Reclamation Workshop set for Feb. 25-26

NDSU Extension
Farm Forum

The seventh annual North Dakota Reclamation Conference, “Reflecting on Reclamation,” will spotlight the progress in reclamation policies, soil remediation and vegetation establishment.

It will be held Feb. 25-26 at the Astoria Hotel and Events Center in Dickinson, N.D.

“When we talk about reclamation, we often focus on the improvements needed to achieve successful remediation of lands impacted by energy development while losing sight of the strides that have been made in terms of knowledge, technology and policy,” says Miranda Meehan, North Dakota State University Extension livestock environmental stewardship specialist.

NDSU Extension, Dickinson State University, the Society for Range Management, BKS Environmental Associates Inc., the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and the North Dakota Department of Health are hosting the event.

The conference begins with registration at 3 p.m. Feb. 25. A trade show opens at 5 p.m., and the keynote speaker will speak at 6:30 p.m.

Graeme Spiers, Laurentian University, Ontario, is the keynote speaker. Spiers is chair of the Environmental Monitoring Program, director of the Elliot Lake Research Field Station and former director of the Centre for Environmental Monitoring at MIRARCO (Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corp.), the Laurentian University research company. His current research focuses on reclamation of land impacted by the mineral industry.

“Sudbury, the home of one of the largest nickel mining and smelter complexes in the world, was one of the more industrially devastated regions on Earth by the mid-20th century,” Spiers says. “The impacts of smelter sulfur and metal emissions from roast yards through to the modern smelter operations created a barren landscape, the managed recovery of which over the past 40 years will be the focus of my presentation.

“The Sudbury Regreening Story is based on effective interaction between community, government and industry, and is at the core of a regional transformation program now recognized globally as a model to emulate,” he notes.

The Feb. 26 program starts at 8 a.m. with a general session focused on policy, followed by concurrent sessions on soil remediation and vegetation establishment.

“In NDSU Extension’s discussions with landowners and professionals in the oil and gas industry, the primary concerns are how to clean up the soil, how to get something growing and what steps are being done to prevent future impacts,” Meehan says. “This year’s conference has a great lineup of speakers to help address these concerns.”

Conference presenters include representatives from the North Dakota Department of Health, North Dakota Industrial Commission, Energy & Environmental Research Center, NDSU, South Dakota State University, U.S. Forest Service, USDA-ARS and private industry.

“This is a great opportunity for industry, regulatory and the public to come together and share ideas to protect our resources,” says Bill Suess, spill investigation program manager with the North Dakota Department of Health. “New and innovative technology is changing the way we view remediation. By assessing risk and implementing new technology, we can make remediation more effective and less disruptive to the landowner.”

The registration fee for the conference is $90 if paid by Feb. 15 and $110 after that date.

To register or for more information, visit or contact Meehan at 701-231-7683 or; Toby Stroh, assistant professor of agriculture at Dickinson State, at 701-483-2185 or; or Brenda Schladweiler, president and reclamation specialist at BKS Environmental Associates, at 307-686-0800 or

NDSU researchers seed a reclamation study site near Glenburn, N.D.