Split House districts should be part of the districting debate

Letter to the Editor:

I’m writing to urge the 2021 North Dakota legislative districting committee to study the possibility of splitting each Senate district into two parts for seats to the state House of Representatives. This is important, because rural areas will probably be losing representation in the North Dakota Legislature due to population shifts to urban areas reflected in the 2020 census. 

As an example, let’s take a look at District 39. It takes up much of western North Dakota, covering the communities of Bowman and Watford City. It is a distance of 124 miles between those two cities. It can’t be easy for the three legislators who represent District 39 to cover the entire district. It obviously would give much better representation to voters if the district was split in two – 39A and 39B. The district would have one Senator, and voters in each half would elect their own member of the House of Representative. 

There are multiple rural districts in North Dakota with similar challenges. Splitting House districts would also be beneficial for the representation of communities of interest, such as the state’s Native American population.

Splitting districts for a state House of Representatives is nothing new. Our neighbor to the east, Minnesota, uses this method. It works well for them. Their House seats are split by “A” and “B” districts. By doing this, they’ve achieved better representation for voters, especially in large, rural districts. 

North Dakota legislative districting is a tremendously important issue that only happens every 10 years. The concept of split House districts should be part of the debate during the 2021 North Dakota legislative districting process. 


Carol Sawicki

Fargo, ND


[email protected]

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Regan Visit to ND

Submitted by Lisa DeVille

On Thursday, June 3, 2021 Lisa DeVille had the pleasure of meeting with EPA Administrator Regan along with other Dakota Resource Council members and Fort Berthold POWER.  They talked to the Administrator about the need to cut methane emissions from oil and gas, the need for EPA to protect tribal communities like hers, the need to listen to individual allottees on Fort Berthold, the need for data by studies, research, and analysis on Ft. Berthold to create policy, regulations, environmental justice, and the need to protect NEPA to name a few.  Thank you, Administrator Regan for coming to ND and listening to our concerns!

Here are the other attendees.

  • Badlands Conservation Alliance – Liz Loos, E.D. Regional Haze, EPA should be a backstop for/keep an eye on the state regulators
  • DRC affiliate, C.L.E.A.N. Paul. Clean electricity, not from lignite. Financial penalty for dirty electricity, have a vintage (place of origin) for all electricity
  • ND Wildlife Federation – John Bradley. E.D., a local chapter of the National Wildlife Federation – Waters of the US, clean water and potholes for humans, animals, the environment in general, ensure equity and justice as we transition to new power sources.
  • DRC Ag Committee – Madeline Luke, water pollution from CAFOs, better waste management from CAFOS, not dumping animal waste in to Devil’s Lake.  

Note:  Lisa DeVille had mentioned that one of our origin stories are from Devils Lake area.

  • Sen. Tim Mathern – hold the governor and government to account. Make sure to pressure Burgum to live up to his carbon reduction promise. Don’t be afraid of state lawsuits. Brought up a ND bill that ignores federal oversite.
  • DRC affiliate, Fort Berthold POWER; Walter DeVille Sr. member and allottee owner, and Delvin Rabbithead Sr. President, POWER also mentioned concerns on Ft. Berthold.