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Letter: Western North Dakota land and mineral owners take notice

The North Dakota Industrial Commission is considering expanding policies dealing with private land and mineral owner’s rights. The Industrial Commission is considering a buffer zone from one to two miles around 18 different points of interest, including the Little Missouri River, portions of the National Grasslands, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and all major buttes in western North Dakota, example Bullion Butte, Black Butte, Pretty Butte and White Butte, to name a few.

If this policy is adopted, 11 special interest groups will be forwarded the non-confidential portions of the drilling application for their review and comment.

The groups asking to comment are all state and federal government agencies and officials. They are the director of North Dakota Game and Fish, the State Historical Preservation officer, the director of North Dakota Parks and Recreation, the commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Transportation, the commissioner of the Department Of Trust Lands, the state engineer of the North Dakota Water Commission, the state director of Bureau of Land Management, the superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the supervisor of Dakota Prairie Grasslands, the field supervisor of the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service North Dakota Field Office and the auditor of an affected county.

This is a concern to all land and mineral owners as it is another layer of bureaucratic infringement of private property rights. Comments and concerns can be submitted to the Industrial Commission on or before Feb. 25.

The director of the Department of Mineral Resources is not bound to act on any comment. My concern is then why are we considering the policy? This policy is to be considered and adopted at the March 3 Industrial Commission meeting.

I have the complete draft of the permitting policy and am available to address to questions and concerns.

Sen. Bill L. Bowman, R-Bowman,

District 39