terms.
Break: 2:45-3:00 PM
G. Presentation of Tangible vs. Intangible; Values and Vision by Wendy Ross, Superintendent of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP):
- Jan Swenson introduced Superintendent Ross as a valuable partner in BCA’s efforts to preserve the Badlands and noted the excellence of her appointment as Superintendent.
- Superintendent Ross explained that her vision of large scale landscape conservation would be her theme during the upcoming 100 year anniversary of the National Park Service.
a. This vision would include tangible and intangible values and include such projects as preserving natural sound, viewsheds, and dark skies in TRNP.
b. There will be opportunities during the centennial of the National Park Service to form new partnerships to preserve TRNP as the “cradle of conservation” in the United States from which President Roosevelt drew inspiration and formed his conservation ethic.
1) A question was proposed to Superintendent Ross regarding the status of the proposed Little Missouri River crossing near the Elkhorn Unit of TRNP. Ms. Ross explained that no new sites had been added and the crossings at the Elkhorn Ranchlands site have been deleted from the options. The remaining alternatives are under EIS development and public meetings are expected in the spring of 2016.
H. Rod Fried from the Dakota Zoo welcomed the BCA Annual Meeting attendees.
- Mr. Fried pointed out that the Dakota Zoo provided funding and staff support for such projects as the raptor rehabilitation center at the zoo, ferret reintroduction in South Dakota, and Mexican Wolf reintroduction in the Southwest.
I. Door prizes with a “Be” theme awarded at the end of the meeting. Also, some additional “Tangibles and Intangibles”:
- Scott Ross - Medical Bag
- Larry Dopson - Bug Repellant
- Eve Suchy - Bear Bell
- Chris Dopson - Bird Feeders and Suet
- Tracy Potter - Book by Paul Bogard
- Sarah Vogel - Book entitled “Fractured Land”
- Buel Sonderland – Owl (bird) Plant Stand
- Larry Heilmann - Head Lamp for Bathroom Use When Camping in the Badlands
- Christine Hogan - Broom for Tent Cleaning
- Lillian Crook - Bent Tent Peg Replacements
- Mary Ann Brauhn - Book on Animal Tracks
- Debi Rogers - Hanging Wall Vase
- Betty Morgan - Badlands Coaster
- Bonnie Palecek - Glass Bowls
- Jim Fuglie - Night Sky Pottery Wine Cup
- Connie Triplett - Night Sky Pottery Wine Cup
The meeting adjourned at 3:50 PM CT.
Respectfully submitted by Rich Brauhn
Board Member and Secretary
November 3, 2015
After adjournment of the formal meeting, interested BCA members remained to participate in an hour-long open discussion of current issues.