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Black Footed Ferrets Found Dangerously Close to North Dakota’s Bakken Oil Fields

A recent report from the International Energy Agency projects that the U.S. will be the world’s largest oil producer by 2020.  Industry Experts point to the hydraulic fracturing technologies that have opened the Bakken oil reserve in North Dakota as an abundant new resource as the cause for this rosy prediction.  This American renaissance in energy production is a classic example of technology, markets, and private property working together to create abundance.

The energy industry might find comfort in the Bakken oil reserve’s location under privately-owned land.  However, I noticed a story from an obscure news site over the weekend that should worry anyone who is interested in utilizing North Dakota’s abundant resources – especially all those who are flooding to North Dakota to find high-paying jobs in the oil industry.

Although it is difficult to prove, environmental conservation organizations have learned how to manipulate the Endangered Species Act to enforce land-use restrictions by secretly introducing species into areas that they want to function as protected habitat.  I have learned that anytime you read a story where a species that is considered severely threatened mysteriously shows up, that you should be worried.  Just last week it was reported that a new population of black footed ferrets were spotted just a little over 100 miles south of North Dakota’s booming oil patch.  The reporting on this story has all the hallmarks of this being an artificial plant by an environmental group:

The discovery of black-footed ferrets where none were known to exist has encouraged but not surprised federal officials on a mission to bring the endangered species back from the edge of extinction.

An adult and two juvenile ferrets were discovered last week on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. A Nebraska environmental consulting company spotted and photographed the critters during a nocturnal spotlight survey of a prairie dog town.

Stop!  Re-read that last sentence.  Environmental consulting companies are typically the ones who have these serendipitous encounters with endangered species.  It wouldn’t be surprising to also discover that the same environmental consulting company that spotted these ferrets is also heavily involved in reintroducing captive-bred ferrets into suitable habitat.  On that note, you have a group that is likely using federal money to breed and reintroduce this species back into the wild also mysteriously discovering a new “wild” population of this species in the middle of the night, and was lucky enough to have captured photographic evidence???  It isn’t too hard to connect the dots here.  Read on:

The masked mammals were found about 70 miles north of the nearest colony of reintroduced ferrets on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.

Initial speculation by the tribe and the spotters was that the Standing Rock ferrets were a long-lost colony, but that’s unlikely, said Pete Gober, coordinator of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s national ferret recovery program.

“It would be remarkable if they were an undiscovered population because we’ve chased a lot of leads for decades and we haven’t found one since 1981,” he said.

I don’t know Pete Gober, but you’ve gotta hand it to him for showing some skepticism here.  Unfortunately, most Fish and Wildlife Service employees are in “look-the-other-way-mode” when it comes to questionable activity surrounding endangered species.

Now this instance occurred on an Indian Reservation, and so this artificial ferret introduction could also be a way for the tribe to attract federal dollars.  However, if I was working for the oil industry in the Bakken oil fields, I would keep my eye out for black footed ferrets and the environmental consultancies that might be introducing them into the “wild” in order to turn one of our country’s most abundant resources into restricted endangered species habitat.

About Hailey

I paint, therefore I am. "What little thinking I do is my own, and I do it on government time." -Edward Abbey

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