5 No Fracking Way Turtle Mountain

TURTLE MOUNTAIN RESERVATION, NORTH DAKOTA—Drive the long, straight roads of north-central North Dakota, and you pass lake after lake, amid hay fields and forests. Migratory birds, attracted by the abundance of water and grain, pause here. Farmers, boaters, and fishermen orient their lives around the pure water.

The water, more than anything, explains why members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians acted so quickly when they learned their region was next in line for fracking. Within just a few weeks of the tribal women’s meeting on the topic in late 2011, the council banned fracking on the 77,000-acre reservation. Their ban was among the first in North America, and it has since been upheld by succeeding ...

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