140619_her07_01Dennis Trudell

Age: 67
Hometown: Fairview
Cause: Support for mineral rights holders

In 1982, Trudell was introduced to the Northeast Montana Land and Mineral Association while negotiating with oil companies looking to drill on his property. He’s volunteered with NMLMA ever since, serving as president a total of 15 years and sitting on the group’s board twice as long. Property owners turn to Trudell to ensure they know what to expect when companies want to drill. With current interest in the Bakken Shale underneath Montana and North Dakota sprouting an oil boom, people from all over the country — mineral rights are often willed to family members not living in Montana — seek his advice, looking to protect themselves and profit in case an oil rig strikes it big.

Says Trudell:

When people make these decisions on the leases, the money is huge. It can be millions of dollars.”

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