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North Dakota Reclamation Conference focuses on oilfield spills and cleanup, surface rights and legal issues

Oilfield spills and cleanup, and land surface rights and legal issues are among the topics for the fourth annual North Dakota Reclamation Conference, which will be held Feb. 22-23 at the Astoria Hotel and Events Center in Dickinson.

The North Dakota State University Extension Service, Dickinson State University, Society for Range Management and BKS Environmental Associates Inc. are hosting the event, which is titled “Reclamation: Where Do We Go From Here?”

“Landowners, farmers, ranchers and other surface users, community leaders, oil industry staff and reclamation contractors will have an opportunity to discuss issues and strategies for managing and enhancing natural resources disturbed by the production of the region’s oil and gas resources,” says David Saxowsky, NDSU Extension associate professor and a speaker at the conference. “This is an opportunity to reflect on experiences from the past several years and to collectively envision future practices.”

The conference begins at 5 p.m. Feb. 22 with registration. At a welcome reception from 6:30 to 8, keynote speaker Kathy Neset of Tioga-based Neset Consulting Service will discuss oil development-related issues in North Dakota from a private oil and gas consultant’s perspective.

The Feb. 23 program starts at 8 a.m. and is divided into three major sessions: ground and surface water, site-specific reclamation plans and surface spill remediation. Participants will be able to attend all three.

“Oil and gas development occurred so fast over the past five years that reclamation planning was often forgot about in the project development or addressed at the last minute once the reclamation process began,” says NDSU Extension rangeland management specialist Kevin Sedivec, also a conference speaker. “This led to poor success of many reclamation projects, most often due to lack of communication at the beginning of a project.”

Conference presenters include NDSU researchers and Extension specialists, and representatives from the North Dakota Health Department, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. The program also includes a landowner panel discussion and trade show.

The registration fee for the conference is $75 if paid by Feb. 12 and $90 after that date.

–NDSU Extension


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