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LETTER: ‘Sky is falling,’ say conservation amendment’s foes

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JAMESTOWN, N.D. — I’d like to thank Dwight Grosz for his fanciful, speculative portrayal of the administrative and budgetary chaos that will befall North Dakota by enacting Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment (“Reject the Create Jobs for Eco-Activists Amendment,” Page A4, March 7).

This is America, after all, and everyone is entitled to their opinion.

But Grosz’s letter was just one of many attempts to cloud the very real issue that North Dakota’s Outdoor Heritage Fund does not adequately provide for the conservation needs of the state.

The current fund caps off at $15 million. The average cost per city for floodplain restoration alone is about $20 million.

Furthermore, does Grosz really expect anybody to believe that the North Dakota Industrial Commission would allow the purchase of “an average-sized farm every 10 days for the next 25 years?” The commission, composed of arguably the three most pro-business North Dakotans, would have the final vote on all recommendations funneled to them by a citizen-comprised accountability board.

On another note, Grosz is thoroughly convinced that nonprofit, environmental organizations hold impressive, authoritative sway over state and federal wildlife agencies.

Having held seasonal positions with both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, I know firsthand that when I worked for them, those agencies took great strides to maintain their autonomy — as they are legally bound to do — and conducted their research in a cost-effective manner.

I sincerely doubt they have strayed from that ethos of scientific rigor and objectivity in a few short years.

The only common bond that wildlife agencies share with environmental nonprofits is dedicated passion to maintain our uniquely American heritage that allows all citizens have the chance to camp, fish, hunt and otherwise enjoy the outdoors regardless of their socioeconomic status.

And when the Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment gets on the ballot, here’s hoping that voters approve it so they can also take part in this process by applying for grants to improve soil and water on an individual basis, on their own land.

Candace Kraft

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