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Forum News Service, Published December 18 2013

10,000 back petition asking Interior secretary to protect Roosevelt National Park

DICKINSON, N.D. - During a trip to North Dakota in August, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said it was important for energy interests to extract oil and gas with less impact on the environment.

This week, the Dakota Resource Council announced it is sending a petition with more than 10,000 signatures to Jewell, urging the secretary to do what she can to help protect Theodore Roosevelt National Park from what has been dubbed “encroaching oil development.”

DRC senior field organizer Scott Skokos said Wednesday that the plan is for the petition, which was rolled out in late August, to be hand-delivered to Jewell this month.

About 10,260 supporters of the cause were able to sign their names via mega-petition website Change.org, Skokos said.

“It just kind of went viral with a national audience,” Skokos said. “Our ultimate goal is to make it so that there’s a buffer zone between energy development and the park.”

DRC officials said the petition received signatures from people from all 50 states and two U.S. territories.