Center for Art + Environment Blog

March 21, 2013   |   Terry Evans & Elizabeth Farnsworth

The Fractured Prairie

Fractured: North Dakota's Oil Boom

Here is the confluence of the Missouri River and the Yellowstone River looking as if Lewis and Clark might suddenly appear, as they did on April 25, 1805, on their voyage of discovery. Lewis wrote:

“I ascended the hills from whence I had a most pleasing view of the country, perticularly of the wide and fertile vallies formed by the missouri and the yellowstone rivers, which occasionally unmasked by the wood on their borders disclose their meanderings for many miles in their passage through these delightfull tracts of country….

South of me the whol face of the country was covered with herds of Buffaloe, Elk & Antelopes…”

More than two hundred years later, Elizabeth and I are on our own journey in North Dakota to explore the oil boom. If only my discoveries of the landscape were “delightfull” like those of Lewis! Here are my pictures of the altered landscape, the fractured fracked prairie, along with the still beautiful confluence of the two rivers.

Confluence of Yellowstone and Missouri River, October 2011. Photo by Terry Evans.

Confluence of Yellowstone and Missouri River, October 2011. Photo by Terry Evans.