Murphy’s Law 2019 #48 Natural Resources and a Thank You

October 22, 2019

Wearing my NDSGA shirt, I was able to personally thank both the Governor and Agriculture Commissioner for their Monday trip around North Dakota to view the watery situation we are facing. The Governor told me that there are a lot of people in need and one could tell he was impacted by the tour. The Agriculture Commissioner could not get over all the water he could see from the plane as they flew from stop to stop and we discussed the many effects that producers are encountering, including the inability of folks to cut hay or even rescue the sunken round bales I have seen crisscrossing the state the last two weeks. Then Senator Wanzek showed me some photos of his township roads near their farming operation and it reminded me of 2011. All of this took place before I got to my intended assignment to listen in on the interim Natural Resources committee. Their sole objective is trying to come up with language for developing an electronic data base which would be used for a pilot project with three counties in relation to posting land for hunting. Chairman Erbele reiterated that it is an effort to connect sportsmen and landowners which is his goal. The three counties have not yet been chosen or volunteered and the committee spoke for hours about what this might look like while taking testimony from the Department of Trust Lands, Game and Fish and the Information Technology Department on what the app might look like. Topics such as protecting landowner information, whether there should be a grace period for those hunters and landowners working under the pilot program, if there should be a deadline for landowners to get their info entered into the platform, etc. There are actually very few incidents of hunting on posted land reported to Game and Fish as I believe I mentioned from covering their last meeting, but this time G&F brought a County by County breakdown of those. Over the five year span from 2014 through 2018, 19 counties did not average even one a year (my county had one in five years) while the highest was Morton with 36, or about five per year. While there was testimony that the silent majority of landowners are fine with the current system of posting, certainly there are those that are not.