Center for Art + Environment Blog

  • Fractured: North Dakota's Oil Boom

    Where Will the Prairie Chickens Dance?

    April 17, 2013   |   By Terry Evans & Elizabeth Farnsworth

    I’m eavesdropping this morning on a Dakota Resource Council conference call – with permission. Members of the DRC oil and gas task force are discussing their agenda for the coming weeks. Ten people are on the line, sharing information and deciding who will testify about pending legislation in committee hearings in Bismarck. DRC Director Don... View Post

  • Fractured: North Dakota's Oil Boom

    Lynn Helms on the Oil Boom: “It is a world game-changer.”

    April 10, 2013   |   By Terry Evans & Elizabeth Farnsworth

    Introduction: Lynn Helms worked for Texaco and Amerada Hess (now Hess Corporation) before becoming North Dakota’s chief oil and gas regulator in 1998. He is Director of the Department of Mineral Resources of the North Dakota Industrial Commission. Terry Evans photographed – and I interviewed – him in Bismarck on August 31, 2012. Updates to... View Post

  • Fractured: North Dakota's Oil Boom

    Who Will Take Responsibility?

    April 3, 2013   |   By Terry Evans & Elizabeth Farnsworth

    May 2012 The word “sacrament” comes to mind as Terry and I drive into Brenda and Richard Jorgenson’s Box J Ranch north of Tioga on a chilly spring afternoon. A sacrament is an outward sign of invisible, inward grace, and that’s how the Jorgensons see the landscape surrounding us now. They run 100 Black Angus... View Post

  • Fractured: North Dakota's Oil Boom

    Roses and Money: Beneficiaries of the Boom

    March 28, 2013   |   By Terry Evans & Elizabeth Farnsworth

    August 2012 It’s dawn, and I’m walking north on a dirt driveway toward the nearest road where I might find cell phone reception. Terry and I are in the Little Knife River Valley, about 30 minutes south of Stanley. Pheasants – flashes of brown and red – dart through grass wet with dew. Mist shimmers... View Post

  • Fractured: North Dakota's Oil Boom

    The Cowboy Who Used Lamaze

    March 12, 2013   |   By Terry Evans & Elizabeth Farnsworth

    August 2012 Terry and I leave our Williston hotel early one morning and drive east on Highway 1804 to visit an acquaintance who’s supervising a drilling rig not far from New Town. The trip should take about an hour, but we leave double that amount of time. Installing a rig, drilling, and fracking require more... View Post

  • Fractured: North Dakota's Oil Boom

    The High Broken Ash — Part II

    February 20, 2013   |   By Terry Evans & Elizabeth Farnsworth

    June 2011 (continued) Terry and I stand in silence above the oil pad cut from native prairie on the Ash Coulee Ranch in the White Earth Valley of North Dakota. It’s our first close look at the industrialization of sparsely populated, rural land caused by the oil boom. The industry – drilling, fracking, transporting, pumping,... View Post

  • Fractured: North Dakota's Oil Boom

    The High Broken Ash — Part I

    February 14, 2013   |   By Terry Evans & Elizabeth Farnsworth

    June 2011 Before leaving for our first trip to Williston, epicenter of the North Dakota oil boom, I find a book-length poem by Thomas McGrath, “Letter to an Imaginary Friend,” to use as a charm against friends and family who disparage the state as boring, fly-over country. “There’s nothing up there,” some have said. “Why... View Post


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