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Golden Valley News
Beach, North Dakota
July 13, 2017     Golden Valley News
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July 13, 2017
 
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By Richard Volesky teers, and 180 rentable guest rooms. 318 units, and he said he therefore Editor/Reporter The result would be a net increase of couldn't make a recommendation to MEDORA - The Theodore Roo- 86 rentable rooms over the current the City Council as to whether that sevelt Medora Foundation on July 6 facility, according to a copy of the part of the project should move for- pressed the City Council for approval proposal, ward. of plans to replace the 212-room The proposed units would be di- For the TRMF, a pressing issue Bunkhouse facility, vided into what's been dubbed the relates to the timeline of a contractor The Bunkhouse is a worn out fa- "north site" of 82 units, and the that would be involved. Randy cility, the TRMF says. Its replace- "south site" of 318 units. The 82-unit Hatzenbuhler, TRMF president, also ment would be a vacant lodge, or portion previously went through the told the council that the lodge's man camp, from Williston, which review of the city's zoning board, owner has run out of time to make would be moved to Medora. Once in while the rest ha s not. The next zon- the sale. The July 6 discussion indi- Medora, and if it's entirely put into ing board meeting is scheduled for cated the sale deadline was July 7. place, the facility would provide July 18. The council meeting, with some 220 rooms for the seasonal housing As of July 6, Mike Njos, city en- other business included, eventually of 282 TRMF employees and volun- gineer, hadn't seen the plans for the covered about three hours as proce- dures for moving the TRMF project of things are covered," said Mayor forward were debated. Todd Corneil. One issue was that 318-unit part Jack Marquart, TRMF project of the project hasn't been reviewed manager, said that to move forward, by the zoning board. If the council the TRMF at first would like approved that portion, then the coun- to "switch out" the same number of cil would be circumventing the usual units that already exist. None of the zoning procedure. Another issue was units would go into use until May that a development agreement be- 2018, he said. tween the city and TRMF wasn't yet Sandra Kuntz, city attorney, who written. Also, a study of the city's la- would be writing the development goon capacity is under way, but a la- agreement, was absent from the goon report is n't expected to be done meeting. until Aug. 7. "No one in my mind is trying to A development agreement is delay," said Corneil. "I feel it's in our needed to be sure that the "city's end best interest to have our own consul- tation (with Kuntz) before we move forward." Corneil then decided to try to reach Kuntz by phone, and she joined the meeting that way. Kuntz explained that cities use de- velopment agreements because in such cases, if it weren't for develop- ers, cities wouldn't incur such devel- opment related costs. Such costs can include attorney and engineer fees, and if a project doesn't go forward and there is no development agree- Project (Continued on Page 6) I By Richard Volesky gued that he shouldn't owe anything. Editor/Reporter He said the cattle shouldn't have DICKINSON - A judge has ruled been seized. that the Billings County sheriff ap- "I'm not a criminal your honor," propriately seized a rancher's 31 cat- said Gawrylow. "I'm a victim." tie, but also decided the rancher does Gawrylow's argument relate d to not have to compensate the county his contention and his reading of the for the animals' care. law involved. He noted that to be re- The July 10 order is from South- sponsible for the cost of the animals' west District Judge Rhonda Ehlis. care while they were seized, he first ,The case involves rancher Ed would have to be convicted of a re- ZGawrylow, Sheriff Pat Rummel and lated crime. Billings County State's Attorney Jay Ehlis agreed. The law says to be iBrovold. The case dates back to Feb. responsible for any cost, an animal's 12, when the sheriff asked that the cat- owner is responsible only upon con- :tie be seized, viction. '. The cattle since then were in the "Gawrylow has not been con- icounty's custody and taken care of at victed of animal neglect or abuse, or ia feedlot, even animal cruelty," Ehlis said in "The court does find that the her order. "There is not, to the court's seizure was appropriate given the knowledge, any pending criminal lack of water and appropriate feed case regarding these cattlgpending for the livestock," Ehlis said in her before the court. The state admitted July 10 order. "The state, however, is that they have not brought criminal willing to now return the animals to charges against Gawrylow. Because Gawrylow, but wants to sell some of they have not convicted Gawrylow, the livestock in order to pay their Gawrylow is not yet required to costs." repay the costs of the seizure of his At a July 5 hearing in Dickinson, animals." Rummel testified that as of July 1, The county also argued that the the county incurred costs of sheriffs department has a lien on the $11,493.84 for the care of the live- animals: However, Ehlis added that stock. Brovold asked that some of before a lien could be in effect, there the cattle be sold to cover that cost, also needed to be a conviction. and that the remainder be returned to Brovold had argued that the word Gawrylow. conviction may mean something Gawrylow, at the July 5 hearing, Cattle who was representing himself, ar- (Continued on Page 6) Part of dland bl By Richard Volesky Editor/Reporter GRASSY BUTTE - As of Mon- day, July 10, a blaze named the Magpie Fire covered about 5,100 acres and was about 15-percent con- tained. The Dakota Prairie Grasslands office, a part of the U.S. Forest Serv- ice, received a report of smoke at about 4:30 p.m. on July 8 in the area of the Magpie Campground. "Approximately 60-percent of the fire is located in McKenzie County and the remaining 40-per- cent is located in Billings County," Treva Slaughter, public affairs offi- cer for the USFS told the Billings County Pioneer. The cause of the fire was unknown as of July 10. Widespread rain was predicted for the night of July 10, but as of press time whether such would have an effect on the fire wasn't known. About 90-percent of the fire is lo- cated in a USFS Inventoried Road- less Area, and the fire progressed through the rough country north into some private holdings. As of July 10, no homes were being threatened by the fire. In a joint statement, Nancy Veres, McKenzie District ranger, and Shan- non Boehm, Medora District ranger, said they appreciated the "tremen- dous effort and teamwork" of the firefighters from the McKenzie and Billings County fire departments, and the North Dakota Forest Serv- ice, working alongside the federal firefighting teams. Also among those responding were firefighters from the National Park Service, and a re-' sponse team from Minnesota. Slaughter said the safety of the firefighters and members of the pub- lic is the number one priority in wildland fire management and re- sponse. To that end, the Maah Daah Hey Trail system has been closed from Bennett Campground located in the McKenzie Ranger District to the Elkhorn Campground located in the Medora Ranger District. The clo- sure will include access to the Maah Daah Hey Trail from the Bennett Trail. Also closed to public use is the Whitetail day use campground and Magpie Campground. "We ask all members of the pub- lic to stay clear of the closed areas until further notice. In addition, please note that drones, when flown over or near wildfires, threaten the safety of firefighters and the effec- tiveness of wildfire management op- erations. There is a temporary flight restriction in place for all fixed-wing and rotor aircraft n& in direct sup- port of fire suppression activities for the airspace over the active fire," said Slaughter. Field corn in Stark County is showing the effects of the dry, Ag Commissioner Doug hot weather, (Photo by Richard Volesky) July 7 Belfield meeting. (Photo ht , concerns By Richard Volesky Editor/Reporter BELFIELD - In farming and ranching, there's always the hope that : th~ weatherman's ptedidti'0fl ofthe next possible rain will come true, that wilting fields and tan pastures will spring to life again. But with this season's rainfall deficit growing, hopes for crop re- covery are waning. Some crops are now being swathed to make up for a hay shortage. The N.D. Department of Agriculture estimates th at hay- fields are producing 19-30 percent of what they would usually. "I think it's almost getting to o late for that," Stark and Golden Valley County rancher and farmer Brandon Richard, referring to the recovery of crops, Said in an interview on July 7. He and his wife, Emily, and a few dozen other ag producers and bankers, plus E xtension agents from Hettinger, Stark, Billings and Golden Valley counties attended a meeting with State Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring in a basement meeting room of Choice Financial Bank. Other producers also at the meeting were from McKenzie and Slope counties. Brandon Richard said he was among those who has been cutting down his crops; in this case he's cut his durum. The durum will eventu- ally be on its way to the mouth s of Ranchers, farmers and others listen to the discussion at a July his more than 1,000 head of cattle. 7 meeting with Ag Commissioner Doug Goehring at Choice Fi- An option is also buying hay, but nancial in Belfield. (Photo by Richard Volesky) a problem is that the drought is so vation groups, but Goehring said the Sonny Perdue expanded the haying widespread that finding it gets to be a counterargument was that the graz- area by 150 miles. USDA also an- challenge, said Richard. ing would have little effect on wild nounced it will allow a 12-month ex- ile said he usually is able to graze birds' nesting, emption in farm loans that require the current season's calves until De- As of June 29, the CRP emer- borrowers maintain physical control cember. This year he's hoping to get gency grazing area was expanded to of their cattle. to October. include counties with in 150 miles of With managed CRP, haying in During the meeting, Goehring a county already approved for emer- other years is usually not opened said the problem date s back to 1 ast gency grazing, until Aug. 2, which relates to the fall, which was dry. The winter in- Goehring on July 7 said he wasnesting season of birds. However, eluded snow, but there wasn't the hoping that the CRP release for since the value of forage deteriorates usual spring rain to help pastures emergency haying would also be ex- as it dries, earlier haying was re- break their dormancy, he said.panded by 150 miles. CRP land may quested. That was also granted after Much of southwestern North lack fencing for grazing, and for the July 7 meeting, with emergency Dakota is rated as being in the "se- some producers it may be easier to haying allowed to be gin on July 16. vere" or "extreme" drought cate- get hay than to move cattle. He also Goehring indicated the support of gories. The remaining category is said that some Farm Service Agency wildlife organizations helped with known as "exceptional." rules prevent producers from moving the haying issue. Support came from As of June 23, Conservation Re- their cattle to a grazing area that's not the North Dakota Game & Fish De- serve Program (CRP) acres werein their direct control, partment, North Dakota Natural Re- opened for emergency grazing. The That came to fruition days later sources Trust, Ducks Unlimited, move was fought by wildlife conser- when U.S. Agriculture Secretary Pheasants Forever and Delta Water- ! Goehring answers questions at the by Richard Volesky) ng fowl. Goehring said another drought-re- lated problem is coverage through the federal Risk Management Agency. The data the agency uses can sometimes be incorrect as in the case where the information used says an area has above normal precipita- tion, while the reality is that a partic- ular area is abnormally dry. Shirley Meyer, district representa- tive for Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D- N.D., also said the "biggest complaint" her office has been re- ceiving has been how rainfall insur- ance claims are actually paid out . Goehring said finding a solution would probably first involve deter- mining "who the players are" as the data is put into use. Goehring said he was appreciative of the producers who attended the meeting. "I know how hard it is to sit there and be a bit vulnerable and share your story," said Goehring. "(But) collectively, we all make one person that's a lot smarter." Other discussion related to nitrate levels in crops that are cut for hay. Kurt Froelich, Stark-Billings Ex- tension agent, said there is a "quick test" available that shows nitrate level s . A sample could then be tested further to determine the exact level. The detailed test s cost $20 a sample and the results arrive in five to 10 days. Extension agents can pro- vide more information about how the testing is done. Another issue is trying to deter- mine if a farmer would be better off cutting down a crop for hay or letting it mature until harvest even though the yield may be low. Ryan Beutow, Extension agronomist at the Dickin- son Research Extension Center, sa id the agency has a computerized spreadsheet available that can be used to input a producer's data to help figure out the be st financial op- tion. Froelich reminded producers to take care of themselves and to seek help when dealing with the stresses of the weather. "Take care of yourself," said Froelich. 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