Amy Dalrymple is a Forum News Service reporter stationed in the Oil Patch. She can be reached at email@example.com or (701) 580-6890.
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NEAR CANNON BALL, N.D. — The confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers is considered so sacred to tribal communities that enemy tribes once camped within view of each other but remained peaceful because of their reverence for the water and the land. That's how the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe describes the area where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross the Missouri River.
BISMARCK — Former North Dakota U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon will represent the Standing Rock Sioux tribal leaders who have been sued by Dakota Access LLC for protesting the pipeline construction. Chairman Dave Archambault II and council member Dana Yellow Fat are among several defendants named in a civil case filed last week in federal court in Bismarck by Dakota Access. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants are interfering with pipeline construction north of the reservation.
ALEXANDER, N.D. — Abandoned campers from across the Bakken line up end to end in a McKenzie County salvage yard. The RVs, some burned or damaged and others with kitchen supplies still in the cupboards, were once in demand for oil boom workers who needed housing. But as oil activity slowed and many workers left the area, the discarded campers wind up at TJ's Salvage along U.S. Highway 85. "We're still getting lots of campers and it's gradually getting worse," said owner Tom Novak.
BISMARCK — An early proposal for the Dakota Access Pipeline called for the project to cross the Missouri River north of Bismarck, but one reason that route was rejected was its potential threat to Bismarck's water supply, documents show. Now a growing number of protesters are objecting to the oil pipeline's Missouri River crossing a half-mile north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, which they argue could threaten the water supply for the tribe and other communities downstream.
CANNON BALL, N.D. — Numbers are growing at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest, with overflow camp sites set up late Monday and additional pipeline opponents expected to continue arriving. "We're ready for 5,000 campers," said Joye Braun, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network. "People are coming from all over the world."
BELFIELD, N.D. — The North Dakota Department of Health is investigating an oil spill on a western North Dakota butte where oil is seeping out of a hillside. Denbury Onshore discovered a spill on July 18 at an oil and gas well about 15 miles northwest of Belfield. At the time, the spill was estimated to be 2 barrels, but is much larger than the company initially thought. Karl Rockeman, director of the Division of Water Quality, said late Friday that oil was discovered to be seeping out of the hillside in multiple locations.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. — To Jeff Van Hooser, the scenic drive through the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park is 14 miles of joy. The smaller unit of the park attracts fewer visitors than the South Unit in Medora, but those who do venture north near Watford City say the park offers a peaceful setting with dramatic vistas. "It's a lot more rugged and rustic," said Van Hooser, an interpretive ranger in the North Unit. "There's a peaceful serenity."
WATFORD CITY, N.D. — Research underway at Theodore Roosevelt National Park aims to help scientists better understand bison in order to conserve the species. Researchers recently collected tissue samples from 100 bison in the north and south units of the park that will be compared with bones and fossils collected in North Dakota, said Bill Whitworth, chief of resource management for the park. The goal of the project is to better understand the genetic diversity of the American bison, officially named the national mammal earlier this year.
WILLISTON, N.D. — North Dakota oil production fell 2 percent in June to less than 1.03 million barrels per day, the Department of Mineral Resources said Friday. Low oil prices are the reason for the slowdown, which is now projected to last into at least the third quarter of this year or into the second quarter of 2017, Director Lynn Helms said in his monthly update. Companies completed 44 new oil wells in June, bringing the number of wells that have been drilled but waiting on fracking crews to 887.
WILLISTON, N.D. — Williston crew camps will be required to close by Sept. 1 under an ordinance approved Tuesday, but operators could seek permission to reopen in the future if a demand for oil worker housing returns. The Williston City Commission voted 5-0 Tuesday to phase out temporary workforce housing, giving companies until May 1, 2018, to remove facilities and until Aug. 1, 2018, to clean up the sites.