Dakota Download Governor Burgum's Weekly Update - February 11, 2024

Miller welcomes 1-112th Aviation Battalion home from deployment to southwest border

Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller attended the welcome home ceremony Sunday, Feb. 4, for the North Dakota National Guard's 1-112th Aviation Battalion in Bismarck.

This was the third deployment for the Bismarck-based 1-112th, but the first deployment for the entire regiment as they spent one year at the southwest U.S. border supporting U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

"Border security is national security, and during its one-year deployment the 1-112th Aviation Battalion made our country safer with 70,000 detections, the highest of any security & support battalion," Miller said. "We're thankful for the service of these 114 North Dakota National Guard soldiers and their families."

The 1-112th previously deployed to Bosnia (2005-2006) and Kosovo (2010-2011). The unit has also supported the southwest border mission (Title 32) with aircraft and crews dating back to 2006.

In addition, the 1-112th has also been instrumental in numerous state emergency responses, such as the floods of 2009 and 2011 and western North Dakota wildfires.

New map brings clarity for burn restrictions across the state

The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES), along with the North Dakota Forest Service, has published a new Burn Restrictions Map. This interactive map displays daily restrictions for jurisdictional areas, such as counties and tribal nations, across the state.

“This is a significant improvement in user experience to help keep natural resources and people safe in North Dakota while recreating, farming, and using fire responsibly,” State Forester Tom Claeys said.

Previously, citizens and tourists had to review information in three separate maps to determine if they could start a campfire. To add to the confusion, counties often did not share the same language within their restrictions. The new map is more user-friendly and will help clarify many of these inconsistencies.

The new map also reflects recent legislative adjustment to language used. Previously, North Dakota Century Code used the term "burn bans," whether they were a total fire ban or simply noted that some restrictions may be in place. Now these are referred to as "burn restrictions," following the format set by many of the western states.

“We received numerous calls from the public: questions whether they could or could not have a campfire, people reporting their neighbor’s campfire even though it was perfectly legal, and complaints as to why they couldn’t have a campfire when they actually could. The language was just confusing,” said Darin Hanson, Homeland Security Division Director for NDDES.

The new interactive map combines information including the daily fire danger rating, Red Flag Warnings, and burn restrictions provided to NDDES by local emergency managers. Selecting an area on the map identifies burn restrictions currently in effect. Users will also be able to enable their location to get this information in real time on their mobile devices.

NOTE: Currently, local emergency managers are not required to post their burn restrictions in this system. In addition, incorporated cities may have their own permanent burn restrictions based on local ordinances. Therefore, citizens and tourists should verify the most current information regarding restrictions in their area prior to burning by contacting local fire departments or emergency managers.

To view the new and improved map and to learn more, visit NDResponse.gov/Burn.

Water Commission approves $14.8M in cost-share for water projects

At the North Dakota State Water Commission (SWC) meeting Thursday chaired by Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller, the SWC approved $14.8 million in cost-share requests. In total, there were 15 projects approved for cost-share, including $7 million for the South Central Regional Water District’s service to Ashley project, and $125,040 for pre-construction efforts related to Burleigh County Water Resource District’s Sibley Island Flood Protection Project.

”By dedicating significant state resources to supplement local investment, North Dakota continues to make major strides on regional water supply and flood protection projects that are critical to the long-term prosperity of our citizens, communities and economy,” Miller said. “We appreciate the hard work by local officials to develop these smart infrastructure projects and partner with the Legislature, State Water Commission and Department of Water Resources to see them to completion.”

The South Central Regional Water District project will connect the city of Ashley to regional service. In addition, the project includes new and upgraded booster stations, a 300,000-gallon ground storage reservoir, and 22 miles of water lines.

"Connection of North Dakota’s rural communities to regional systems continues to be a high priority of the Department and State Water Commission,” Department of Water Resources Director Andrea Travnicek said. “South Central’s service to Ashley project is another great example, as it will not only reduce long-term costs through economies of scale, but also improves Ashley’s resiliency by providing a reliable, high quality water supply.”

Cost-share for Burleigh County’s Sibley Island Flood Protection Project will support final design and permitting costs. The Sibley Island project will ultimately include a grade raise on South Washington Street that will continue through Sibley Park, and tie into South 12th Street – among other project elements. This project will one day provide flood protection for approximately 80 rural residential properties that were affected by the 2011 flood event.

Since the beginning of the 2023-2025 biennium funding cycle, the State Water Commission has approved cost-share totaling over $224 million for water supply, flood protection, and other general water management projects across the state.

SAVE THE DATE: Governor's Military Ball

The 2024 Governor's Military Ball will take place on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at the Fargo Air Museum.