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Letter to the editor: N.D. citizens’ opportunities to hunt, fish diminishing

North Dakotans enjoy a certain quality of life. Besides being a great state in which to live and work, that quality of life comes from our opportunities to hunt, fish and camp in North Dakota’s great outdoors.

However, those opportunities are diminishing. North Dakota’s deer population has now reached lows not seen in approximately 40 years. Additionally, North Dakota’s pheasant population has fallen drastically from record highs set in the mid-2000s. The reason for these population declines is simple — habitat loss. With North Dakota losing Conservation Reserve Program and native prairie acres together with wetlands being drained and shelterbelts being ripped up, North Dakota has seen a drastic change in its quality of habitat for wildlife. Unfortunately, that loss of habitat not only threatens wildlife populations, but it erodes the strong heritage that North Dakotans have placed on hunting and fishing.

However, there is hope. That hope lies in the Clean Water, Wildlife, and Parks Amendment. This amendment, if approved by voters in November, will take a small portion of existing oil revenues without raising taxes and dedicate them to conservation projects within the state. These conservation projects will not only benefit wildlife populations, but will also ensure that future generations of North Dakota — our children and our grandchildren — will get to experience North Dakota’s strong heritage in hunting, fishing and love of the great outdoors. Please stand with me and my family in support of the Clean Water, Wildlife, and Parks Amendment by signing the petition, supporting this initiated measure and casting that important vote in favor at the November election.