The Killdeer mountains of North Dakota are located a short distance northwest of the town of Killdeer. This area is part of the badlands and was the site of the infamous Battle of Killdeer Mountain. EcoFlight flew members of the Killdeer Mountain Alliance over the scenic area’s of these mountains and the nearby oil and gas development, which is threatening cultural, historical and recreational uses of the region. The group wants the state Industrial Commission to delay any further oil drilling on public land on the west side of the mountains until considering its alternative drilling plan.
That plan would access the same oil from a different location, which would require three miles of horizontal drilling but would be safer and cause less archaeological damage, according to the group that includes landowners, former residents, historians, Native Americans, archeologists, wildlife biologists, hunters and others.
The Battle of Killdeer Mountain was the largest fight between U.S. army soldiers and Native Americans in history. General Alfred Sully brought over 4,000 soldiers to fight the Sioux encampment on June 28th, 1864. The U.S. desired to protect line of communication through the region because of recently discovered gold in Montana and Idaho. Over 100 native Americans were killed and thousands were forced to flea on foot through the rugged western North Dakota badlands.
Today, visitors of the Killdeer Mountains enjoy horseback riding, hiking, scouting for flint and locating medical plants. Many Native Americans consider the Killdeer Mountains to be a sacred place and 5 different tribes in the area are members of the alliance to protect this unique region of the badlands from the ever-encroaching oil and gas industry.
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