Dakotas Completed and the Dry Conditions Continue

Written by Rob Spangler
Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rob SpanglerWe’ve finished stratum 43 in North Dakota and conditions continue to be really dry. Wetland conditions improved around Bismarck and Dickinson, but overall they are still poor with many basins dry or at 20-30% capacity. I am very fortunate to have Jon Klimstra, my observer, with me this year and this is the driest he has seen it over the past few years. Additionally, the vegetation is still behind from the late winter and many of the ponds that exist are vacant or have low waterfowl densities. It is possible the birds kept flying north to nest in the excellent conditions found to the north in Canada. Oil and gas development has really taken off with many oil drilling rigs, pumps, tanks and roads spreading like wildfire across the landscape and we can’t help but wonder what the long term effects will be.

Somewhat better conditions near Bismarck, N.D. but still pretty dry.  In addition to oil and gas development, wind turbines are popping up in many locations.

Somewhat better conditions near Bismarck, N.D. but still pretty dry. In addition to oil and gas development, wind turbines are popping up in many locations. Photo Credit: Jon Klimstra, USFWS