Conference to focus on waterThe theme for the 23rd Annual Governor’s Conference on North Dakota will examine the impact water has had on the history of the state, from territorial days to the present. “Too Much or Too Little: The Story of Water in North Dakota” featuring a wide variety of speakers and topics, will take place Oct. 28-29 at the Bismarck Civic Center.
The theme for the 23rd Annual Governor’s Conference on North Dakota will examine the impact water has had on the history of the state, from territorial days to the present. “Too Much or Too Little: The Story of Water in North Dakota” featuring a wide variety of speakers and topics, will take place Oct. 28-29 at the Bismarck Civic Center.
The conference is sponsored by the state’s history agency, the State Historical Society of North Dakota. It is being held at the Civic Center due to the expansion construction at the North Dakota Heritage Center.
“We selected this topic well over a year ago, long before anyone had any idea flooding would be such a major issue this year,” said Erik Holland, conference coordinator and curator of education for the SHSND.” But because of that, this topic couldn’t be more timely.”
To register, visit the SNSND’s website at www.history.nd.gov or call SHSND Administrative Assistant Kiri Stone at 701-328-2799 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Fees include lunch. Registration forms are available online as well as through the mail. The deadline to register is Oct. 19.
Former U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan will be the keynote speaker. His address, titled “The Long, Tough Battle Between Mother Nature and North Dakota,” will be delivered Oct. 28. Dorgan served in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years before retiring in January. He has long been a leader on water issues including flood control, water management, water conservation, and especially the development of major rural water projects in North Dakota. While in the Senate, he also served as chairman of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple will open the conference Friday morning. Other featured speakers during the two-day event include former Gov. Allen Olson, who will discuss his lifelong involvement with water impacts, issues, and regulations in North America; American Indian relations specialist and retired National Park Service superintendent Gerard Baker, who will speak about the importance of the Missouri River to the Tribes that have lived near it and the river’s continued importance to their survival; and Adjutant General and former State Engineer David Sprynczynatyk, State Engineer Todd Sando and State Flood Recovery Coordinator and former Assistant Attorney General Murray Sagsveen will each offer a different perspective on water management in North Dakota.
Michael Dwyer, executive vice president of the North Dakota Water Users Association, will chair a panel discussion about the history of North Dakota’s water use. His panelists will include North Dakota Game and Fish Department Director Terry Steinwand on recreational use, North Dakota State Water Commission Water Appropriations Director Bob Shaver on industrial use, Minot Public Works Director Alan Walter on municipal use, retired NDSWC Water Appropriations Director and now a consultant with the North Dakota Irrigation Association Milton Lindvig on agricultural use, and Executive Director of the North Dakota Rural Water Systems Association Eric Volk and current director and past president of the Agassiz Water Users District of Gilby, Clark Cronquist, on rural use.
Other featured conference speakers include North Dakota State University professor of geology Don Schwert, who will help participants understand how the surface geology of North Dakota influences water movement. NDSU professor of history Mark Harvey will speak on changing attitudes about big water projects between 1935 and 1970; NDSU Associate Professor of Architecture Steve Martens will present on how water resource management programs designed for dry times in the 1930s still affect us today; University of North Dakota associate professor of history Kimberly Porter will discuss 19th century business executive James J. Hill and and his role in the opening of the Red River to steamboats; Grand Forks Herald Editor and Publisher Mike Jacobs will speak about water’s impacts on farming and ranching communities within the Garrison Reservoir; and former mayor of Fargo Bruce Furness will talk about the paradox of water projects in the Red River Valley.
Lunchtime presenters include Arch Ellwein on Friday, portraying legendary Missouri River steamboat captain Grant Marsh, and cowboy poet Bill Lowman on Saturday, reflecting on water issues.
Conference attendees will gain not only a broader perspective of how too much or too little water continues to be a balancing act with mankind in the middle, but also an excellent conference packet of material that includes historical maps, articles, and many other valuable resources. A special conference souvenir is a 14-page reprint of the 1890s Missouri River Commission maps of the river from the borders of South Dakota to Montana.
Following the Friday night banquet, SHSND Director Merl Paaverud will present the agency’s annual awards for outstanding achievements in the field of history. SHSND Architectural Historian Lorna Meidinger will announce the eight properties in North Dakota listed this year in the National Register of Historic Places, including one property listed as a National Historic Landmark.
Also offered Friday will be an all-day workshop, “Storing and Preserving Still Photographic Materials Collections,” presented by Dianna Clise, paper conservator for the Midwest Art Conservation Center (MACC) in Minneapolis. She will provide hands-on experience in the identification of various types of negatives and prints, using MACC’s extensive photographic study collection. She will discuss how to identify the causes of deterioration in photographic materials, types of damages, proper exhibition and storage materials, and digitizing photographic materials collections.
The theme of the 2012 Governor’s Conference on North Dakota History, which will be held Oct. 26-27 in Bismarck, will focus on the Inspiration Gallery element of the expanded North Dakota Heritage Center as planning its exhibits moves forward. Innovations, industry, entrepreneurism, and expanding technologies since statehood are concepts that will be featured in the new gallery, scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.