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The Value of Partnerships

North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife biologists and administrators use the word “partnership” every day. It’s a term synonymous with wildlife management practices across the country and it’s the mechanism by which wildlife conservation is delivered.

The Game and Fish Department’s partner list is a long one, and we value each and every one to ensure hunter and angler dollars are leveraged to the highest extent possible, maximizing fish and wildlife opportunities, and fulfilling the mission of our agency.

North Dakota’s wildlife success stories usually involve successful partnerships, and we routinely seek out partners for projects that benefit fish and wildlife.

Game and Fish has a long history of working with landowners and a variety of U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs offered in the farm bill, which benefits both producers and local wildlife populations.

New to the partner list in 2013 was the Outdoor Heritage Fund, which many organizations will lean on frequently as they work to increase conservation practices for a particular region or perhaps statewide.

To date, the Department has received two OHF grants, which has put additional habitat on the ground in the southeastern portion of the state. Sometime this fall a state/federal partnership focusing on the state’s pheasant hunting stronghold in southwestern North Dakota will be announced.

This fall, while you are out enjoying North Dakota’s outdoors, give some thought to future partnership ideas and how your local wildlife club could be a future partner to help wildlife populations in your area.

The upcoming fall hunting seasons could be described with several different adjectives. The pheasant forecast for parts of North Dakota appears good, while other areas will likely leave hunters hoping the future is brighter. Sharptailed grouse and waterfowl hunters will likely have fewer complaints, as numbers once again for these birds are strong heading into the fall months.

Early spring had everyone wondering if a dry year was upon us, but then May came along and brought a lot of rain with it, preventing many ducks from moving north in search of better wetland conditions.

All of North Dakota’s big game lottery license drawings are once again competitive, but for those fortunate enough to receive a license, a reasonable chance exists at filling your freezer with some high protein meat.

All things considered, fall will provide ample opportunities for those willing to get outdoors. Enjoy.

In 2014, the Department enrolled over 3,000 acres into PLOTS using OHF dollars in Ransom, Lamoure, and Dickey Counties. These photos, taken in June, illustrate grass stand growth during summer months. These expired CRP acres would likely have been converted back to cropland if OHF funds were not available to keep this grass green side up.


Patience and good environmental conditions are key to establishing habitat on cropland. New establishments may not appear to have much progress during the first year above the surface, but the seeds are developing healthy roots beneath the surface that will push out annual weeds. A good rule of thumb is to allow two years of establishment for “introduced” grass mixes and three years of establishment for “native” grasses and forbs before determining success or failure.



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