All Interim committees for our North Dakota Legislature have gone to meetings via phone, internet, etc. Not many have convened given the complexity and newness of the challenges bestowed upon us by the novel Coronavirus. While the Budget Section has met to vote on allowing (mostly) state agencies to spend money sent to us by the Federal government, monies directly given to Agriculture by the CARE Act dispersed through action of the Budget Section this week were confined to over one million dollars to help meat processing by our mostly smaller butchers and locker plants. Grinders, slicers, coolers and other supplies is my understanding of what those dollars may go towards.
The Agriculture and Transportation Interim committee handling changes in grain inspection has not met in the past couple of months with nothing scheduled yet.
However, there was an hour or so spent by the Natural Resources committee earlier this past week to confirm that the three county (Ramsey, Richland and Slope) pilot project about posting for hunting reported on in the past has moved on to where it can be put into motion. COVID-19 had wreaked havoc and disruption to many of our state functions and the IT department had to pivot away to some degree from the pilot program to help almost every state agency operate. Fortunately, the Game and Fish Department was generous in helping this effort by allowing the new online posting effort to be tried by the three counties using their licensing platform. If you have ever applied for or purchased hunting, fishing or boat licenses, etc. using the Game and Fish website, you are somewhat familiar with this system. Landowners in those three counties can access it by going to “My Account” and search for Land Parcel info which comes from the counties. People who control access to the land can then designate whether the land parcel will be open for hunting or closed for the coming year. Because this is a pilot and state law has not been changed, physical posting as in the past will still rule. This also means as in the past that land not posted is presumed to be open to hunting. If the landowners find that this system is usable, it is possible that this system could be adapted throughout the entire state if the law is so changed.