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The resident/non-resident debates are very interesting to read, and I applaud folks to continue to present their views from both sides of the issue. However, I'd like to change subjects a bit to something that I have been thinking about quite a bit lately. I'm going to through this out to start a debate and force some thinking. I still haven't made up my mind to the appropriate role of Game & Fish, but I know others can provide some insight.

What's the role of ND Game & Fish? Are they there to manage natural resources or to be a sportsman's advocate? I've lived in four states in my life: MN, WI, IN, and ND. In Minnesota, Wisconisin, and Indiana, it seemed like their corresponding game & fish agency took an apolitical position of simply being there to best manage the natural resources in the state. They seemed to be very concerned with controlling harvests to maintain a healthy population of a species in question, but they didn't care about who harvested an animal in question. It also seemed that licensing decisions (# of licenses, lengths of seasons, etc) were based on biological data, not political motives.

Now fast forward to my somewhat recent move to ND. I was amazed at how political ND G&F is. I was also amazed at how ND G&F seems to wave their sportsman's advocacy flag just as much if not more than its wildlife management flag. For instance, I have heard some G&F folks state that the rationale behind the waterfowl hunting zones was based just as much on providing a quality hunting experience than on managing a healthy duck population. The same can be said of the limit on non-resident hunting licenses. I have seen posts on this page from people advocating lower numbers to ensure a quality hunting experience without a corresponding emphasis on the impact on wildlife populations.

The risk of G&F assuming a sportsman advocacy role is that its decisions can be politically-based instead of biologically-based. I would hope that the primary basis for all decisons relating to hunting and fishing licenses should be based on biology, not politics.

Has ND G&F always operated this way or is this a recent change in policy? Do folks think that G&F's primary mission should be on wildlife management or sportsman advocacy? What are the pros and cons?

BigDaddy
 

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Good topic. I think that with todays technology, people are able to share and find out more information in a faster manner. This has influenced and changed everything from the G&F to the way we fight wars now.
I cannot say whether or not it is a different policy. I think the ND G&F has always looked at managing the resource first with a secondary priority being hunter access/experience. There may have been some mistakes made over the years but I still think they are the best around. They are one of the few (if not only) self supporting G&F.
Just my humble opinion.
 
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