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Image: Matthew Paulson via Flickr
Image: Matthew Paulson via Flickr

Energy company paying to move hiking, horse-riding trails

KILLDEER, N.D. — The energy company that developed the biggest drilling unit in western North Dakota’s Bakken oil patch says it will move some hiking and horse-riding trails away from its operations.

ConocoPhillips created the 47-square-mile Corral Creek Unit in 2011. It has now pledged $100,000 to move two trails in the Little Missouri State Park area away from an area that eventually will contain 30 oil wells, service roads and storage tanks, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

The company has worked with the state Parks and Recreation Department to be as least disruptive as possible, company spokesman Jim Lowry said.

“Part of that is working on those trails to maintain some distance so they (users) have a quality experience and not see our operations. That’s our goal,” he said.

Work will begin this summer to relocate 4 miles of the Wagon and Jim Creek trails, according to Parks Department Project Manager Jesse Hanson. Other trails have been improved to handle increased use while the two trails are being moved.

Camping and trail riding experiences at Little Missouri State Park have changed from the time when a person could look to the river and beyond without seeing a single light in the darkness, Hanson said.

“It’s changed like everything has out west, but we have to move forward with what we have,” he said.

In related news, Holdout landowners lose fight against Sandpiper oil pipeline in N.D. court.

Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.