Published December 06, 2012, 12:05 AM

Outdoor spending

As Gov. Jack Dalrymple starts his first full term in North Dakota, he addressed the importance of outdoors activities in the state.

By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press

As Gov. Jack Dalrymple starts his first full term in North Dakota, he addressed the importance of outdoors activities in the state.

In Dalrymple’s 2013-15 budget address Wednesday, he wants to commit a portion of funds generated by oil production taxes to create a conservation fund with an annual funding cap of $10 million.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Dickinson resident Ron Klemm said. “We have a lot of oil revenue coming in and I believe that he (Dalrymple) should put it in quite a few areas.”

The budget address from Dalrymple states, “The outdoor experience and the tradition of hunting in North Dakota are also core elements in our quality of life. The challenges created by a growing population and expanding commercial development include greater risks to our outdoors, and that’s why we are including in our budget a proposal to establish a permanent conservation fund to enhance the opportunities for hunting and all outdoor recreation experiences.

“Our budget calls for committing a portion of funds generated by oil production taxes to a newly created conservation fund, with an annual funding cap of $10 million. We propose creating an advisory committee made up of a diverse group of stakeholders to administer a grant program under the direction of the Industrial Commission. The committee will award grants to state agencies and non-profit groups to benefit statewide conservation practices, wildlife habitat, parks, and outdoor recreation.”

Dickinson resident Gary Geiszler said it’s definitely money well spent. Geiszler, who grew up in the Minot area, has lived in Dickinson for the past 30 years.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “In fact, I wouldn’t be upset if they spent more.”

John Odermann, Dickinson, said the one area he hopes the funds get allocated to is the Private Land Open to Sportsmen Program and Conservation Recreation Program.

“I know the Game and Fish are always looking for matching funds for the PLOTS program or CRP,” he said. “There is that habitat for ducks, pheasants and grouse that a lot of people do come to the state to enjoy those hunting opportunities. It’s important the state does what it can to support those types of things.”

Dickinson’s Curtis Glasoe, who is associated the Maah Daah Hey Trail, said the outdoor activities in North Dakota could use those funds.

“I always have the concern that the administration part of it would eat up more than the part that gets back to ground,” Glasoe said. “If it gets to the ground that would be a great deal, there is a lot of outdoor recreation, hunting and fishing that can utilize those funds.”

Growing up in western North Dakota, Klemm knows the importance of having outdoor recreation.

“We do a lot of camping and fishing,” he said. “For me, it’s a big thing. I enjoy it.”

Tags: