The North Dakota Legislature is now studying and asking for citizen input on the best way to use billions of dollars in revenue in the States Legacy Fund that have been generated from taxes on oil and gas production or extraction.
Often referred to as the third leg of the State’s economic stool, hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation are a $2.1 billion annual contribution to our state’s economy. These resource opportunities are a big reason why many people chose to live here. Negative impacts to our critically important natural resources are decreasing the long-term economic potential of outdoor recreation and tourism.
Now is the time to revisit the Million-Acre Habitat Plan that was developed by the North Dakota Wildlife Federation and presented to Governors Dalrymple and Burgum and the Game and Fish Department in 2016. This state-wide plan developed in coordination with a number of organizations was designed as a private land/project partnership with farmers and ranchers to improve habitat and access.
As legislators debate the best uses of North Dakota Legacy Fund, mitigating or restoring habitat from impacts to North Dakota’s wildlife populations, water, and natural resources is a needed and appropriate use of the fund.
Funding the Million-Acre Habitat Plan will ensure that the economic benefits from hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation will remain an important part of our State’s economy.