Good to see that the Forum finally has some letters that intelligently explain the other side of the subject. Well done to all three authors!
Other views: Hunter Pressure Concept best compromise for all
By Daniel A. Bueide
The Forum - 01/31/2003
The Jan. 29 letter from Connie Krapp is the latest installment of misinformation from those wishing to exploit North Dakota's hunting resources at all costs and expenses. Krapp, who operates an outfitter business catered towards nonresident hunters, has greatly mischaracterized the Hunter Pressure Concept and the goals of sportspersons who support it as a compromise on the contentious waterfowl issue.
Conspiracy! The truth is that HPC was developed by the North Dakota Game and Fish in response to the Governor's (not sportspersons groups') request to develop some innovative, permanent solutions to this difficult issue. Of the concepts developed, sportspersons gravitated towards HPC, even though it produced nonresident numbers higher than some of the other concepts and higher than past sportspersons' poles have indicated as tolerable. HPC was favored because of its logic and fairness for all parties involved, and its true compromise quality.
How can you argue against a system that matches hunter numbers with anticipated hunting opportunities, so that all participants have an opportunity to experience a quality hunt? Further, it's a permanent solution, that self-adjusts based upon wetland conditions and resident use, which made it attractive so as to put behind us the political and emotional blood-letting this issue has spawned for the last several years.
Loopholes/manipulation! The HPC, in part, uses statistical sampling of resident and nonresident hunters to determine a cap for any particular year, and opponents would have you believe resident sportspersons will go out of their way to cook the books. Nonresidents, on their own or at the behest of outfitters, could also manipulate the HPC by under-reporting harvest. We're confident that all waterfowl hunters, regardless of their home zip code, will act like adults in the future just as they have in the past.
Anti-nonresident/anti-tourism! At the end of the day, the goal of North Dakotans should be to maximize all that a quality hunting resource means to all of North Dakota. This invaluable asset brings important seasonal dollars to rural North Dakota and keeps and attracts many thousand residents and their year-round dollars. The focus should be on balance and sustainability, so that North Dakota remains a desired tourism destination and a desired state of residency. This should be true for all types of hunting, but when it comes to waterfowl, balance and sustainability is what HPC is all about. The numbers of waterfowl only partly contribute to quality hunting.
A two-mile beach occupied by a million people is less enjoyable than a half-mile beach occupied by 50,000 people. Even in periods of high waterfowl numbers, over-crowding and excessive pressure greatly degrades quality hunting (as we're hearing from an increasing number of nonresidents who have hunted for many years) and prematurely pushes birds out of state, thereby reducing hunting opportunities for everyone.
Sportspersons hold no hatred towards nonresident hunters and fully appreciate their contribution to the North Dakota economy. We, however, also favor a resolution that recognizes our contribution to the North Dakota economy and encourages us (and others like us) to be North Dakota residents.
I also ask you to contact your senators at 1-888-635-3447, but urge a DO-PASS on 2048 (HPC). Let's sustain and maximize all the quality hunting asset means to all North Dakotans, today and for all future generations.
Bueide is a Fargo attorney.
Jason Stafslien letter: Quality hunting will keep people in the state
The Forum - 01/31/2003
In an opinion written in The Forum Jan. 29 by Connie Krapp, she stressed the importance of non-resident hunting dollars to North Dakota's economy, and she, like many other outfitters, continues to demonize the resident sportsmen. I find this unjustified, and I thought I'd provide another side of the story.
I am a high school student who loves to hunt. I always planned on living in North Dakota mainly because of it's great hunting and fishing. In just the seven years I've been hunting, I have noticed a major increase in non-resident numbers. This has caused a major problem in accessing land to hunt on. Connie claims there is no overcrowding, I invite her to come see for herself. This is seriously degrading the quality of hunting in many areas and needs to be dealt with reasonably.
The quality of hunting will definitely keep suffering if something isn't done to slow the number of non-resident hunters. I understand non-residents bring money to North Dakota, but there is another side to the economic issue brought up here.
I am a youth of North Dakota, and I constantly hear about the "out migration" of our youth. I always ask, "What does North Dakota offer us to stay?" It certainly doesn't offer much for job opportunity, or pay for that matter, but it does offer great hunting and fishing. Believe it or not, many residents live here just for the outdoors.
It seems like North Dakota's economy will be hurt when myself and others like me leave North Dakota, because there is no longer any reason to stay here.
I think North Dakota citizens should consider what impact us resident sportsmen have on the economy and what will happen when people start leaving the state. This will begin to happen if something isn't done to limit non-resident hunters. SB 2048 is NOT banning non-residents, but it is putting a reasonable cap on them that was thought up by the Game and Fish Department.
Please consider supporting SB 2048, and contact your legislators if you feel resident sportsmen are important to North Dakota.
Dick Monson letter: Writer did not reveal she is an outfitter
The Forum - 01/31/2003
When Connie Krapp wrote her opinion article (Jan. 29), she forgot to mention she is an outfitter, fee hunting only, kind of gal. She forgot to mention that Judiciary B Committee overwhelmingly passed the Hunter Pressure Concept, SB-2048, on a vote of 15 for - 2 against. She forgot to mention that outfitters lease hundreds of thousands of acres for fee hunting.
If there is not too much hunting pressure, why do they lease up all that ground? Just trying to stimulate the economy?
She forgot to mention that resident outdoorsmen account for 80 percent of outdoor expenditures in rural areas. Of course if those dollars aren't in her pocket, they must not count.
She forgot to mention outfitters are actively promoting a gag order from the governor on North Dakota Game and Fish testimony during the hearings (how does that play for free speech issues?).
Can anybody smell PHEASANTGATE wafting in the air?
Valley City, N.D.