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Okay now what?

As Sportsman can we learn from the past. As I see it, and believe me I know this is unpopular view and that I am not nearly as well informed as many on this site and that it will give some a lift in their day to tell me I am ignorant, but I will state my view anyway.

Agricultural interests in North Dakota are of huge political significance. Combine that with the small business and rural area economic development counsels and I believe you have a very strong force.

IMHO, sportsman should identify strategies for improving North Dakota hunting that brings together all of these interests to benefit wildlife and hunting.

Dan mentioned in another post "1358, which sportspersons strongly supported, will raise something on the order of 3.3MM for public access acquisition" … is this true? I read the bill but nothing I found limits the manner in which the new revenues are spent. I would hate to see this revenue be diverted for other priorities. What are other strategies to increase revenues which could be used to secure access and habitat?

What is the dollar per acre that this money is used to lease PLOTS lands? How long do leases run?

In Western North Dakota, a person can lease upland hunting rights on CRP for 1 - 2 dollars an acre. I know. The state may need to pay slightly more as the State is not as good as an agent as a private individual who lives close by and can respond to land owner complaints in a timely and reasonable fashion. At 5 bucks an acre that is 660,000 new PLOTS land. Long term leases, over the two years I think the division is limited to now, would also be a great help in securing land as it enters the CRP or other comparable programs. I think this is a good start.

If the state was more aggressive in securing habitat and access wouldn't that go along way to reduce the need for guides and leasing of lands?

Wouldn't this approach also likely be well accepted by a larger political group?

No, it doesn't fix everything. It would help. It is better then coming up with solutions that SOME think fix everything and can't be implemented.

Einstein once said, The problem with tough problems is not that the solution is not known, but that it is known only to a few.
 

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There still cannot be unlimited #'s of Hunters - All coming at the same time - to the same few areas -

Lets make Deer Hunting a Free For All - I bet you would see some attention & Praise given to How it has been managed.

The G&FD Director & Govenor still have the Power to do the right things in all this - Nothing has changed - It is back in their Lap - They should have dealt with all this before & 2048 would never have come up & then get Bastardized. :oops: (To lower in quality or character; debase)

I see it, that we are right back where we were last Fall - 2048 could have been a more Flexible alternative - If you think this is all just over & will go away - your in for a shock

Why would we not keep things as they are / were last Fall ??? A precedent has been set - I can see a Lawsuit & eventually a referral vote - if things are not kept, as they were last Fall.

So who really won ???
 

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HO, I applaud your efforts to explore other ideas. Those of us that have hashed over these issues for literally thousands of hours have surely missed some options/approaches.

There have truly been some seemingly win-win (or nearly so) ideas on specific points even this session. 1223 will give pheasant-belt commerce and extra week of revenue, during the preferred mild period, one-half of all years. Resident hunters get some relief from overcrowding by having exclusivity over the public land the first week of every year. But how do the pheasant-belt landowners, especailly the non-fee ones, feel about this when the phone rings off the hook and the door is constantly pounded on, during a time when they've got a bunch of work to do, for seven more days also one-half of all years? I don't know, but even the approaches that seem to have the best interests of many affected in mind may have unintended, negative consequences for many folks who also have a pretty heavy stake in the situation.

By the by, you can thank resident sportspersons for resurrecting 1223. The SNRC hung a 6-1 DNP on that bill a few weeks back, and it was the concentrated effort by sportspersons personally contacting SNRC members over the weekend that caused that committee to reconsider its recomendation for that bill. The result, a 4-2 DP reccomendation and likely passage the nest couple of days. Who were the SNRC holdouts? Duck-belt Senators. 1223 has been said to mean on the order of $400,000 to the pheasant belt in the years where the extra week is created? Does anyone besides me find any irony in that - many in the non-waterfowl pheasant belt areas have joined their waterfowl commerce brethern to oppose 2048 and yet the duck-belt Senators oppose 1223? I guess someone smarter than me is going to have to figure that one out.

1358 is another bill that will help - to a point. Largely through revenues from residents, more access will be had. The increase comes from a $5 increase in the habitat stamp, the proceeds of which are used for PLI programs including PLOTS. Not all of these $ will be reflected in new acres, as it takes a fair amount of money to administer the increase in acquired acreage. I think G&F is planning to add 4 more FTE's to get this increased acreage.

Most also realize the limitation in 1358 or other similar programs. There still has to be some point where we actually reach a saturation level of hunters too. 1358, if the right land in the right areas is acquired, can help create some new quality hunting opportunities. Most would argue that 1358 will help somewhat in the effort to relieve crowding under the current hunter numbers. Not a magic bullet, not an effective fix, but it will provide some relief. But after these new acres are enrolled, will they also draw the sort of attention that renders them relatively unproductive relatively early in the season. 1358 will create places to hunt, but will it create an enourmous increase in quality hunting opportunities? I don't know, I have my doubts, but time will tell. And if nothing else, 1358 sure makes us feel like we're doing something to address the issues.

If we see hunter numbers and days continue to increase, we raise the price again and try to pick up another chunk to try and maybe do some damage control again? There's only so much productive habitat or ground that can be made productive even in the prime areas, and from what I understand there will be little or no new CRP in ND - USDA feels we've already been allocated more than our fair share. At what point do we quit fooling ourselves that all you need to do is throw more money at this and that we can endlessly manufacture quality hunting opportunities to support an unlimited number of hunters?

Again, keep asking the questions. But sooner or later, there needs to be some practical, workable answers, not pie in the sky wishes and feel-good solutions.
 

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I am just completely frusterated. I don't know what I am going to do now. I had it all figured out a couple years ago to stay in ND for the great hunting. Well if we continue down the same path we are on now, why should I? I think unless mother nature does something drastic in the way of drought, there won't be anything left to save by the next legislative session. Just look at the thread below about leasing land. The land rush in ND has begun boys. I hope you all have deep pockets if you want to hunt. I know I don't.
 
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