Outdoors briefly

Boat North Dakota course

Children ages 12-15 who want to operate a boat or personal watercraft this summer must take the state’s boating basics course. State law requires youngsters ages 12-15 to pass the course before they operate a boat or personal watercraft with at least a 10 horsepower motor. In addition, major insurance companies give adult boat owners who pass the course a premium discount on boat insurance.

The course is available for home study from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Bismarck office. Two commercial providers also offer the course online, and links to those sites are found on the department’s website at (gf.nd.gov).

While the home-study course is free, students will be charged a fee to take it online. The online provider charges for the course, not the Game and Fish Department. The fee stays with the online provider.

Upon completion of the online test, and providing a credit card number, students will be able to print out a temporary certification card, and within 10 days a permanent card will be mailed. The course covers legal requirements, navigation rules, getting underway, accidents and special topics such as weather, rules of the road, laws, life saving and first aid.

For more information contact Nancy Boldt, North Dakota Game and Fish Department at 328-6300.

General CRP signup starts soon

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.

Producers should contact the county Farm Service Agency office, or the following biologists, for more information about the general signup and opportunities with PLOTS.

NDGF Private Land Biologists

Nate Harling, Devils Lake 662-3617 (Bottineau, Rolette, Towner, Cavalier, Ramsey, Pembina, Walsh, Grand Forks, Nelson)

Todd Buckley, Williston 774-4320 (Divide, Burke, Williams, Mountrail, McKenzie)

Terry Oswald, Jr., Lonetree 324-2211 (Sheridan, Wells, Eddy, Foster, Benson, Pierce)

Ryan Huber, Riverdale 654-7475 (McLean, Mercer, McHenry, Ward, Renville)

Ducks Unlimited Conservation Program Biologists

Jacob Oster, Turtle Lake 448-2377 (McLean, Burleigh, Sheridan)