Tribune editorial: Reservation sub-districts make sense | Editorial


It’s up and down, where we give a brief nudge or a thumbs down on last week’s issues.

A state legislative committee has taken a step forward by approving a new legislative district map that includes the House sub-districts for the Turtle Mountain and Fort Berthold reserves. North Dakota Native Vote Executive Director Nicole Donaghy said the subdistricts would allow “tribal members to elect any candidate they want.” The entire Legislature must approve the plan and the Governor must approve it. It seems likely. One downside is that sub-districts are not nominated for Standing Rock and Spirit Lake reserves, which do not have the necessary population under federal voting rights law. This case could end up in court.

North Dakota duck hunters face below-normal wetland conditions early in the season. The Game and Fish Department’s annual fall wetland survey indicates that the number of duck hunting wetlands is down about 44% statewide from last fall. This is not surprising, given the dry winter of last year and the summer of severe drought throughout the state. But there are other factors that determine the quality of the hunt, including weather conditions and migration patterns. Migratory game bird biologist Andy Dinges says there is still potential for a good hunt. Hopefully – resident waterfowl hunters spend around $ 20 million a year, according to data from the state’s tourism division.

North Dakota will lose a valuable asset when Wendy Ross steps down as Superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. But she deserves kudos – she’s moving up to a leadership position with the National Park Service and will help oversee sites in 13 states. She was promoted through numerous accomplishments during her three-decade career. At Theodore Roosevelt, highlights include driving the park through a wild wildfire season this year, needed repairs on the South Unit’s scenic loop road, and overseeing an increase in visits.

Whether it is a farce or an initiation rite, it remains theft and vandalism. Someone stole letters from the sign in front of the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum. Eight letters were taken over a three-month period, according to the Highway Patrol, which manages security on the Capitol grounds. No arrests have been made, but anyone responsible should be aware that the potential charges could reach a criminal level, depending on the total value of the letters stolen and the amount of damage to the sign.

The Flying Farmer fights after a horrific accident during a stunt car jump. Daredevil John Smith of Makoti is known in North Dakota as the Flying Farmer. He’s been jumping for decades, but the last one about a week ago ended in disaster when he crashed and rolled his car. He has undergone a few operations since in a hospital in Minot. And he might have lingering memory issues and confusion because he hit his head hard enough for his helmet to fly out the back window. But his daughter Amanda Smith says he’s been able to walk short distances and is in a good mood. He was about to go home on Friday.


About Michael B. Billingsley

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