The Cass County Wildlife Club has unanimously passed a resolution endorsing the Prairie Legacy Wilderness proposal that would protect about 40,000 acres in the Little Missouri National Grassland from development.
Proposed by the Badlands Conservation Alliance, the plan would designate portions of Bullion Butte, Kendley Plateau, Long X Divide, Twin Buttes and Lone Butte in western North Dakota as wilderness. Also designated would be 5,410 acres in the Sheyenne National Grasslands of southeast North Dakota.
Livestock grazing, hunting and all non-motorized activities would still be permitted. The proposal would affect only one-tenth of 1 percent North Dakota.
In a news release, the Cass County Wildlife Club said it urges Gov. Jack Dalrymple and North Dakota’s congressional delegation to carry the proposal to Congress, which must approve the wilderness designation before it can take effect. The Cass County Wildlife Club said it also opposes opening section line right-of-ways in areas of the Badlands now managed as roadless and eligible for wilderness. Section line roads would make the areas ineligible for wilderness designation.
Based in Casselton, N.D., the Cass County Wildlife Club was established before the 1950s and has more than 200 members.
For more information on the Badlands wilderness proposal, click here and scroll down to the “Prairie Legacy Wilderness” window.
A project to capture and fit elk with radio collars is scheduled for today and Thursday in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park near Medora, N.D.
The radio-collar project marks the beginning of the maintenance phase of the park’s elk management plan, the Park Service said in a news release. The park in 2010 and 2011 used “trained volunteers” to reduce elk populations that had become too high.
“We have completed the reduction phase of our elk management program,” Valerie Naylor, park superintendent, said in a statement. “However, we must continue to monitor and maintain the population. Collaring some of the elk will help us to achieve that goal.”
The National Park Service has contracted with Leading Edge Aviation of Lewiston, Idaho, which will provide a specially trained helicopter crew to locate elk and net them from the air. Biologists then will place radio collars on the elk and release them immediately. Between 17 and 21 programmable GPS collars will be deployed.
The radio collars, each with a lifespan of five to seven years, will transmit data that will allow park biologists to monitor elk location and movement, shedding light on preferred habitats and aiding in efforts to monitor the population.
For more information on the park’s Elk Management Plan, click here:
An outdoor recreation enthusiast from Dickinson, N.D., has launched an online petition drive to bring awareness to the impact the state’s oil boom is having on recreation, tourism, wildlife and agriculture.
Marc Landblom said the petition drive is necessary because too little is being done to protect the Badlands and other public lands. The impact of the oil boom, he said, has been a “disaster” for North Dakota’s wild places.
“Oil wells are being placed near campgrounds, on top of the Maah Daah Hey Trail and near the National Park boundaries,” Landblom said. “Wildlife is being pushed around or out of their habitats and being replaced by well locations, roads, substations, etc.
“I realize that I sound like a tree hugger. But this is the truth.”
Landblom said the petition has attracted attention across the state and even led him to Washington, where he addressed the issue on Capitol Hill.
“It has caught the attention of a few outdoor and recreation groups and brought them together to address the issues locally,” Landblom said of the petition. “And it has allowed individuals to stand up and speak out in defense of our public lands. But there are still many people in the state that don’t know about the petition.”
If you’re interested in signing the petition, click here: