“My name is Carol Nash, and we live here in Bridger. We raise cattle and sheep on our place. We weren’t involved at all until the news came out in the newspaper that they were planning on developing a gas well down here. Down near Belfry. It was a big learning process, because we knew absolutely nothing about oil and gas at that point. I mean, you don’t, probably, until you find a need to know it, or somebody tells you that this is something you should look into. So then we started learning, and that’s been a…there’s been a lot to learn.”



“Farmers and ranchers are pretty independent people. We are very protective of our property, and our property rights. So, what’s scariest for us is that you have no rights when the oil company comes in. You really have no rights. Montana is lagging behind other states in landowner protections. Oil companies can come in, and if they decide to put a well by your bedroom, you don’t have anything to say about it, because there are no setbacks here. If they want to make a road across your best pasture, you have nothing to say about it. That’s it. And if they are flaring, outside your bedroom, for days and days…nothing you can do about it. The noise? Nothing you can do about it. If there are bad fumes and you’re getting sick? Nothing you can do about it. And that’s the worst part; that you are pretty helpless. I mean, you are helpless.”




“When we were talking to the county commissioners about this, they said, ‘Oh, well, you can always sue them.’ And I thought, ‘you’re kidding, right?’ I said, first of all, ‘who’s got money to sue an oil company?’ and, secondly, I’ve heard of people suing who die before the suit is ever settled! And meanwhile, they’re living with all this, the damage is done, and then they die. So the oil company wins. So, no, suing an oil company is not a viable option. You have to think of other ways. But it’s the helplessness that you have, that you cannot do anything, and that’s why groups like Carbon County Resource Council and WORC and Northern Plains are important, because they help us see that we’re not helpless if we all band together. If we all work together, and educate more and more people to what’s going on, then you can effect some change.”



Carol Nash
Bridger, MT