Secretary Salazar visits Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar visited the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota on Tuesday.

Salazar toured energy development sites on the Fort Berthold Reservation, where oil production has risen in the last few years. According to the Interior Department, royalties on Indian allotments grew from $1.8 million in 2008 to $106.7 million in 2011.

The increase has put some strains on the local infrastructure. As one example, Chairman Tex Hall said it will cost more than $100 million to repair heavily trafficked roads on the reservation.

Salazar said he got an understanding of the impact during his visit. "You can see it in the roads, in the cost of living, but there’s tremendous opportunity. There are no quick answers. It will take a partnership with the federal government, state and tribe,” he told The Bismarck Tribune.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs only provides $1.7 million a year in Indian Reservation Roads funding to the tribe, the paper reported.

Get the Story:
Press Release: Secretary Salazar Visits North Dakota’s Oil Boom; Unveils Initiatives to Accelerate Drilling Permits and Leases on Federal Lands (DOI 4/3)
Oil boom hits Fort Berthold reservation hard (The Bismarck Tribune 4/4)
Interior secretary to speed up drilling permits, leases on federal lands (The Minot Daily News 4/4)

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