CSF Opposes Bill That Would Prohibit North Dakota Game & Fish from Promulgating Rules

Contact: Bob Matthews, Senior Coordinator, Upper Midwestern States

Why It Matters: State fish and wildlife management agencies are the entities best equipped to make important science-based conservation decisions. Legislation that strips away that ability is harmful to sportsmen and women because it takes important authority away from conservation experts and eliminates the ability of those agency experts to quickly respond to changing circumstances.

CSF provided written testimony before the North Dakota House Committee on Energy & Natural Resources last Friday, January 20th, opposing House Bill 1151, which would bar the Director of the Game & Fish Department (GFD) from promulgating rules that prohibit baiting while hunting on private land.

State wildlife management agencies are comprised of capable wildlife biologists that are aware of the constantly changing threats to the health of wildlife populations. By legislating away the decision-making authority of these agencies, they cannot quickly respond to threats through administrative action. Having an agency with the ability to properly administer rules is especially relevant in a state like North Dakota, in which the legislature meets every other year. The North Dakota GFD is the agency that was specifically established by the North Dakota legislature to protect the state’s storied public trust fish and wildlife resources and removing its ability to do so is counterproductive to the agency’s purpose.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation will continue to promote science-based wildlife management decision-making by opposing legislation like North Dakota’s House Bill 1511. Stripping state agencies of their authority to carry out the functions that those agencies were created for is detrimental to any state’s fish and wildlife management efforts.

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