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North Dakota gets federal grant for recreational access

Bismarck, North Dakota (AP) October 2010

North Dakota is getting a $300,000 federal grant aimed at encouraging landowners to expand recreational opportunities.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s so-called Open Fields program was created in the 2008 farm bill. About $50 million in grants is available over four years to states and tribal governments to pay farmers and ranchers for recreational access.

The money goes to states that already have access programs. North Dakota has about 970,000 acres are enrolled in a state program called PLOTS, or Private Lands Open to Sportsmen, that offers payments to landowners who agree to keep their property open to public hunting.

License fees paid by hunters funds the program’s $4 million annual budget.



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