The Annual Meeting of Badlands Conservation Alliance was held in the Makoche Studios in Bismarck at 1 PM on November 1st with 42 members in attendance. After a potluck dinner with many delicious dishes and luscious desserts brought by members, a short business meeting was held.
Executive Director Jan Swenson gave a report regarding last year’s accomplishments and BCA activities, which are included in this newsletter. She also reviewed the BCA budget. The current balance is $41,886. Upcoming membership dues will augment this budget.
President Connie Triplett gave a report outlining BCA’s continuing work to establish Prairie Legacy Wilderness in the Little Missouri National Grassland and current efforts regarding oil and gas development impacts. She also indicated how BCA testimony had been vital in ND Oil and Gas Division hearings, on State School Land leasing and other conservation measures. This will be Connie’s last year serving on the Board and as President. As Past President she will continue in an advisory capacity for one additional year. Triplett’s "Message from the President" as appeared in the 2014 annual meeting report opens this newsletter.
Mr. Chad Sexton who is the GIS Analyst at Theodore Roosevelt National Park gave a presentation regarding the use of GIS technology to map view sheds within the park. Over 92,000 view shed points have been mapped. The maps will be used by the Park Service at future oil and gas hearings and as regards other proposed projects that impact the Park. TRNP has shared the analysis with the Bureau of Land Management to increase the coordination between federal agencies.
In the open discussion part of the meeting, many issues were brought forth from the floor and were discussed by the membership with regard to information and strategy. The USDA Rural Utilities Service Decision to support routing the Basin Electric transmission line in the Killdeer Battlefield area and through the Long X corridor and across the Little Missouri River was identified as an on-going issue which will have to be watched closely by BCA membership. Difficulty with engineering the planned eastern leg of the proposed transmission loop could lead to further impacts to TRNP. The status of the bridge and gravel pit development near the Elkhorn Ranch of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park is also a major issue that has not been resolved and will bear watching.
Four members were elected to the Board of Directors. Ms. Christine Hogan, a Bismarck attorney, has enjoyed the Badlands since moving to North Dakota from Colorado in 1975. Mr. Craig Kilber is a business development analyst from Fargo and is originally from Dickinson. Mr. David Kingman hails from Minneapolis and now resides in Watford City where he is involved in workforce housing. Finally, Ms. Tama Smith comes to us from Belfield where she owns and operates Prairie Fire Pottery with her husband. We welcome all these new Board Directors and look forward to their ideas and energies.
A special recognition was given to Ms. Valerie Naylor who is retiring from her service as the Superintendent of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Valerie has been a good friend and comrade to BCA in its endeavors to preserve the Badlands and the natural beauty of western North Dakota.
Ms. Naylor presented BCA with a $1,000 gift and pledged to continue her support of BCA as a member. BCA greatly appreciates the support Valerie has provided the organization and we wish her well in her retirement.
The meeting ended with door prizes ranging from jars of jelly to a bottle of “Bison” bourbon being awarded. All in all, the meeting was a great success and it is heartwarming to see so many members from all over the state in attendance. We invite all members to attend the next meeting and look forward to meeting you.
Board of Directors
Download the PDF of Wild Badlands #36.