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ND conservation measure backers turn in signatures

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm •  Published: August 4, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Backers of a proposed North Dakota ballot measure that would funnel millions more into water, wildlife and parks projects submitted their signed petitions Monday.

North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger received 1,970 petitions, which supporters have estimated have more than 41,000 signatures.

The proposed ballot measure would direct 5 percent of the state's oil extraction taxes into the state's conservation fund. That would raise about $150 million during the 2015-17 budget period, based on current production and oil prices. The existing fund is capped at $30 million during the state's two-year budget cycle.

"We have a unique opportunity to invest a small portion of the funds the oil industry is already paying to our state, without raising taxes, to protect the things that make North Dakota, North Dakota," Steve Adair, director of Ducks Unlimited's office in Bismarck, said in a statement. Adair is also the chairman of North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks, the measure's sponsor.

Jaeger has until Sept. 8 to certify whether supporters submitted the necessary 26,904 signatures to appear on the November ballot.

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