07 November 2016

High Country News Piece on Our Missouri River Standing Rock DAPL Water Security Research

Thanks to journalist Lydsey Gilpin, the team's ongoing research efforts were highlighted this weekend on High Cuuntry News website, a news source that focuses on the American West people and environment. The article, These Maps Help Fill the Information Gaps About the Dakota Access Pipeline, traces the impetus for why I put together the team and then what we've produced so far. The maps that I along with Drs. Mariya Pak & Candice Weems created were featured. Very exciting for the team and helps create more visibility about our narrative, which is taking the part of the indigenous story - one that is being told only marginally in the news.

Our team's work is collecting scientific basis to highlight threats to the Missouri River Basin human and ecological systems from the exemption permitted Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).  Yes, the pipeline went through some permitting process - but it was not a normal or complete process. While DAPL has only had to put forward their project in small segments to bypass NEPA and Clean Water Act consideration, my team is attempting to pull together a quasi environmental impact assessment from the macro perspective - not what are the 1000 foot segment threats of this pipeline project to a certain place, but what is the 1172 mile threat of this pipeline project to the overall human and environmental systems? The economic, political, cultural, and environmental aspects of the Missouri River Basin, and eventually the Mississippi River Basin (the Missouri provides about 45% annual flow to the Mississippi - impacts can flow all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. And we are most interested in the minority that are vocalizing their discontent - the Indigenous People, the American Indians, the Native Americans - several names for the same group of people - the people who are leading the movement in North Dakota and around the country.

The team keeps expanding - we are collectively identifying the gaps in the story - the largest one of all is the voice of the Indigenous People of the United States of America.