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Private property takes priority over ‘special places’

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BISMARCK — I am writing to thank North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring for his strong stance in protecting our private property rights.

The Industrial Commission is considering a policy that, by requiring a public comment period, could significantly restrict drilling and oil-and-gas development on public and private lands deemed “extraordinary places.”

Goehring supports a policy that excludes private lands from the public comment period. We agree with him. Owners of private property should not be exposed to comment periods before they can use their own property.

Special-interest groups should not have the chance to influence management decisions on a landowner’s private property. The Landowners Association of North Dakota firmly has opposed every effort to erode private property rights. This is another of those attempts.

We acknowledge the significance of these “extraordinary places;” but protecting private property rights is paramount and should not be compromised.

Thanks, Commissioner Goehring, for standing up for private property rights.

Dwight Wrangham

Wrangham is director of the Landowners Association of North Dakota.

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