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North Dakota regulators are offering to settle a complaint against the Texas-based developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline....

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota regulators are offering to settle a complaint against the Texas-based developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

    Energy Transfer Partners is accused of improperly reported the discovery of American Indian artifacts during construction of the $3.8 billion pipeline that began moving North Dakota oil to Illinois last month. No artifacts were disturbed. North Dakota's Public Service Commission in November proposed a fine of at least $15,000. Under state law it could levy fines of up to $200,000.

    The commission on Monday offered a settlement under which ETP would make a $15,000 "contribution" to the State Historic Preservation Office or another mutually agreed-upon entity. The company would not have to admit fault. ETP didn't immediately comment on the proposal. The company has 10 days to accept the offer.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The federal government has halted the drilling of oil wells near a North Dakota resort boat ramp at the request of the Three Affiliated Tribes.

    The Bismarck Tribune reports that the well site is separated from the Van Hook Resort boat ramp by a barrier wall. The site is located about 800 feet from Lake Sakakawea.

    Tribal Chairman Mark Fox says the tribe appealed the federal permit of the drilling site because it violates tribal setback requirements from the lake. The drilling site falls within the boundaries of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

    The Interior Board of Land Appeals is an appellate review body of the U.S. Department of the Interior. It has delayed the project in response to the tribe's appeal last week.


    BISMARCK, N.D. - Gov. Doug Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford met Friday with Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara (MHA) Nation Chairman Mark Fox and other tribal leaders in New Town, N.D. to identify areas of opportunity for government-to-government collaboration on issues ranging from water rights, taxes and law enforcement to addiction, historic sites and tourism.

    The governor and lieutenant governor, along with nine cabinet officials, Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger and Bank of North Dakota senior executive Kelvin Hullet began the daylong series of meetings and cultural events in New Town by attending a ceremony honoring Vietnam veterans. The ceremony, which included a small-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, honored five Fort Berthold residents, including three enrolled MHA members, who are inscribed on the wall.

    "These Native American service members made the ultimate sacrifice," Burgum said. "We are grateful to join the MHA Nation to honor their legacy."

    Following the ceremony, Fox, Burgum, Sanford, North Segment Councilwoman Monica Mayer, M.D., and Councilmen Mervin Packineau and Fred Fox spent more than two hours discussing a range of issues including water rights, tax and law enforcement issues and ensuring tribal interests are considered during policymaking.

    Councilwoman Mayer also lead the MHA First Annual Good Medicine Addiction Summit two days prior, which included a keynote address by First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum. The governor and first lady have made addiction a top priority, and are hosting a daylong "Recovery Reinvented' event Sept. 26 in Bismarck aimed at discussing innovative ways to find solutions for addiction, treatment and recovery in North Dakota.

    "A variety of important topics were discussed, and we agreed that open dialogue and commitment to collaboration and transparency will help ensure a productive approach to coordination on issues of mutual interest," Burgum said.

    "The MHA Nation is very honored to have hosted the meeting with Governor Burgum and executive-level leadership of the state," Fox said. "This forum provided a great opportunity to discuss and seek resolve on issues that impact our tribal nation and the State of North Dakota. Continued efforts like this will make a significant difference in fostering a positive government-to-government relationship in the future. I commend the governor and his staff."

    Following the meetings, the state officials joined tribal members at nearby earth lodges for an exhibition of Native American dancing and cultural traditions that showcased men's, women's and children's dances performed during traditional powwow celebrations.

    The meeting with MHA follows a state tribal engagement meeting with the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians on July 21 in Belcourt, N.D. The daylong meeting included discussions on law enforcement, a panel on addiction including a keynote by the first lady, youth and community issues, and a ribbon cutting for the tribe's Heritage Center.

    Gov. Burgum and staff will be meeting with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council today as part of ongoing tribal engagement. A visit with the Spirit Lake Nation is also in the planning stages.

    The first meeting of the new interim legislative Tribal Taxation Issues Committee will be held Aug. 31 in Bismarck. The committee's voting members include legislative leadership, and ex-officio members include the governor as chairman, lieutenant governor, Indian Affairs Commission Executive Director Scott Davis and Rauschenberger. The committee will meet with all of the tribes to discuss tax revenue agreements, human services, education, corrections, economic development and other issues.

    "We have the opportunity to genuinely engage on a government-to-government basis, collectively strengthening our tribal communities across North Dakota. Our goal is to listen, learn and understand each tribe's individual challenges and opportunities so that we may move forward toward greater mutual respect, harmony and prosperity," said Burgum.


     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Drought in North Dakota this summer is likely to reduce the number of ducks available to hunters in the fall. A Game and Fish Department survey concluded duck broods are down 5 percent from last summer. Officials cite a longer-term trend of less grassland habitat and fewer wetlands this year. The amount of water available to ducks was down 38 percent from last summer.

    Migratory Game Bird Supervisor Mike Szymanski says early season duck hunting probably won't be as good as normal. He says hunters will be more reliant on ducks coming out of Canada later in the fall.

    The number of those migratory birds is hard to predict. Game and Fish is estimating an overall fall duck flight in North Dakota that's down 8 percent from last year.



   (Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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