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Prairie Talks brings oil boom into focus

August 22, 2014
Pierce County Tribune

Todd Melby, lead producer of "Black Gold Boom," a public media project documenting North Dakota's oil boom; and New Town rancher Marty Young Bear, an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes, will be featured speakers at the Prairie Talks presentation at 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 7, at Prairie Village Museum, Rugby.

North Dakota's oil and gas producing counties are experiencing rapid growth and industrialization, the effects of which are trickling across the state. Melby and Young Bear will share their perspectives on how the oil boom is changing the face of North Dakota.

The event is free and open to the public. Attendees also may tour the museum throughout the afternoon at no cost. Gates open at noon and close at 5 p.m.

Article Photos

Young Bear

In addition to producing "Black Gold Boom," Melby is directing a PBS television documentary on the boom. A native of Hettinger, he is a senior producer for the public media nonprofit 2 below zero. He's won multiple national journalism awards, including Edward R. Murrow and Sigma Delta Chi awards.

A rancher and saddle bronc rider, Young Bear co-operates the Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation's Horse Power Program, a holistic wellness program utilizing horse culture to help families on the Fort Berthold reservation. He's also an environmental advocate concerned with the preservation of the land for horses, animals and people.

This Prairie Talks event is supported in part by the North Dakota Humanities Council. Treats and coffee will be served by the Friends of the Museum following the talk. Freewill donations are accepted to help defray costs.

The Prairie Talks series was started to connect people in north-central North Dakota with people from around the world. Series founder Kristi Rendahl was born and raised in Benson County and graduated from Rugby High School. Prairie Talks has an advisory council comprised of residents of the Rugby area.

For more information about Prairie Talks: Oil Boom, visit or call the museum at 776-6414, email or visit

- Prairie Village Museum



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