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COMMENTS BY KIM: Wanted: Sportsmen input

The fall Advisory Board meetings conducted by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department are coming up soon. Due to the coronavirus epidemic the required public meetings will be held online rather than at eight various sites throughout the state.

Attendance at Advisory Board meetings is generally lackluster, sometimes dismal. The best Advisory Board meetings I’ve attended, and I have attended many of them in my years of outdoor reporting, were those with a good number of sportsmen in attendance. That’s when Game and Fish receives the most meaningful input, which is the purpose of the meetings.

Every year I hear sportsmen say Game and Fish should do this or that, or that they don’t like a certain policy or want something changed. Then those same people don’t take the time to attend an Advisory Board meeting and voice their opinion. It happens twice every year. Perplexing.

The Advisory Board meetings are meant for the purpose of providing input to Game and Fish who then make use of that information in formulating future policies. At least that’s the general idea. It also gives Game and Fish a forum for explaining why they do or do not adopt certain policies.

The upcoming livestream meetings can be accessed at the Game and Fish website. District 1, 2, 7 and 8, basically the western half of the state, which includes the Minot area, will have a combined meeting on Monday, Nov. 30. Meetings for the eastern districts will be combined and livestreamed on Tuesday, Nov. 31. Both meetings will start at 7 p.m. and last for about two hours.

Game and Fish is asking sportsmen to submit questions for department personnel prior to the meetings at ndgflive@nd.gov. Questions can also be submitted during the live chat portion of the meetings but are “not guaranteed to get answered during the meeting.”

That means if you’ve got something on your mind regarding a Game and Fish Department issue you’d be best served by submitting your concern, or question, in advance. I hope sportsmen do that. Unfortunately, too often, they don’t.

The format for the livestream meetings will begin with a presentation by Game and Fish. That will be followed by a question and answer session with various department staff, including Director Terry Steinwand and Deputy Director Scott Peterson.

Topics open for discussion are deer seasons, fishing regulations, game populations and limits, electronic posting, habitat programs and anything else of interest or concern to any sportsman. I’d prefer an in-person meeting rather than one via computer. I know many others would too, but this is the hand we’ve been dealt. I hope sportsmen make take the time to participate.

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