Happy New Year?

OPINION: A Time To Reflect

I recently took a solo trip to Western North Dakota on a whim to visit my cousin Tayler.  I say solo, but of course, I had the Brit with me.  I thought a little spontaneity and long drive would give me some time to reflect on this year’s happenings.

Time flies . . . it really does.  Where did 2011 go?  Time’s swiftness leads to a rollercoaster of events.  It would be nice if we all found more calm waters in 2012.

With the gloom and doom economic reports coming from Washington, it is harder to follow in these parts.  We might not see the full extent.  Luckily, the Minnesota lakes area seems to maintain some way and not always realize the nation’s worst issues.

With national networks touting Western N.D. for opportunities and communities shipping their unwanted to Williston, who could forget the oil boom.  It is only the beginning, and I disagree with those who say it is just a phase.  I think it is spreading and will be around for awhile.

As I drove west, I couldn’t help but think about what that meant for conservation (I always seem to dwell on the boring).  I was astonished by the activity.  I saw four-door Fords everywhere.  Sure, it is big country, but the landscape is certainly spotted with the bobbing steal of oil rigs.

Once a mainstay of native prairie, N.D. is quickly changing.  Williston reminded me of the old west Deadwood gold rush days (comparing it to my recollection of the HBO series, which probably isn’t very accurate).

I’m not saying the oil boom is a bad thing.  I welcome most economic opportunities, however, I simply ask the question . . . what will it all mean for the outdoors?  With the boom in the infant stage and growing, fast, where will it go?


Things will have to change.

I’m hardly even mentioning the CRP issue, which I am sad to say might be a lost cause.  Congress failed to pass the Farm Bill, and we will all have to wait and see how that impacts us.

Increased Activity . . . Decreased Habitat . . . Political Roadblocks . . . I don’t like it.

Sorry . . . this diatribe is a result of leaving me alone to my own thoughts.  Hopefully, we can get some things done in 2012.  If nothing else, the outlook should motivate all outdoorsmen to be proactive.

Conservation is important and affects us all.

Matt Soberg


Copyright 2011 Backwoods Revolution

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