Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

CRP Enrollment Open

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for certain practices under the continuous Conservation Reserve Program. Eligible farmers, ranchers and private landowners can sign up at their local USDA Farm Service Agency offices.


Practices eligible for enrollment include grassed waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers and wetland restoration. The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, an offshoot of CRP, is also open for enrollment.


Continuous signup enrollment contracts are for 10 to 15 years, with soil rental rates set at 90 percent of the existing rate. Incentive rates are not offered.


Kevin Kading, North Dakota Game and Fish Department private land section leader, said landowners interested in these programs could also qualify for additional financial incentives and cost-share from Game and Fish.


“Anyone who’s interested in seeing how Game and Fish can help add to these practices, can contact a private land biologist in their area,” Kading said.


Bismarck – Levi Jacobson – 527-3764 (Burleigh, Emmons, Kidder, Morton, Oliver)


Devils Lake – Andrew Ahrens – 204-5227 (Bottineau, Cavalier, Grand Forks, Nelson, Pembina, Ramsey, Rolette, Towner, Walsh)


Dickinson – Jaden Honeyman – 260-3546 (Adams, Grant, Hettinger, Sioux)


Dickinson – Curtis Francis – 227-7431 (Billings, Bowman, Golden Valley, Slope, Stark)


Harvey – Terry Oswald, Jr., – 399-9958 (Benson, Eddy, Foster, Pierce, Sheridan, Wells)


Jamestown – Renae Heinle, Jamestown – 320-4695 (Barnes, Cass, Dickey, Griggs, LaMoure, Logan, McIntosh, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Steele, Stutsman, Traill)


Riverdale – Ryan Huber – 527-8963 (Dunn, McHenry, McLean, Mercer, Renville, Ward)


Williston – Todd Buckley – 770-3815 (Burke, Divide, McKenzie, Mountrail, Williams)


Game and Fish Seeks Habitat Contractors

Contractors who are able to perform habitat work on Private Land Open To Sportsmen program lands across the state, are invited to add their businesses to a database that the North Dakota Game and Fish Department will maintain on its website, gf.nd.gov, to help landowners who are looking to develop wildlife habitat on their property.

PLOTS is an agreement between the private landowner and Game and Fish Department to open private land to walking hunting access. These contracts can involve establishing or enhancing wildlife habitat, such as grass plantings and food plots on PLOTS lands. However, if the landowner does not have the necessary equipment to perform the work, a contractor is usually needed.

“In some parts of the state, there is a shortage of contractors, or equipment, to perform habitat work,” said Kevin Kading, Game and Fish private lands section leader. “The bulk of the habitat work is planting native and introduced grasses, which requires a tractor, operator and a no-till drill or native grass drill. Other work can include wildlife food plots and tree plantings.”

Providing company information does not guarantee any future work, but as projects come about, the Department will refer landowners to interested contractors.

More information about the PLOTS program is also available on the Game and Fish website, or by calling the Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6300.

Habitats Workshop Feb. 9-10 in Bismarck

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department and Missouri River Educational Cooperative are sponsoring a wildlife conservation and resource management workshop for teachers, environmental educators and anyone else who works with youth.

PLOTS column

“Habitats of North Dakota” is scheduled Feb. 9-10 at the Game and Fish Department’s main office in Bismarck. The five North Dakota habitats – wetlands, badlands, prairie, woodlands and riparian – will be studied, with the North Dakota Studies Habitats curriculum used as textbooks.

The fast-paced workshop offers a hands-on approach educators can use in their classrooms and on field trips, and in discussing classroom and curriculum integration. All supplies are provided. Preregistration is required.

Curriculum materials are suitable for both elementary and secondary teachers. Workshop instructor Sherry Niesar has a master’s degree in wildlife science and teaches many educator workshops in the region.

To register for the workshop, contact Carrie Ziegler, MREC, at 701-751-4041, or email carrie.ziegler@mrecnd.org. A $100 registration fee for materials, lunch and refreshments is required.

To register for graduate credit, visit UND’s website at http://educators.und.edu/workshop/?id=TL.HABITATS.ND. The cost for graduate credit is $50.

coming soon…CRP sign up

Producers interested in submitting bids to enroll land in Conservation Reserve Program acres have from May 20 through June 14. Applications received during the CRP signup period will be ranked against others according to the Environmental Benefit Index.

Kevin Kading, North Dakota Game and Fish Department private land section leader, said there are some EBI factors that producers can influence. “Game and Fish Department private land biologists and other conservation partners such as Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever can help producers find the best possible combination of factors that will positively influence their EBI score, which may increase their likelihood of being accepted into the program,” Kading said.

Game and Fish offers cost-share assistance and additional incentives if producers enroll their CRP into the department’s Private Land Open To Sportsmen program to allow walk-in access for hunting.

“New to the PLOTS program this year is Game and Fish will make arrangements with contractors to assist producers with land preparation, grass seeding and CRP management,” Kading said. This service is offered for producers who enroll CRP in PLOTS in Dickey, Ransom, Sargent, LaMoure, Burleigh, Emmons, McLean, Sheridan, Stark, Hettinger and Adams counties.

Producers should contact the county Farm Service Agency office, or the following biologists, for more information about the general signup and opportunities with PLOTS. A series of short videos with tips and advice on how producers can maximize their CRP offer, and information about PLOTS cost-share and grass seeding assistance can also be found on the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov.