When a young Theodore Roosevelt owned and operated a cattle ranch in the badlands of western North Dakota in the 1880s, the landscape was a remote wilderness. Sixty years later, when the area around his ranch was protected as part of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, it quickly became a destination for travelers looking for unspoiled vistas and abundant wildlife.
Today, things are different. Western North Dakota is experiencing a boom in oil and natural gas production, and the landscape around Theodore Roosevelt National Park is seeing a massive influx of rigs, well pads, trucks, pipelines, and roads. The oil and gas boom has altered the experience of visiting Theodore Roosevelt, and threatens the values for which it was protected.
This past summer, journalist Tara Lohan toured the country to witness the impacts of oil and gas development firsthand, and spent time in western North Dakota. Her photographs and experiences have been collected here in a GeoStory–an interactive platform that combines maps with stories and photos so that viewers can visually explore places and issues. See the impact of energy development on the area around Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and learn more about how the national park air, water, wildlife, and visitor experience are threatened by widespread oil and gas development.
If you liked this story, you might also like:
- Reducing the Harmful Impacts of Oil and Gas Development Near Theodore Roosevelt National Park (November 11, 2013)
- Fracking and National Park Wildlife (May 28, 2013)
- National Parks Deserve to Be Protected from Oil and Gas Development (April 25, 2013)