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Game and Fish to hold advisory board meeting in Beach

BEACH - On April 14 in Beach, members of the community will have an opportunity to hear representatives from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department discuss issues regarding wildlife management.

The annual advisory board meeting, which is one of eight being held throughout the state, will take place at the Beach Ambulance Building at 7 p.m.

"I like it because it gives you the opportunity to ask questions that would otherwise go unasked or unanswered," said Misty Farnstrom, who is responsible for organizing the event for the local Pheasants Forever chapter.

Each year, a local hunting or conservation group is chosen to host the meetings, which will update the public on the new regulations and challenges facing the Game and Fish Department.

The location of the district meetings rotates each year to enable the department to reach as many people as possible.

"Not having to travel is a plus," Farnstrom said. "If the meeting was in Dickinson, I'm probably not going to drive the hour to go to it. It's nice that they have it here."

Representatives from each division of the Game and Fish Department, including director Terry Steinwand, will be present at the meeting Monday to discuss topics including new fishing regulations, specifically the aquatic nuisance species regulations, along with changes to the elk and deer seasons.

The meeting will not only deal with new regulations, but it will also update those in attendance on a new agreement between the Three Affiliated Tribes for access into Lake Sakakawea, the lead-in-venison issue, the baiting of big game and the loss of CRP and how it will affect the state as a whole.

The discussion period will be followed up by a question and answer period with the Game and Fish representatives.

"You can ask anything from fishing to big game hunting to bird hunting, you name it," Farnstrom said. "You ask a question and they'll answer it."

Farnstrom said she really appreciates the Game and Fish holding these meetings, but added she sometimes feels bad for them because of those individuals that come to the meetings simply to complain.

"I have sympathy for them because they really get hammered by people," Farnstrom said. "But they're very professional, it's kind of like they're putting themselves in front of a firing squad voluntarily."

Farnstrom said she hopes those interested in wildlife management and the outdoors make it to the meeting because it is one of the few times individuals can ask Game and Fish officials questions face-to-face.

"It's very informative and I'm happy to help out," Farnstrom said. "I like it because it just gives you the opportunity to ask questions."