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Letter to the editor: Nonprofits have no authority over state, federal agencies

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I would like to thank Dwight Grosz for his fanciful, speculative portrayal in Tuesday’s edition of The Jamestown Sun of the administrative and budgetary chaos that will befall North Dakota by enacting the Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment.

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

However, it was just one of many attempts to cloud the very real issue that the North Dakota Legislature’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 approximately $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 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 so, 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 wildlife agencies share with environmental nonprofits is dedicated passion to maintain our uniquely American heritage that allows all citizens to have opportunities to camp, fish, hunt and otherwise enjoy the outdoors regardless of their socioeconomic status.

And hopefully, when the North Dakota Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment gets on the ballot, 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.

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