On October 11, 1973, Governor Link delivered what is widely regarded as North Dakota’s “Gettysburg Address.” His credo, written in the margins of his prepared speech moments before he was introduced, is known by its opening phrase: “When the landscape is quiet again.” Producing this documentary was one of the great honors of my life.
“We do not want to halt progress; we do not plan to be selfish and say North Dakota will not share its energy resources. We simply want to ensure the most efficient and environmentally sound method of utilizing our precious coal and water resources for the benefit of the broadest number of people possible.
“And when we are through with that and the landscape is quiet again, when the draglines, the blasting rigs, the power shovels and the huge gondolas cease to rip and roar and when the last bulldozer has pushed the spoil pile into place and the last patch of barren earth has been seeded to grass or grain, let those who follow and repopulate the land be able to say, our grandparents did their job well. The land is as good and in some cases, better than before.
“Only if they can say this, will we be worthy of the rich heritage of our land and its resources.” – Governor Art Link