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Minot Daily News Editorial

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Waterfowl plan is good compromise
By the Minot Daily News

The North Dakota Game and Fish Dept. has developed and Gov. John Hoeven has approved a nonresident waterfowl hunting plan that looks like a decent compromise to a contentious issue.

Essentially, the plan creates three distinct hunting zones in the state -- two smaller ones in the heart of duck country between Velva and Ellendale, with the rest of the state making the all-encompassing third zone.

While Game and Fish officials go to great lengths to say the plan is not designed to limit or cap the number of out-of-state hunters, it does create hindrances that will have a limiting effect.

For example, nonresident hunters cannot hunt in both of the two smaller hot-spot zones in the same season. While last year's statewide, seven-day waterfowl license was replaced with a 14-day plan for this year, out-of-staters can hunt for only seven days in one of the two most-desirable smaller zones.

Last year, the number of non-resident hunters was capped at 30,000. This year, there is no absolute cap on numbers, but the door hasn't been tossed open to the maybe 32,000 or so that Game and Fish says would come, given no restrictions.

More than a few of the rural communities in prime waterfowl areas see expansion of non-resident hunters as an opportunity for economic gain. The restrictions in the current plan will have the result of holding back some inflow of nonresident hunters. Of course, many in-state hunters think this is just fine.

The balance between local residents' access to prime hunting land and the economic gain from nonresident hunters has proven to be hard to find. This plan seems to get pretty close.

Another example of an attempt at fairness is how it's hoped that the plan moves hunters from the traditional waterfowl hunting areas in the two smaller zones into the larger third zone.

The design is meant to disperse hunters out into different communities. This is a genuinely positive effort that, if it works, should gain some support from the business communities of areas that haven't seen large numbers of nonresident hunters in the past.

The plan isn't perfect, but it's far from a failure. It is a well-planned-out attempt to strike a compromise.
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WOW. what a well written article. This says it all. A good compromise on a tough issue where all sides won and lost.

I would not call these zones a comprimise but crumbs to hopefully keep the wolves away come election time.

I am considering starting a glass business in Nelson County I was wondering where it is you find the sand that you keep sticking your head into?
economics 101 said:
WOW. what a well written article. This says it all. A good compromise on a tough issue where all sides won and lost.

Good old Econ. Someone I can always disagree with. ;) The site just wouldn't be the same without ya! :p
The 30,000 NR cap was the compromise and now that is gone. Compromise is gone. Zones are smoke and mirrors.

With the 30K cap any existing and new G/O were fighting for the same (and current) number of nonresident hunters. Thus the approximate number of leased acres should have remained the same if the amount of lease acres was proportional to the number of hunters using G/Os and the ratio of guided hunters and freelance hunters remained the same.

Now the G/Os have an unlimited client base. The amount of land leased by G/Os can increase to the extent that they can attract new business (raise price or more hunters).

Thus this IS NOT the answer and may only esculate the potential for future conflict.
econ/cootkiller-----what a great comparison.......I think we need you in office?!?!?!?!? :p
Goes to show you should never under estimate the power of a trip with the Gov's chief of staff and a G&F Kahoona in a G&F plane to all of the state's major papers just ahead of the "plan" announcement. Got to give him credit, he's doing his best to turn that sow's ear into a silk purse.
Ron Gilmore,

Not much sand left up here for glass. Most has been used for the new roads ect. needed to keep all this wonderful water in our closed basin.

But, I am sure there is plenty in Iraq if you need to start your new glass business. :D

Enjoy it while you can - I think your one term Govenor is in for a Rude awakening
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