BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Minot Daily News, Minot, Aug. 7, 2013
Drink, but be responsible
North Dakota has quickly risen up the ranks of the top oil-producing states in the nation, with the state sitting at No. 2 behind only Texas. The state's rising population has also likely contributed to another boom in North Dakota: We are the top beer-drinking state in the nation.
According to the Beer Institute, which represents the beer industry, North Dakota's 21-and-older population of 509,226 people chugged approximately 45.8 gallons of beer per-capita in 2012, nearly two gallons more than second-place New Hampshire's 43.9 gallons. The other top five states were Montana (41 gallons), South Dakota (38.9 gallons) and Wisconsin (36.2 gallons).
The states with the lowest levels of beer drinking were Utah (20.2 gallons), Connecticut (22.1 gallons), New Jersey (22.4 gallons), New York (22.4 gallons) and Maryland (23.2 gallons).
North Dakota had plenty of beer drinkers before the oil boom started in the western part of the state. But certainly the mostly male workforce that has arrived in the state has undoubtedly helped boost the state's beer consumption. The Beer Institute said the nation-leading suds swilling contributes $512 million a year to North Dakota's economy.
Obviously there are North Dakotans over the age of 21 who aren't drinking 45.8 gallons of beer each year, so that means there are some folks living here who are drinking more than their share. In all seriousness, that's not necessarily a good thing, considering increased drinking almost certainly boosts the state's levels of arrests for drunk driving and alcohol-related accidents.
Let's hope those who helped North Dakota become the top beer-drinking state in the nation always remember to drink responsibly. Relaxing after a hard day's work with a few cold ones is one thing, but never forget the need for personal responsibility and that means making sure you have a safe ride home if you've been drinking.
The Bismarck Tribune, Bismarck, Aug. 1, 2013
Finding right solutions for Theodore Roosevelt Park's horses
The wild horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park are a remarkable presence in the stunning Badlands' landscape. Like the elk and bison in the park, they dramatically populate a snapshot of the natural world. They are a treasure that we have an obligation to care for.
The wild horses, like the bison and elk in the park, pose complicated and challenging management issues.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park has just come off a controversial reduction in the elk herd, in which animal numbers in the park were lowered through a series of controlled hunts. Periodically, park buffalo are gathered and some are shipped to herds on Indian reservations in the region. This fall, a wild horse roundup will take place, with an auction to be held in Wishek on Sept. 28.
The wild horse roundup and auction appear to be the best solutions among difficult choices. There's a fear that some of those auctioned animals will end up in a slaughterhouse. In 2009, when the last auction was held, eight of 77 animals sold ended up slaughtered, according to wild horse proponents.
Key to finding "good homes" for the wild horses is to have enough willing buyers who are committed to taking care of the animals. The park wants to roundup and auction about 100 horses out of about 200 in the park. To that end, two Facebook pages have been developed by private individuals to promote the wild horses: Wild In North Dakota and North Dakota Badlands Horse.