Attorney at Law Magazine – Twin Cities Edition
Authors: Norm Baer and Kristin Rowell
“Fracking” – the process of extracting oil from shale formations through the use of hydraulic fracturing.
We are all aware of the economic boom occurring in western North Dakota as a result of the redevelopment and vast expansion of the oil patch through the use of fracking. You may have heard that as a result of the oil boom, unemployment sits around 1% (or less) and North Dakota is enjoying such a budgetary surplus that they considered ending the state’s property tax.
Less well known is that the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation sits in the heart of North Dakota’s oil patch. Fort Berthold is what remains of the traditional territorial lands of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Ankara tribes. It consists of approximately one-million acres and includes about 600 miles of shoreline on Lake Sakakawea – the source for most of the millions of gallons of water used every month in fracking operations.