- Associated Press - Thursday, May 12, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Bismarck Tribune, Bismarck, May 11, 2016

Tribal effort for tourism makes sense

North Dakota tribes want to organize to promote tourism. It’s an effort that makes sense and will benefit the entire state.

There’s a lot of interest in Native American culture in this country and abroad. It’s not unusual to find European tourists on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation or Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, so it’s only logical to try to increase the numbers.

Plans to organize were discussed last week at the North Dakota Native Tourism Summit in Bismarck. The new tribal tourism association would be an affiliate of the national American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association. The new group would develop plans to draw more tourists to the reservations.

There are five reservations at least partially in North Dakota and they are scattered across the state. If they become larger tourist destinations they will attract more visitors to other tourism locations. Visitors to Fort Berthold might want to package trips to Medora, Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Fort Union into their stop at Fort Berthold.

Because everyone benefits from increased tourism, partnerships with the new tourism association can play a key role in making the effort a success. The tribes can work with state government for marketing, other towns in creating a larger tourism package and colleges in providing a workforce.

Les Thomas, vice chairman of the Turtle Mountain Tourism Association, said “Tourism in North Dakota is all about partnerships.” The new tourism group has a chance to make these partnerships work. Tourism has been the state’s third leading industry behind energy and agriculture and there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to grow it.

The new tourism association will report to the United Tribes Board of Directors and will meet again at the annual Tribal Leader’s Summit in Bismarck in September. They may adopt a strategy for seeking a state appropriation, possibly as part of the Tourism Division’s budget, to help fund tribal marketing and tourism development.

A financial boost from the state would be helpful. The tribes, however, aren’t looking for much from the tourism budget. The cooperation of everyone involved and a good strategy should spell success.

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Minot Daily News, Minot, May 12, 2016

Move slowly on changing trash collection

There are plenty of valid arguments on both sides of the debate over recycling/changing the way trash service is administered in Minot.

In fact, both those in favor of the proposed changes and those opposed to them make such strong arguments that it would be a wise idea to take some time, examine all possible ramifications and try to collect as much public input as possible.

While the City of Minot has exerted solid effort to encourage residents to speak up, public participation in the process is still minimal, which is always a shame. Residents need to do some homework, ask some questions and speak up one way or another.

Proponents of the plan rightly assert the need to compensate for a rapidly growing landfill and for alternatives.

Opponents are right to worry about the cost if not now, then in the future. Programs like this have a habit of suddenly growing in expense and once they’re instituted, they rarely go away or see fundamental reform. Similarly, many times, efforts that seem to be environmentally friendly on the front end turn out to be environmentally unfriendly on the back end.

Additional concerns revolve around the idea of cutting city workers, although open positions and attrition may mitigate for that; and for practicalities such as elderly and handicapped residents transporting containers through heavy snow.

There are always unforeseen ramifications tomorrow from decisions made today. Decisions made hastily or emotionally motivated generally prompt the worst future effects.

Why not slow down and make sure all options have been examined to help better ensure the best long-term impact.

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