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Property acquisition request denied

The North Dakota Natural Areas Acquisition Advisory Committee has voted against a proposal by Ducks Unlimited to acquire property in Foster County for conservation purposes.

Meeting by conference call Tuesday, the committee voted 4-2 with two abstentions in favor of a motion by Mark Watne, president of the North Dakota Farmers Union, to deny the request.

Voting for the motion were Watne, Deputy Agriculture Commissioner Tom Bodine, Doyle Johannes, president of the North Dakota Farm Bureau, and Jason Zahn, president of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association. Voting against the motion were Mark Zimmerman, director of North Dakota Parks and Recreation, and Scott Peterson, deputy director of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

Larry Kotchman, state forester, and Paul Straley, president of the Foster County Commission, abstained from voting.

Ducks Unlimited is seeking to buy the 47.2-acre tract from Lee Wahlund, Carrington. The organization said it will restore the wetlands and replant native grasses on the property, most of which is currently used for agriculture. The site would be managed for wetland mitigation.

The commission’s recommendation will be forwarded to Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who will determine if the sale can proceed.

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