Doing Nothing Is Not An Option

January 30, 2009 by  

Our Outdoors
Nick Simonson

If an issue is important to you, you can go to the State Capitol to share your views with the Nature Resource Committees

If an issue is important to you, you can go to the State Capitol to share your views with the Nature Resource Committees

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

This quote by Edmund Burke sums up why oftentimes the world is in such chaos. The tides of many matters, whether it be the rise of Nazi power in Europe in the mid-1900s or the civil rights movement throughout that century in the U.S., turn on the decision of a person to take a stand for what is right.

While the preservation of wildlife habitat, game and fish species and opportunities to pursue them in North Dakota may be a little lower on the scale than the struggle between good and evil, it is becoming evident that such issues are top priority among the people and lawmakers of this state. With dozens of such bills in front of the North Dakota Legislature this session, there are no outdoor pursuits that will go untouched.

Hot topics

There are several heated bills in front of the house and senate this year. The most hotly debated so far has been the baiting of big game. HB 1039 would modify current state law to allow the Director of the Game and Fish Department to establish rules on the baiting of animals such as deer, elk and antelope.

Some issues are so important it can draw quite a crowd to the capitol, its a MUST that people get involved

Some issues are so important it can draw quite a crowd to the capitol, it's a MUST that people get involved

Other bills focus on getting the youth of North Dakota more involved in the outdoors. SB 2250 relates to modifying the regulations surrounding the spring turkey hunt; providing a guaranteed tag for those hunters 17 or younger hunting spring turkeys for the first time.

HB 1200 would create special PLOTS areas located within 30 miles of urban (>5,000) populations open to youth hunters and adults accompanying them. The bill would further allow the Game and Fish Director to issue grants to communities for the development of youth hunting activities, such as shooting ranges.

As in years past, many bills pertain to licensing fee structures and non-resident hunters in North Dakota. One of the top bills being debated by the legislators and hunters alike is HB 1364, a bill which would increase antlered deer tag application prices to $35.00 and lower antlerless deer tag application prices to $10.00. The current application fee for both sexes is $20.00.

HB 1240 is of note in the regulation of non-resident waterfowl hunters. Should this bill pass, state law would require that non-resident duck hunters be issued tags for their birds in a number equal to the possession limit. This regulation would hinge on the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s annual determination of waterfowl limits each year.

For a collection of all the bills before the house and senate in the 2007 session log on to www.legis.nd.gov/assembly.

Get involved

With the number of bills in front of the legislative branch this year, it is imperative that sportsmen get involved. With the expansion of internet technology and communications efforts to bring access to legislators direct to the citizens of North Dakota, it is easier than ever to make every voice heard.

The easiest thing you can do is sign up to the Nodak Outdoors Etree. A group of people from various walks of life have donated their time in tracking the important bills, and will email you when there’s a need for action.

You can also contact any legislator via email concerned citizens need only look up their representatives or senators from lists on the legislative website. For phone contact, constituents can leave messages for their lawmakers by calling 1-888-ND-LEGIS. Messages are left with an actual person, and no button-pushing or prompts need to be followed.

It has never been easier to get involved – to do nothing is no longer an option. Many impacts will be made on the regulation of hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation. Take a stand this year and protect the good things found…in our outdoors.


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