North Dakota Says Public Can’t Comment on Drilling Proposals Affecting Private Land Including Impact on White Butte

The North Dakota Industrial Commission says the public will not be permitted to comment on proposals to drill on private land including White Butte. The issue was raised last fall when North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem listed 18 “extraordinary places” in the state where the public could comment on proposals to drill. One of those places was White Butte. The proposals raised concern over whether the public could comment on private development. There are no plans to drill immediately near White Butte which is well south of the Bakken formation which is where drilling is focused.


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Concerns Over North Dakota Mineral Lease Auction Impact on White Butte as 17,000 Acres in Slope County Are Up

An auction of 54,000 acres of land for mineral leases on public land throughout North Dakota (with by far the biggest section being 17,000 acres in Slope County) is scheduled for Tuesday, August 6, in North Dakota has prompted various organizations to express concerns about its potential impact on wildlife and the state’s landmarks including White Butte, Bullion Butte, and Pretty Butte.

Included in the auction are rights to drill in Stewart Lake National Wildlife Refuge. which is about 12 miles southwest of White Butte.
White Butte is well south of the Bakken Formation, which is the source for North Dakota’s oil and gas boom. The auction is just on public land. Private landowners can sign their own agreements.

Among those expressing concerns are the North Dakota Game and Fish Department which has written comments about public lands that may subject to additional rules.

Discussion group of Slope private owners

Specific tracts included in the auction (xls)


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Amidon, North Dakota Loses Title of Country’s Smallest County Seat

Amidon, North Dakota
Amidon, North Dakota, the “Gateway to White Butte”, has lost its title of the smallest county seat the United States.

Amidon, population 20 in the 2010 census, has now been surpassed or rather undercut by Gann Valley, South Dakota, population 14. Amidon is now considering having its own city hall by the end of the year. Amidon’s smallest sign is still there though.

Note: Wikipedia says it is the fourth smallest behind: Mentone, Texas (population 19), the county seat of Loving County, Brewster, Nebraska (population 17), the county seat of Blaine County, Nebraska, and Gann Valley, South Dakota (population 14), the county seat of Buffalo County, South Dakota. Brewster is the only community that is incorporated so Amidon is now second to Brewster in terms of incorporated communities.


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Youtube Video of White Butte Rattlesnakes

Mark Kalinowski has a remark youtube video showing the rattlesnakes on White Butte.
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Dog Advice in the Smokies




Mount LeConte Lodge With Pigeon Forge Below

Originally uploaded by americasroof.

The Washington Post has this advice on dogs in the Smokies.

The national park does allow dogs in campgrounds, picnic areas and along roads, including scenic overlooks — but pooches must be on leashes no longer than six feet. Dogs are also permitted on the Gatlinburg Trail and the Oconaluftee River Trail. For people with pets, the park also recommends Mount Rogers and the Pisgah forest, among other national areas, and Kain suggests Shenandoah National Park, where dogs can trot along all but 20 miles of trails (out of a total 500 miles), and Grandfather Mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountains.



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Peter Thompson’s Geology of Highpoints


Peter Thompson at the University of New Hampshire has an elegant and comprehensive description website about the geology of the highpoints of each state.


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State County Highpoints

County Highpoints is the defacto website and forum for highpointers. Once you visit the 50 states, you’ve caught the bug and next logical spot are the 3,500+ county highpoints.
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50states.com State Profile

50states.com has great information summarizing each state.
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Official Summit Benchmark Datasheet Histories

Richard Carey at peakbagging.com has put together a very useful list of summit benchmark information as well as the official U.S. Government datasheets on the history of the benchmark.
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U.S. State Highpoint Trip Reports

Post your trip reports here.
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