Rick Olek, Fargo
North Dakota's special, and it's worth keeping it that way. As an outdoorsman and veteran, I love to hunt and fish. I've watched this state change with fewer places to hunt and less wildlife. The state has even had to restrict hunting licenses because of declining wildlife populations. Only about half of the deer hunting licenses were issued this year and grouse, partridge and pheasant numbers were all down about 30 percent.
We need to protect what's great about living here. That's why outdoorsmen, veterans and others need to support the North Dakota Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment.
The amendment would protect our clean drinking water, rivers, lakes and streams, and places for outdoor recreation. A citizen's accountability board watches over it, and the governor, attorney general and agriculture commissioner will make the decisions on which lands to protect. So they'll only support programs we the people want.
Our state is going though one of the most explosive growth phases in our history. To maintain our great quality of life and have a place for our children and grandchildren we need a real conservation program like the Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment to establish new parks and recreation areas for our children and families to stay active and healthy, without raising taxes. Future generations deserve the same opportunities we have enjoyed. It is time for North Dakota to focus on designing our future, by promoting programs that protect our clean water and our world-class natural places.