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Bismarck Mayor Wants Micro-Industrial Forest in City Limits

Bismarck Mayor Steve Bakken (right) and ND Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford (left)

Bismarck Mayor Steve Bakken understands the power of industry. He also understands the power of community. These are a couple of reasons the mayor wants to make sure Bismarck, ND, plants the first tree in The Industrial Forest.

“I am excited for The Industrial Forest and its potential to use shared knowledge in order to advance innovation and environmental stewardship,” Mayor Bakken said. “Currently, we are in an exploratory phase of site location and logistics, however, as the Mayor of Bismarck, I personally will do what it takes to make sure Bismarck, North Dakota plants the first tree in The Industrial Forest.”

Millions of trees have been planted over the past 30 years and nearly half die within the first year. From non profit tree planting events to municipal tree planting programs, it’s a real life problem and a serious eco-issue.

Lack of watering, transplant shock, special interests and poor growing conditions are a few reasons why trees are having a difficult time surviving. These are some of the reasons The Industrial Forest created the phrase – It Takes An Industry To Build A Forest.

“The coexistence of the environment and industry are truly amazing on so many levels,” Jason Spiess said. “From creating new jobs to water recycling to air quality filtrations to autonomous safety, industrial innovations are critical for a sustainable future.”

Spiess is the founder and host of The Crude Life, a news content service covering the energy and mining industry, primarily the oil and gas sector. The Crude Life has entered into an agreement to help create content for The Industrial Forest.

The plan is to build a network of industrial forests across the United States by planting 1000 trees in 50 states over the next 5 years. The construction of The Industrial Forests will start in 2021 with 5 states. First year states are North Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. In 2022, 15 states are scheduled.

The ESG-themed goal is for a minimum of 50,000 trees and 10 million pounds of carbon consumed by Mother Earth. The word “minimum” is used because several cities are already exploring the idea of a Micro-Industrial Forest within the city limits.

Bismarck is the first city to start the process of A Micro-Industrial Forest. Spiess has met with Mayor Bakken several times regarding an industrial education and environmental awareness walking park to compliment the 5-acre Industrial Forest.

The mayor appeared on a Live Recording Session of The Crude Life at the Bakken BBQ where Spiess mentioned afterwards that he was partnering with The Industrial Forest and thought Bismarck might make a good site for a micro forest concept. Mayor Bakken agreed.

“I’ve known Jason for nearly 15 years and can not think of too many others who are more qualified to bring people and Mother Earth together,” Bakken said. “I’ve seen his best and worst, and what I can tell you about Jason Spiess is that he has the mind of a capitalist and the heart of a hippie.”

According to The Industrial Forest’s mission, the project does more than build sustainable forests, it also creates jobs and economic opportunity.

“Sustainability Sheds and Critical Pipeline Systems will need to be constructed and engineered to ensure the trees survive and produce an ecosystem that will consume carbon for decades,” Spiess said. “Local businesses like real estate professionals, mixed media artists, communication companies, wood fabricators and nurseries will be given opportunity for business during a time when many people’s doors are closing.”

In order to ensure the trees survive for decades, The Industrial Forest will implement a Sustainability Shed and a Critical Pipeline System.

The Industrial Forest will hold public meetings in each of the states leading up to the Planting Party and community BBQ. These public meetings are designed to provide engagement, communication, awareness, inclusion, transparency and flora direction from county extension officials.

“The Industrial Forest is building something that is truly unique and special. A forest that promotes environmental awareness for industry, creates jobs, consumes carbon, promotes the need for pipelines, demonstrates ethical capitalism and brings all walks of life together,” Spiess said. “It creates its own sustainable ecosystem that allows trees to live and industry jobs to grow at a time when people need work and the earth needs environmental innovation.”

Currently The Micro-Industrial Forest in Bismarck will be an Industry Walking and Sitting Education and Awareness Park.

For more information about The Industrial Forest email

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