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An Environmental Overview of North Dakota: Past and Present

Introduction


Today, I'd like to give you an overview of the past and present environment of North Dakota, the basic environmental problems affecting the ecosystems, and the specific concerns we have for ecosystems that occur within the region including Mercer County, site of the ANG Coal Gasification Plant.

North Dakota has an area of about 70,000 square miles and is inhabited by 640,000 people; thus, the population density is only about 10 per square mile. The capitol, Bismarck, is located just southeast of the coal area. The principal industry of North Dakota's people, is, of course, agriculture. The state is famous for being number one in the production of durum for our pasta, spring wheat for our bread, barley for our beer, and flax for the fine linen on which to consume these commodities. North Dakota also ranks first in other important edibles such as sunflowers, beans, and honey.


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