Workers coming to western North Dakota with no place to live -- are causing a problem for the state Game and Fish Department...
People were hauling in campers to Wildlife Management Area's to stay for long periods of time.
"Our areas welcome a lot of people, but we want them to understand it's got to be for the right reason," says Jeb Williams Deputy Chief of the Wildlife division of the ND Game and Fish Department.
Some of the most pristine land in North Dakota can't escape the effects of the state's economic boom.
Williams says, "district managers were seeing an increase in people "living" at WMA's. Our WMA's were never intended nor do they have the infrastructure to provide people living full time at WMA's. They are for people to enjoy the recreation in North Dakota of hunting and fishing."
Campers started moving into Wildlife Management Areas last year...
This spring, the North Dakota Game and Fish restricted camping at eight sites along Lake Sakakawea and forbid ANY camping at ten others in oil country.
But the problem has now spread south...
"We've seen a variety of garbage dumping, sewage issues, just general infrastructure issues of people trying to live in a primitive area", says Williams.
Game and Fish has now restricted overnight camping on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at ten additional wildlife management areas.
They span from Camels Hump near Beach to Storm Creek in Morton County down to North Lemmon Lake in Adams County.
Williams says, "they were not intended for long term living or designed for long term living and there are infrastructure issues that come with people trying to live permanently or long term in one of our areas. We feel bad for people who have no place to stay, but it's ultimately not our responsibility."
North Dakota State Parks also has a policy to address long-term stays at it's campgrounds.
Director, Mark Zimmerman says campers are restricted to no more than 14 days at one site.
He says the parks have an "unofficial' policy that restricts oil workers to a five day stay.
Overall he says the three state parks along Lake Sakakawea have had dramatic increases in visitation and usage this summer.
Zimmerman credits that to the increase in population in western North Dakota.