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Oil drilling threatens solitude of national park

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 22, 2014 at 9:19 am •  Published: June 22, 2014

THEODORE ROOSEVELT NATIONAL PARK, N.D. (AP) — Oil drilling in North Dakota is drawing ever closer to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the Badlands, where the man who would become the nation's 26th president sought solace after his wife and mother both died unexpectedly in 1884.

Today, the vistas that soothed Roosevelt's grief and helped instill his zeal for conservation now include oil rigs and flares used to burn off natural gas.

Oil development is strictly forbidden within the park itself, but park officials worry that the flares, lights and noise from drilling just beyond the protected area are sullying the natural spaces cherished by Roosevelt as a bespectacled young man in his mid-20s.

Nick Lund of the Washington-based National Parks Conservation Association says things that happen outside the park affect the experience of visiting.