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Letter: High interest evidence of need for Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment

It’s clear: North Dakotans want to protect and enhance the quality of North Dakota’s great outdoors for our children and grandchildren. The overwhelming interest in the state’s new conservation funding program comes as no surprise to those of us supporting the Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment. The fact that applications are double what the Outdoor Heritage Fund can handle is the best evidence we can point to that there is a tremendous demand and strong support for conservation in North Dakota.

North Dakota organizations and agencies from all walks are saying the state needs to address flood protection, such as the Valley City proposal for a greenway; needs for more outdoor recreation areas, like the many applications for parks and recreation improvements from places like Beulah, Minot, Tioga and the Badlands; needs to improve grassland stewardship, such as a number of private lands grazing program ideas; and needs to improve water quality in our lakes and streams, like the Sheyenne River Sedimentation Reduction Project.

But the current program will not meet the need due to inadequate funding.

North Dakota needs the Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment to make reality projects like these that improve the great outdoors. The success of these local conservation efforts will generate even more interest in the future as we begin to see it’s possible to turn around the huge landscape changes our state is undergoing.

The Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment will reinvest in the great outdoors to help sustain North Dakota traditions, such as hunting, fishing, and enjoying our parks and wildlife. At the same time, we have a responsibility to protect our clean drinking water and help North Dakota communities that have been devastated by flooding. Help get the Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment on the ballot to take care of what we love best about North Dakota.

Paul H. Myerchin,