Big News For The Bad Lands

(This article first appeared in the February-March issue of Dakota Country magazine, which should be on the newstands now.) I’d like you to take five minutes to read about two non-profit organizations that are doing important work for the North Dakota Bad Lands. Hey, it’s February. It’s cold outside. Get a cup of coffee and … Continue reading Big News For The Bad Lands

So Long, Wayne

North Dakota sits in stunned silence this morning, trying to make sense of the unthinkable loss of a 68-year-old lifetime public servant.             Wayne Stenehjem was my friend for many years—I wonder how many people have said THAT this morning—although that friendship was a little rocky the last few years. The last time we visited … Continue reading So Long, Wayne

‘The Wings Have Come Off This Pig . . .’

If you’ve got any friends or relatives out in Stark or Billings Counties, around Belfield, tell them to start getting ready, because Meridian Energy Group is going to build them a refinery as a neighbor. It’ll be there in just three years, 10 months and 15 days--on Friday, December 12, 2025. That’s what Meridian CEO … Continue reading ‘The Wings Have Come Off This Pig . . .’

Bridges, Oil Wells, And Open Meetings

            I’ve written about the proposed bridge across the Little Missouri State Scenic River north of Medora enough times that I don’t need to go into a lot of background to bring you up to date on the project. I decided last week that I needed a little Bad Lands time, and the Billings County … Continue reading Bridges, Oil Wells, And Open Meetings

One More “Last Dance” For The Sage Grouse?

“I’ve shot probably half a dozen, or maybe as many as ten, sage grouse in my life. I’m likely among a small group of North Dakotans alive today who can say that. And that group is not going to get any bigger. Ever. Because there’s an awfully good chance we’ll never have another sage grouse … Continue reading One More “Last Dance” For The Sage Grouse?

50 Years . . . And Counting

At about 2:00 yesterday afternoon, December 18, 2021, my friend Rick Maixner and I poured a couple shots from the bottle of cognac he keeps stashed at the Sunset Nursing Home in Mandan, North Dakota, and toasted the fact we are still here, 50 years after we walked off the gangplank of the USS Oriskany, … Continue reading 50 Years . . . And Counting

Damn, It Hurts To Bury A Friend

I wrote here a few weeks ago that you can’t really understand Covid-19 until you’ve sat at the bedside of a good friend on a ventilator. I can say now that even then I did not understand it completely until I buried that good friend last week. Until I watched that coffin being slowly lowered … Continue reading Damn, It Hurts To Bury A Friend

Remembering Ardell Tharaldson

I’m thinking today of an old friend, Ardell Tharaldson, who left us ten years ago, December 6, 2011. Our friendship dated back to Democratic-NPL politics in 1972, when he ran George McGovern's campaign for president in North Dakota. An unabashed liberal and rebel, and a pretty darn good poker player, Ardell got dealt a couple … Continue reading Remembering Ardell Tharaldson