Anderson: Will North Dakota's oil boom lead to a duck bust?

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 7, 2012 - 9:20 AM

The race to drill for oil is breaking up North Dakota's grasslands and wetlands, with severe consequences for the state's plentiful wildlife, especially ducks.

  • 16
  • Comments

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BCanniffOct. 6, 12 7:17 PM

Small price to pay. We need the oil much more than the ducks.

bahgtoohOct. 6, 12 7:27 PM

"But government budget cuts and record-high commodity prices, together with the advent of genetically modified crops, are prompting many U.S. farmers -- including many in duck-rich North Dakota -- to pull out of CRP and similar programs. Just this month, North Dakota had a net loss of 642,000 CRP acres that likely will fall to the plow next spring." Funny how the 'record high commodity prices' is really codeword for 'record high CORN prices' that are 'causing' farmers to plant corn instead of CRP. Those record high CORN prices are because the FEDERAL GOVT IS MANDATING 40% OF OUR NATIONS CORN CROP INTO GAS TANKS. And farmers are leveraging the current drought in corn country into next years forecast. The farmers are smart. This author is avoiding this inconvenient truth and focusing on oil drilling.

doots799Oct. 6, 12 9:34 PM

The oil boom will eventually end, as it has in the past, and the ducks will return. As stated, the ethanol industry is of much more concern to me.

rhankinsOct. 6, 12 9:44 PM

Can Minnesota ship them some geese as replacements?

paulTandbergOct. 6, 1210:47 PM

The body of the article states that approximately 8% of the northern prairie's duck population nest in the Oil Patch and could possibly be affected by its ongoing development. That means 92% of the northern prairie's ducks nest elsewhere and are affected by developments that occur in areas other than the Oil Patch. Yet the headline reads "Will Oil Boom Lead to Duck Bust?" What the heck is up with that skewing of the story? 8% of the nesting area is "disrupted" by some extra truck traffic on roads that are separated by a mile or more is the big worrisome headline? While 92% of the duck nesting habitat is threatened elsewhere by the loss of CRP acres, wetland drainage, and Canadian farming practices that are not subject to our will? And the big, fat headline is what again? Oh yeh, The Big, Bad, Oil Patch is Messing With Our Ducks. Dennis, you came up with a crock this time. Good Grief!

oxboardOct. 7, 12 6:53 AM

8%? was out there a couple months ago and noticed that most of the production areas were dry anyhow. and saw farmers were cutting crp and ditches.

pdf123Oct. 7, 12 7:00 AM

Excellent coverage. Shows the need for hunters to get active in the fight against climate change, a threat to wildlife itself. With our unique, on-the-ground perspective of how limiting our fossil fuel use and production could benefit wildlife and land conservation, We have much to contribute. Of course, it will help our own interest in hunting. I am grim as I read the article for my twin daughters, who are turning eight in a few days. I took them duck hunting for the first time this year. There will be other game to hunt, but opportunity for waterfowl will surely dwindle, from everything I'm seeing.

splinedOct. 7, 12 7:26 AM

If you like ducks and pheasants, avoid ethanol and contribute to politicians that support ending blending mandates.

kathleenobOct. 7, 12 7:52 AM

8%, private land....severe consequences for the state's plentiful wildlife. Seriously, they can't even spin the truth here. More big bad oil.

tkk1980Oct. 7, 12 8:26 AM

"Can't drill on WPAs" is inaccurate. The FWS has no minerals on these federal lands in this part of the state (all reserved at purchase), drilling on WPAs during this boom has been avoided by negotiations with the oilco's, similar to that on easements.


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