The Department is interested in monitoring habitat condition and change over time. The Department holds a unique collection of about 3,200 photographs, first being taken in 1960, at 255 photo-points throughout the badlands of western North Dakota. These photo-points can address many of the questions regarding potential changes in habitat condition that may have occurred over the past 50+years. Additionally, energy development is having significant impacts on habitats throughout the west. It is important that the location of these photo-points is recorded now before the memory and institutional knowledge about their location is lost.
Revisiting and updating photo points will allow agencies to assess how much of the habitat has changed over the past 50 years, better assess what species of conservation priority (SCP) may be affected, and determine what on-the-ground management actions are warranted. This project would be the first in a multi-phased evaluation of habitat at and around these photo-points.