The 2021 Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) Chairman, Governor Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, presented the Chairman’s Environmental Partnership Award to the Outdoor Heritage Fund (OHF) and North Dakota Petroleum Foundation (NDPF) during the IOGCC Annual Meeting on Monday, November 8, 2021, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The OHF and NDPF were recognized for their partnership in the Planting for the Future program, which is committed to planting trees and shrubs for conservation and habitat enhancement.
The NDPF, with grant funds from the OHF, works with landowners, wildlife and conservation organizations, parks and cities, oil and gas companies and other interested partners to develop large-scale plantings for future habitat and conservation. Since the program’s initiation in 2018, more than 134,000 trees have been planted across North Dakota.
The OHF, which is funded by oil and gas production tax revenue, has awarded more than $567,700 to Planting for the Future since 2018 and more than $64 million to projects in the state that improve access to public and private lands for sportsmen, enhance farming and ranching stewardship practices, preserve fish and wildlife habitat and support outdoor recreation areas. The Industrial Commission, which oversees the Outdoor Heritage Fund, consists of Gov. Doug Burgum as chairman, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.
“This award reflects North Dakota’s commitment to practicing environmental stewardship,” said Commission members in a joint statement. “Projects like this are a great example of what can be accomplished through public-private partnerships, and we appreciate the work of the NDPF and its industry partners, which will have a lasting impact for years to come.”
The Chairman’s Environmental Partnership Award recognizes a project each year that is led by a non-industry organization in cooperation with an industry partner, recognized the OHF and NDPF for demonstrating innovation, dedication and passion for the environment. The Environmental Partnership Award is one of four Chairman’s Stewardship Awards presented each year. The awards are the IOGCC’s highest honor for exemplary efforts by the oil and natural gas industry in environmental stewardship.
“We are proud to have accepted this award on behalf of all our partners who have helped make this program a success,” said Tessa Sandstrom, Executive Director for the NDPF. “Participation from individual oil and gas companies and their employees, whether through volunteering or contributions in funds show the industry’s continued commitment to North Dakota’s environment and its outdoor heritage. We are appreciative of their support, as well as the support from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, that have helped make this program possible.”