Earlier this week the North Dakota Attorney General’s office filed suit against the National Audubon Society seeking to force them to sell about 263 acres of the 2,000 acre Edward M. Brigham III Alkali Lake Sanctuary located about a dozen miles northeast of Jamestown.
The lawsuit alleges the Audubon Society is in violation of North Dakota’s Corporate Farming laws.
I thought a few photos I took last year at the sanctuary might be in order.
Evidently tree swallows know where to roost to be safe. Wait, they’re not hunted, they’re safe everywhere.
I’m not 100 percent sure what this bird is but I know he missed the day they explained the principles of camoflage during the evolutionary process.
And it is not just birds that use the sanctuary.
Here is my humble thought, we continue to lose habitat and places to view wildlife to residential and industrial development. Isn’t it proper to set aside some land for the enjoyment of people who like to observe wildlife.
The column ran in the Prairie Post Aug. 11, 2009. Additional content added.
Frank Lenz was born in 1867 with a case of wanderlust. His vehicle of choice for seeing the world was a bicycle.
After a number of lengthy trips in the eastern United States, little jaunts like bicycling from New York to New Orleans, he set out on a grand excursion in 1892. He was going to ride around the world and record the trip with his camera. His journals and photographs of the trip were published each month in Outings, a sporting and travel magazine of the era.
After an enthusiastic send off in New York on June 4 he headed west. We don’t know the exact date but sometime that summer he arrived in the Jamestown area.
Lenz traveled from Minneapolis to Aberdeen before heading north to travel along the Northern Pacific at Jamestown. He relays the roads from Aberdeen to Ludden were good but from there the roads “continually came to vanishing points.”
There were bicyclists here on the prairie in 1892. Lenz relates that from Oakes to Glover he had the company of seven or eight “wheelmen” from Oakes.
And he relates the lack of roads between LaMoure and Jamestown. The magazine article says the roads were most often grown over with grass and the wheel tracks in some of the trails were so deep the pedals of his bicycle would strike the sod. His only stop was in Dickey where he spent the night at the section house, a building used by railroad crews, the only place in town.
The next morning he set out angling northwest over roadless prairie until he found a trail leading north. He followed it until he “coasted at a tremendous speed down into Jamestown in the James Valley.” He describes the businesses as being of substantial character and the homes as handsome. If he took photos they have not survived.
At 9 a.m. he left Jamestown for the west. It is possible some of the 25 wheelmen he mentions as living in Jamestown accompanied him part of the way towards Bismarck and points west.
Lenz’s account of his trip up the James River Valley was reported in the December issue of Outing magazine. Given the delays in mail and publishing Lentz was already bicycling across China by the time America read about his trip through Jamestown.
And for 15 months his journey continued. His last dispatch to Outing came in December 1894 from Tabriz, Persia. He was never heard from again. His publishers feared for his safety writing Persia, known now as Iraq, was “infested with brigands.”
In May 1894, with assistance from the British Embassy, a body was recovered that was tentatively identified as Lenz. The crime was blamed on local tribesmen some of who were found to be using bicycle tires as cinches on their saddles.
Outing magazine, with a backlog of articles written by Lenz, ignored news of his death until 1896 and continued his monthly articles.
I’m guessing the roads in central North Dakota didn’t seem so bad in light of how the trip ended.
If you read the Jamestown Sun, and if you got to this blog you most likely do, you know the state of North Dakota is attempting to force the sale of some of the land owned by the National Audubon Society and operated as a wildlife refuge or sanctuary northeast of Jamestown.
The portion of the property in question is 263 acres of a parcel totaling more than 2,000 acres. It is a popular place with birds, deer and other wildlife and the people who enjoy watching and photographing them.
It also is home to a lot of wildflowers, if you happen to be there at the right time.
This is a photograph of some prairie smoke I took at the refuge last June. More to follow about the refuge and the lawsuit as time goes on.
The word has just come down and it appears the elk overpopulation problem at Theodore Roosevelt National Park will be solved with volunteer hunters from North Dakota who possibly get to take home some of the meat.
Good news for the hunters of the area but I think it will still be a tough license to get. The programs goal is to harvest 275 elk per year.
And even the hunters that get drawn shouldn’t start worrying about what wine goes with elk sausage.
The rules say all elk carcasses harvested by hunters become the property of the state of North Dakota or other approved organizations.
The state, or other unnamed organization, can then give the meat to whoever they wish, including the volunteer hunters.
Sen. Dorgan, who has been a driving force behind these rules, said he will work to ensure the meat is in fact turned over to the volunteer hunters who want to retain it.
This column ran in the Aug. 4 edition of the Prairie Post
When things are illegal there isn’t much quality control and there is no one to complain to if you think the goods are a little less than you ordered.
Take, for example a prohibition case that came up in July of 1909 in Jamestown that all seemed to result from a Fourth of July celebration in Streeter.
George Wardell, George Nash, Bert Dorner and Fed Wolfe, all of Streeter, came before Justice Carr in court on the charge of blind pigging or selling alcohol during prohibition.
State’s Attorney Thorp had prepared a pretty tight case (pun intended) with 13 witnesses called against the defendants.
A Northern Pacific agent from Streeter produced documents and testified that up to 480 gallons of alleged beer had been shipped to Streeter prior to the Fourth of July.
Along with the railroad agent a number of participants at the celebration testified. In all the weight of evidence of was so strong that Wardell, Dorner and Nash all pled guilty to the charges. Wolfe requested a trial that was scheduled for a later date and apparently not covered by the Jamestown Alert.
For their crime Wardell was sentenced to 90 days in jail with a $200 fine. He said he didn’t have the money to pay the fine so an extra 15 days in the county lockup was substituted. Nash was also sentenced to 90 days with a $200 fine but evidently had the cash to pay the fine. Dorner, probably a lesser participant in the crime, got a 30 day sentence and a $200 fine.
Quite the sentences for a relatively large scale violation of the state’s prohibition laws even if the alcohol was evidently of questionable quality.
Some of the Streeter celebrants testified they had purchased beer and others testified they didn’t did not know what the liquid was but supposed it was beer because that is what they’d ordered.
But the questionable liquid must have been pretty popular. In the raid sometime after the Fourth celebration 16 cases and 12 and a half barrels of beer were confiscated. That totals to something between 200 and 250 gallons of the original 480 gallons of alleged beer.
So while the Fourth of July celebrants of Streeter may have questioned what they were drinking, they did manage to manage to consume close to 250 gallons of it.
Probably just an old fashioned Fourth of July celebration in a small town a century ago.
Maybe someone knows the story behind this photo on display at the Lutz Mansion, Stutsman County Museum.
The photo is mounted, along with a broken altimeter, on a small board. Evidently a homemade display.
I believe the plane is a post World War I biplane. Hats and attire of the men around the plane are consistent with a 1920s era. Other than that I, and apparently the museum staff, know nothing about the situation.
But I got to believe there is a heck of a story to go with it.
Leave me a comment or give me a call if you have any information, or even speculation, on what was happening here.