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Energy Reclamation Workshop Feb. 20-21 in Dickinson
North Dakota Ag Connection - 02/08/2018

Energy development impacts are farther reaching than the well site, pipeline or wind turbine, impacting landowners, wildlife populations and plant communities.

The sixth annual North Dakota Reclamation Conference, "Reclamation: Unique Perspectives," will provide insight on the importance of successful reclamation to wildlife and plant communities. It will be held Feb. 20-21 at the Astoria Hotel and Events Center in Dickinson.

The North Dakota State University Extension Service, Dickinson State University, Society for Range Management, BKS Environmental Associates Inc. and U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service are hosting the event.

The conference begins with registration at 3 p.m. Feb. 20. A trade show opens at 5 p.m. and the keynote speaker will speak at 6:30 p.m.

N.D. Sen. Kelly Armstrong, Dickinson, is the keynote speaker. Armstrong serves on the Natural Resources and Judicial committees. He will discuss the legal issues associated with oil and gas development.

"Reclamation is important to North Dakotans, as we have a proud outdoor heritage, and it is important to landowners and sportsmen that energy development is happening in a responsible manner," he says.

Armstrong will discuss the steps that have been taken to help landowners navigate the reclamation process.

"It's important that landowners are able to easily navigate the process and get the assistance they need," he notes.

The Feb. 21 program starts at 8 a.m. and is divided into three major sessions: wildlife, monitoring and "going back to the basics," which focuses on the fundamentals of reclamation. Participants will be able to attend all three.

"When we discuss reclamation, we often don't look beyond the impacts to the surface, so these sessions will provide a broader perspective of reclamation," says Miranda Meehan, Extension livestock environmental stewardship specialist.

Conference presenters include representatives from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, North Dakota Department of Trust Lands, North American Coal, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and private industry.

"To achieve the conservation outcome of keeping additional species from needing federal protection, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is actively working with industry, state, landowners and other organizations to implement conservation efforts that remove stressors and enhance wildlife habitat," says Kevin Shelley, supervisor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Ecological Services Division in Bismarck.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is tasked with reviewing energy development projects to ensure that impacts to wildlife protected by the Endangered Species Act and the Bald and Gold Eagle Protection Act are addressed to the extent possible.

The registration fee for the conference is $75 if paid by Feb. 8 and $90 after that date.

For more information, visit www.ndreclamation.com or contact Meehan at 701-231-7683 or miranda.meehan@ndsu.edu; Toby Stroh, assistant professor of agriculture at Dickinson State, at 701-483-2185 or toby.stroh@dickinsonstate.edu; or Brenda Schladweiler, president and reclamation specialist at BKS Environmental Associates, at 307-686-0800 or bschladweiler@bksenvironmental.com.

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