Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Records of Decision

So far I can find nothing regarding the Records of Decision in the Federal Register.

Record of Decision for the USDA USFS can be found on this page as well as other associated documents.


Senator Hoeven has announced the Record of Decision for USDA RUS, but they apparently haven't yet shared it with the public. This is the link to all project associated documents on the RUS website.


It seems appropriate to mark the day of the transmission line approval with two quotes from two significant figures in US history who had both been at the Killdeer Mountains.
“They claim this mother of ours, the earth, for their own and fence their neighbors away; they deface her with their buildings and their refuse. That nation is like a spring freshet that overruns its banks and destroys all who are in its path. We cannot dwell side by side.” 
― Sitting Bull

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” 
― Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, September 15, 2014

Record of Decision for Basin Transmission Line Follows Hoeven Effort to Bring Parties Together in March New Line Will Bring More Power to Western North Dakota Communities

Sep 15 2014

Record of Decision for Basin Transmission Line Follows Hoeven Effort to Bring Parties Together in March

New Line Will Bring More Power to Western North Dakota Communities

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has signed the record of decision (ROD) enabling Basin Electric Power Cooperative to begin construction on multiple transmission lines in western North Dakota. The ROD was issued by RUS on Sept. 13.
The decision comes following a meeting Hoeven organized in March to bring together Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Rural Utility Service, Forest Service, Central Power Cooperative and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service leaders to help resolve transmission line routing disputes in order to bring more critical power online in western North Dakota. The meeting helped Basin Electric and RUS work through issues concerning the ROD.
This ROD, coupled with other permits previously issued, will bring more power online in western North Dakota by enabling Basin Electric Power Cooperative to begin construction on the Antelope Valley Station (AVS) to Judson transmission line as well as the AVS, Charlie Creek and Judson substations.
“This decision moves Basin’s transmission line project forward and helps our state’s ongoing work to create jobs, grow our economy and develop more energy for North Dakota and the nation,” Hoeven said. “Transmission line projects like this help to build necessary critical infrastructure.”
Hoeven is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Basin Electric gets approval for delayed transmission line

Basin Electric gets approval for delayed transmission line

Basin Electric Power Cooperative has received federal approval to construct a 200-mile power transmission line in western North Dakota.
The power line, which will start at the cooperative’s Antelope Valley Station and end in Tioga, recently went through the federal approval process and public comment periods for sections of the line on federal land. Basin Electric hopes to complete the transmission project by 2017.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service and the U.S. Forest Service have both signed records of decision. Approval is still needed from the Western Area Power Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers but construction can start in areas outside of the two remaining agencies’ jurisdiction.
The cooperative first announced the project in 2011 as to address increased demand in the region. In 2013, a group called the Killdeer Mountain Alliance raised concerns over the transmission line’s proximity to the historic Killdeer Mountain Battlefield.
Mary Miller, a spokeswoman for Basin Electric, said the group’s concerns were taken into account during the federal public comment period. The transmission line was approved before a two-year National Park Service study of five historic battlefields, including Killdeer Mountain, could be completed.
“The approval of this line is a significant step forward in serving the tremendous growth in the Williston Basin and beyond,” Paul Sukut, Basin Electric chief executive officer, said in a statement.
The portion of the line from Charlie Creek Substation west of Beulah to the Antelope Valley Station will be the first constructed, Miller said.
In addition to the 345-kilovolt transmission lines, two new substations and modifications to three existing substations are among other facilities included in the project, Miller said.
“Transmission line projects like this help to build necessary critical infrastructure,” Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said in a statement.
Basin Electric also announced other plans for expanding capacity in western North Dakota Monday. The cooperative predicts the need for an additional 1,800 megawatts of power generation capacity by 2035 and is expanding its natural gas fired power stations to meet it.
The Basin Electric board of directors approved a third phase for the Lonesome Creek Station west of Watford City and Pioneer Generation Station northwest of Williston. The two natural gas powered stations are used during peak hours of electricity use.
Lonesome Creek Station will be expanded to include three more 45-megawatt natural gas turbines. The stations first unit started operation on Dec. 1, 2013. Two other units are under construction and set for completion this year. The expansion will bring the station to six units total.
Pioneer Station’s expansion will add 112 megawatts of additional peaking capacity. Pioneer Station Unit 1 started operation in Sept. 2013, the second unit started Feb. 1 and Unit 3 started March 1. The third phase will bring total generation at the state to 247 megawatts.
Construction of the third phases are slated for late spring 2015 and should be completed by June 2016.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

For Immediate Release: July 26 All-Day Family-Friendly Event in Dunn Center Commemorates Killdeer Mountain History and Conflict of 1864 (Dunn Center, ND)

Dunn County Historical Society & Museum / 153 Museum Trail, Dunn Center, ND / PO Box 145, Killdeer, ND 58640dunncountymuseum@ndsupernet.com / www.dunncountymuseum.org

Contact: Jennifer Strange 541-944-4131/jlstrange@hotmail.com


For Immediate Release: July 26 All-Day Family-Friendly Event in Dunn Center

Commemorates Killdeer Mountain History and Conflict of 1864 

(Dunn Center, ND) –Learning activities for all ages, a panel discussion and a noon roast bison banquet will be featured at the Dunn County Historical Museum in Dunn Center on Saturday, July 26. “150 Years Later: Commemorating the Killdeer Mountain Conflict” is sponsored by the Dunn County Historical Society & Museum. Co-sponsors are the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.


All activities are open to the public and free of charge, with donations appreciated. 


The Killdeer Mountain Battle, which took place on July 28, 1864, was one of five Dakota Territory Civil War conflicts. "On that date, General Alfred Sully led U.S. Army troops against a gathering of Teton, Yanktonai and Dakota Indians in retribution for earlier, unrelated battles that happened in other parts of the Northern Plains," said program coordinator Jennifer Strange. “The Killdeer Mountain conflict changed the course of the people and history of the region.”


The commemoration will focus on education, equality, inclusion and mutual respect across cultures. "Everyone will feel welcome," said Deb Lancaster, event co-planner and Dunn County Historical Society Oral Historian. "Here’s something that happened right in our back yard and a lot of people don’t really know much about it."


The conflict plays in important role in Dakotans' shared history, said Diane Rogness, Historic Sites Manager of the State Historical Society of North Dakota. “For many, the conflict seems a long time ago. But for the Dakota or Sioux people, the story is still fresh. They have heard their grandparents speak of the battle and the soldiers."


July 26 Schedule—Dunn County Museum Grounds, 153 Museum Trail, Dunn Center


· 9am MDT (10 am CST) - Welcome and Continental Breakfast

· 10am MDT (11 am CST) - Flag-raising Ceremony

· 10:30 am MDT (11:30 am CST) - Panel: “The History and Spirit of Killdeer Mountain”

· Noon MDT (1 pm CST) - Roast Bison Banquet

· 1:30 pm MDT (2:30 pm CST) - Educational Fair

· 4:30 pm MDT (5:30 pm CST) - Flag-lowering Ceremony


Panelists will discuss the Civil War-era battle and the broader history of the Killdeer Mountains from Native American, U.S. Military and settler perspectives. Panelists include Rogness, Fort Yates Tribal Historian LaDonna Brave Bull Allard and Dean Pearson, board member of Prairie Trails Regional Museum. 


The Educational Fair will include a KidZone with Native American games, crafts, and tipi setup; Tipi Storytelling; a Civil War campsite; flintknapping demonstrations; a Dunn County Writers workshop/open mic; narrative sketching lessons for all ages and a Veterans’ table.


Nathan Good Iron and two other Standing Rock Sioux Veterans will raise and lower the flag, oversee the Veterans Table and join in the Tipi StorytellingGood Iron is a member of the state’s only four-generation family of military veterans. His story has appeared in The Washington Post and other publications. 


Event Supporters: Hinrich’s SuperValu, Ardent Services LLC, Quality Mat Company, United Tribes Technical College, SM Fencing & Energy Services, Inc., North Dakota Humanities Council, North Dakota Humanities Council. Friends of the Event: Sample Auto Sales, First International Bank & Trust, Dakota Community Bank, EconoFoods. Thanks also to Wrenches R Us Truck Repair, Southwest Business Machines, Nana Lil’s, Larry Pavlenko & Sons, Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing, Baker Boy, Knife River Indian Villages, Jerry Banks, City of Dunn Center. 


For a full schedule of the free public event:www.dunncountymuseum.org.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Section 106 Consultation Meeting Transcript

Section 106


"There are only 383 of these battlefields that the Park Service has mapped to this extent, and that's out of a universe of over 15,000 engagements of the Civil War. So you might consider it the top maybe 3 percent of the nation."
"... I hope, currently available to everybody, is our most conservative map of what we feel the entire extent of the battlefield is, which is the study area; where the bloodiest conflict was in the core areas, but there's conflict in the entire study area. It's just where the core is is considered the heaviest conflict, and it gives our preservation partners someplace to begin where they're thinking about buying or preserving land with easements or purchases. So it's a priority one of the high priority, if you will."
"Those maps that were drafted nationwide were sent out to partners who asked to be part of the process, but especially out to all the SHPOs in the nation. They all had an opportunity to look over these maps and help us refine them to the best of their abilities. If they had other partners they could recommend to help us get those maps down as accurately as possible, they would recommend it. And we spent some years, actually, working together to try and get the info out as accurately as possible."
Kris McMasters of the ABPP, NPS


Antelope Valley Station to Neset Transmission Project, Mercer, Dunn, Billngs, Williams, McKenzie, and Mountrail Counties, North Dakota

USDA Rural Utilities Service issued a Final EIS that evaluates the environmental impacts of constructing, operating,
and maintaining a proposed transmission line and associated facilities in western North Dakota. DOE's Western Area
Power Administration, a cooperating agency, would modify its existing Williston Substation to allow a connection of the
proposed new transmission line to Western's transmission system.  
Project information is available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/UWP-AVS-Neset.html