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Ranch group walks back opposition to military expansion plan

December 14, 2018

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s biggest rancher organization is walking back its opposition to a plan by Gov. Doug Burgum to expand a military training center.

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association says in a statement with the North Dakota National Guard that it does not oppose land transactions between “willing sellers and buyers.”

The group earlier passed a resolution stating that private agricultural land should not be taken out of production and sold to government.

The Guard says it will ensure that “any newly acquired land remains in agriculture production.”

Burgum’s budget plan calls for using $15 million from the state’s voter-approved oil tax savings account to fund the 6,000-acre expansion of Camp Grafton Training Center-South in Eddy County.

The military says it’s needed in part to handle longer-range and deadlier ammunition.