“The park has become an island in the sea of development” of the underground Bakken rock formation, Fuglie said.
Winthrop Roosevelt and other family members want a buffer zone around the park to mitigate the effects of development on the land where President Roosevelt developed his conservation ethic. One way to do that would be for President Obama to designate a national monument on the government land near the park. But getting Obama to do so is something of a long shot.
Ross Lane, the director of the Western Values Project, a conservation group, said Jewell’s comments Thursday echoed the sentiments of a lot of Westerners.
“There’s certainly a place for oil and gas development in North Dakota; it’s certainly part of the economic portfolio,” Lane said, “but we also need to look out for future generations.”
Jewell said Obama was ready to act to protect public lands, but she called on Congress to take the lead.
“This landscape, which inspired President Roosevelt and still inspires visitors today, is a big economic engine for the region,” Jewell said during her visit to the park in August. “It’s also a powerful reminder that, even as we bear witness to a production boom in the Bakken, there are places important to America that are too special to drill and must be protected for future generations.”