Friday, June 21, 2024
No menu items!
Google search engine
HomeNewsProposed North Dakota resource management plan expected this summer

Proposed North Dakota resource management plan expected this summer

By Kim Jarrett | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – The Biden administration will release a Resource Management Plan for North Dakota sometime this summer based on public feedback, the Bureau of Land Management said, but some are raising concerns about how the plan would affect the state.

The draft plan released last year cost the state millions, including $34 million in oil and gas revenues alone, the state’s congressional delegation said in a letter asking the agency to revise the draft plan. 

The Bureau of Land Management oversees 58,500 acres of surface in North Dakota that are “scattered and intermingled with state and privately-owned minerals,” Rep. Kelly Armstrong and Sens. Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven said in the letter. The agency also manages 4.1 million acres in the western third of North Dakota of the Federal and Indian Trust mineral estate. 

“When federal agencies like the BLM impose restrictions, they inevitably dilute or cut off the development of resources not under their control,” the lawmakers said. “More than anything, federal preemption of state and private rights is our central concern with the draft RMP.”

The plan could also harm schools, the delegation said. 

“Upon statehood, the federal government set aside large tracts of land to North Dakota to produce revenues for the building and provisioning of schools, colleges, and universities.” they said in the letter. “The BLM’s preferred alternative under the draft RMP will jeopardize significant income streams for the state’s schools. In just one of a number of examples the state identified, a state-owned section situated in a highly productive area of the Bakken oil field may never be developed and cost the Common Schools Trust Fund a minimum of $50 million.”

Bureau of Land Management officials had no comment on the letter, but agency officials said the preferred alternative is “B.”

The plan “would provide opportunities for minerals and energy development with the most restrictions in terms of areas closed to fluid minerals leasing and major stipulations (i.e., no surface occupancy), as well as areas unacceptable for coal leasing…,” the plan states. “This is because Alternative B is the most proactive in promoting conservation and recovery of threatened and endangered and other special status species, as well as protecting other social and scientific values.”

The Bureau of Land Management said it has four specific purposes in creating the plan for North Dakota. One is to provide opportunities for mineral and energy development on lands administered by the agency, conservation and recovery of threatened and endangered species, recreation and management for other “social and scientific values,” the agency stated in the document.


- Advertisment -
Google search engine

Most Popular

Recent Comments