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LETTER: N.D.’s quality-of-life challenges present opportunity

BISMARCK — North Dakota’s landscape is changing rapidly, and our quality of life hangs in the balance.

Our clean water is threatened. We’re losing grasslands and wildlife habitat at a rate not seen since the Dust Bowl. Chronic flooding plagues our communities. Development of one of the largest oil fields in the world is impacting our landscapes long-term.

While North Dakota’s prosperity is welcomed, our quality of life will continue to erode if we do not take bold, smart and forward-thinking actions for future generations.

The Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment is the right solution to protecting our clean water, providing safe places for our kids to enjoy and recreate and protecting our cities from devastating floods.

By dedicating a small portion (only 3 cents on the dollar) of existing revenues from oil and gas production without raising taxes on anyone, we can help protect our way of life.

The goal of North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks is to let the people make that choice.

The Bismarck-Mandan Chamber continues to misstate the facts and try to rewrite history (“Conservation groups walked away from coalition,” column, Page A4, May 15).

We supported the Outdoor Heritage Fund, but we’ve made it clear every step of the way that a much greater investment is needed to meet the needs and challenges of our state.

We did not turn our backs on the coalition; instead, we were cut off when we embraced a broader discussion on the structure and function of the fund.

We offered compromises to meet halfway on the important issues, but we were told to take it or leave it.

Maintaining North Dakota’s great quality of life, clean drinking water and world-class outdoor recreation is too important to have a small group of lobbyists control the discussion and exclude broader perspectives from the public.

Let’s let North Dakotans decide if they support this citizen-led measure in November.

Steve Adair

Karen Kreil

Adair is director of Ducks Unlimited’s Great Plains regional office. Kreil is a wildlife biologist for the North Dakota Natural Resources Trust.