Doug Leier: A conversation with Jeb Williams | Outdoors

I see a lot of different things across North Dakota; you see a lot of passion. People who choose to make North Dakota home because of our outdoor resources. As biologists, a lot of time we don’t think a lot about the economic impact that has on the state. But it has been something that I’ve taken on a little more of an interest in… a keen interest as far as looking at some of those details in the last number of years and just seeing the impact that the outdoor recreation industry has on small towns, big towns in North Dakota. It’s really significant.

There’s no doubt that outdoor recreation is not the economic engine in North Dakota, but it’s a cylinder in that engine and if that isn’t continued in the relationship that it has been, I think that you start seeing some problems with that engine. I think that we definitely play a role in that. And again, it’s a really powerful thing when you have people making decisions about where they live. We know North Dakotans are hard-working. We know they’re well-educated. They can go just about anywhere in the country to make their home and make a living, but it’s a really powerful thing when you have people that make a decision about where they live because of our outdoor opportunities. North Dakota’s diversity plays a role in that, whether it’s fishing, hunting, waterfowl hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting… you name it, we have it in North Dakota. And so, that’s very attractive to a lot of different people and that’s something that I definitely take very seriously.

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