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Update on moose, elk and bighorn sheep populations and once-in-a-lifetime hunting licenses

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Update on moose, elk and bighorn sheep populations and once-in-a-lifetime hunting licenses


BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – North Dakota’s moose, elk and bighorn sheep license applications are due March 27.

A moose, elk or bighorn sheep hunting license is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in North Dakota if you get drawn.

There will be more opportunities for hunters looking to harvest an elk in 2024.

“We increased them by 230 licenses. And so, most of that was up in the northeast. So, the total number of licenses for elk this year will be 833,” said Casey Anderson, wildlife division chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

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There will be a few less moose licenses available for hunters in 2024.

“So, moose in the state have done really well, especially out in the prairies. The northeast corner of the state, we still have the units that are closed to moose hunting. But for the rest of the state, they’re doing fairly well. And we’ve actually tried to increase the tags to the point where moose numbers come down. And so, this year we reduced the moose licenses by 15 because we are starting to put that downward trend on the population. And so, we’re to a total of 242 this year,” said Anderson.

Bighorn sheep populations in North Dakota in the last few years are doing pretty well.

“So, when you apply for bighorn sheep, we don’t give the results out until later in the summer. And that’s because we go out and we’re counting bighorn sheep, we’re classifying rams, trying to determine how many are available for hunters. And it’s usually a pretty small number, we’re only talking five, six licenses. So, we’re out there watching those, making sure that there isn’t a pneumonia outbreak that sometimes can occur,” said Anderson.

There are ways of improving your odds of getting drawn for a moose or elk license in North Dakota.

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“If you wanted to just, say, hunt an elk or hunt a moose in North Dakota, our antlerless licenses are a pretty high draw rate compared to the antlered ones, obviously, those are the coveted ones that a lot of people are after. But sometimes you can be up in the 50-plus percent chance of drawing. Those aren’t the easiest hunts either. The antlerless hunts are sometimes harder than the bull hunts and any of those hunts can be very physically demanding,” said Anderson.



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North Dakota

Burgum, 21 Republican governors urge pause to new EPA air quality rule

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Burgum, 21 Republican governors urge pause to new EPA air quality rule


BISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and 21 other Republican governors called Thursday for the Environmental Protection Agency to pause its new rule that limits fine particles in the air.

In a Thursday, April 11 letter addressed to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, the governors wrote the new rule will hit rural communities the hardest. The rule, which changes the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particulate matter, is scheduled to take effect May 6.

“The EPA wants to move the goal posts on these air toxic standards,” Burgum said this week during a meeting of the Energy Development and Transmission Committee. “When they move those goal posts, they are taking it to just unbelievable levels.”

Rural communities and businesses will be forced to make air quality changes at a higher cost per capita than other areas and will struggle to meet the standards, the governors wrote.

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“This one-size-fits-all rule is the wrong approach and particularly burdensome to states like North Dakota where air quality is frequently degraded by wildfire smoke from western states and Canada that is beyond our control,” Burgum said in a news release. “This new EPA standard ignores the progress made in reducing particulate matter over the last 20 years and threatens to drive up costs for industry and consumers and damage our economy.”

The governors also estimated that 20% of U.S. counties will be deemed non-compliant once the rule goes into effect, the letter said.

The EPA said the rule protects “millions of Americans from harmful and costly health impacts, such as heart attacks and premature death,” according to the agency’s website.

The EPA also said particle, or soot, pollution is one of the most dangerous forms of air pollution.

In addition to Burgum, the letter was signed by the Republican governors of: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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This story was originally published on NorthDakotaMonitor.com

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.





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Burgum: Lawmakers should budget for court battles over federal regulations

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Burgum: Lawmakers should budget for court battles over federal regulations


BISMARCK — Gov. Doug Burgum told a group of lawmakers Wednesday to spare no expense in fighting federal regulations that affect North Dakota’s energy industry.

President Joe Biden’s administration has tightened environmental policies in a number of areas — including an Environmental Protection Agency rule on mercury emissions that North Dakota officials say targets the state’s lignite industry.

The EPA says the rule change is necessary to mitigate serious health risks caused by air pollutants. Analysis by the EPA found the rule will have “relatively minor impacts” on the energy industry, according to a fact sheet on the federal agency’s website.

Yet in testimony before the Energy Development and Transmission Committee, Burgum called the rules and other federal regulations cumbersome, illogical and an “existential threat” to North Dakota’s energy and agriculture industries.

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The governor said he fears this trend will only continue if Biden is reelected — and that the Legislature should be ready to finance a spate of new lawsuits against the federal government in hopes the courts will roll the regulations back.

“As bad as it is right now, I don’t want anybody to think it couldn’t get worse,” Burgum told the committee.

The energy industry is a major driver for state revenue, which is why the stakes are so high for North Dakota, Burgum said. Fending off the rules will mean giving the Attorney General’s Office more money to hire special assistant AGs, he continued.

“I don’t want the attorney general to be going, ‘Well, I’m not sure I’ve got it in my budget,’” Burgum said. “Man, that would be penny-wise, pound-foolish when the billions of dollars of revenue that all of you appropriated is at risk.”

The governor’s office is preparing two state budgets to propose to lawmakers ahead of next year’s legislative session: one for if former President Donald Trump wins the election, and a Biden budget that sets aside more money for legal fees.

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Burgum said the Legislature set aside at least $15 million in the 2023-25 state budget for lawsuits challenging federal regulations. Of that, $6 million went to the Industrial Commission — $3 million for lignite lawsuits, and the other $3 million for oil and gas litigation, he said. Another $4 million went to the Attorney General’s Office, and $5 million was appropriated for agriculture.

Burgum was far from the only state official at the meeting with strong words for the federal government.

David Glatt, director of the Department of Environmental Quality Director, called regulatory action under Biden an “unprecedented trainwreck” for North Dakota.

Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources, also encouraged the state to seek relief in court.

“It will be an incredible challenge to undo the rules and regulations that have been promulgated,” Helms said.

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Sen. Merrill Piepkorn, D-Fargo — who last week announced he was joining the race to succeed Burgum as governor — took a more reserved stance.

“I have to be better educated on the subject as to where we are right now, and what the anticipated work would be,” he said. “I don’t know if I would be preparing a huge budget to hire additional attorneys right off the bat.”

This story was originally published on NorthDakotaMonitor.com

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This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

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Third South Dakota tribal nation bans Noem from reservation

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Third South Dakota tribal nation bans Noem from reservation


The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has become the third tribal nation to ban South Dakota Kristi Noem (R) from its reservation land.

On Wednesday, the Standing Rock Tribal Council voted to ban Noem from its land for “racially charged” comments she made at town halls events alleging that some tribal leaders are “personally benefitting” from Mexican drug cartel activity on reservations, the South Dakota Searchlight reported.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is straddles the border of North Dakota and South Dakota. The Governor was banned from two other reservations earlier this year, which started after she delivered remarks on the U.S.-Mexico border in February.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairwoman Janet Alkire said in a release that Noem’s attempts to link tribes with the Mexican cartel was “irresponsible” and a “sad reflection of her fear-based politics that do nothing to bring people together to solve problems.”

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“Rather than make uninformed and unsubstantiated claims, Noem should work with tribal leaders to increase funding and resources for tribal law enforcement and education,” Alkire’s statement said, reported by the Searchlight.

Alkire called a special meeting after a motion to ban Noem was introduced by Alice Bird Horse and seconded by Cyril Archambault.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe banned Noem in February, shortly after her remarks at the border. Frank Star Comes Out, the president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, said the ban was effective immediately and due to the safety of Oyate.

The Cheyanne River Sioux also voted to ban Noem last week. The South Dakota governor is now banned from about 10 percent of the land in the state she governs, CNN noted.

In a video posted to social media platform X, Noem announced Thursday that she was offering a “history-making opportunity” to the state’s tribes by creating a law enforcement training course over the summer.

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“Now, it’s not going to address every single challenge, but this training is a crucial first step towards addressing public safety issues in our tribal communities,” she said.

The Hill has reached out to Noem’s office for comment on the latest banning.

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