The North Dakota Industrial Commission on Tuesday, July 27, approved $5.8 million in Outdoor Heritage Fund matching grants for 16 conservation and recreation projects benefiting North Dakotans across the state. The funding, generated from oil and gas production tax revenue, supports projects such as access to public and private lands for sportsmen, farming and ranching stewardship practices, fish and wildlife habitat preservation and outdoor recreation areas.
The projects approved include:
- $591,200 – Audubon Dakota: Restore idle urban flood lands and riparian areas at 10 sites affecting 320 acres to create healthy habitat for birds and other wildlife, reduce public landowner maintenance output, and provide unique outdoor recreation and education opportunities.
- $69,115 – Bowman Parks and Recreation: Assistance with the outdoor aspects of a new shooting range in the Bowman and Rhame area.
- $10,000 – Center Park Board: New playground equipment for the Lehmkuhl Park in Center.
- $6,471 – Dunn County Park Board: Creation of a nature play area in the county park located at the Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge which will include a pollinator plot, animal trail, water feature, climbers, gathering place and the framework to construct and deconstruct an eagle nest and various shelters.
- $55,250 – Enderlin Park Board: Stabilize the west bank of the Maple River along Patrick Pierce Park with rock rip rap to prevent erosion and provide a safe place for recreation.
- $21,605 – Glen Ullin Park District: Create fishing opportunities by dredging the town dam and installing a dock for fishing.
- $25,370 – Mountrail County: Plant trees to provide shade for gazebos to be constructed at Clear Lake Park.
- $300,000 – NDSU North Dakota Forest Service: Financial assistance to landowners to renovate dead and deteriorating windbreaks.
- $42,525 – Barnes County Park Board: Develop a 42-acre county park on the west side of Valley City and a 1.4-mile trail on a former railroad bed connecting to an existing shared use path for a 2.8-mile path to downtown along with an orchard and pollinator plot.
- $170,000 – Barnes County Park Board: Develop a 180-mile water trail with 19 paddle landings through 3 counties (Richland, Ransom, and Barnes) from Baldhill Dam to the Sheyenne National Grassland.
- $196,356 – Little Missouri Grazing Association: Preserve 8,314 Animal Unit Month (AUMs) of livestock grazing, implement prescribed grazing strategies to improve native grasses and forbs, enhance wildlife habitat, and improve water quality.
- $245,800 – Medora Grazing Association: Develop four partially plugged oil/gas wells in Billings County into water wells to preserve livestock grazing, enhance wildlife habitat, and improve water quality.
- $2.55 million – North Dakota Conservation District Employees Association: Financial assistance to landowners for conservation tree installation.
- $1.27 million – North Dakota Natural Resources Trust: Increase water supplies to livestock and implement
- fencing for rotational grazing systems to provide future drought resiliency.
- $240,000 – North Dakota Natural Resources Trust: Partner with private landowners to create, enhance, and restore 20 wetland habitats covering 112 acres in North Dakota for the benefit of wildlife populations and livestock production.
- $10,000 – State Historical Society of North Dakota: Install a nature-inspired playground structure at Writing Rock State Historic Site in western Divide County.
The Industrial Commission, which oversees the Outdoor Heritage Fund, consists of Gov. Doug Burgum as chairman, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.
The next submission deadline for grant applications from state agencies, tribal governments, political subdivisions and non-profit organizations is Sept. 1, 2021. More information about the program, including the application process, can be found on the Outdoor Heritage Fund website at http://www.nd.gov/ndic/outdoor-infopage.htm.