Dakota Download Governor Burgum's Weekly Update - September 26, 2021

Burgum waives hours of service, other restrictions for haulers of hay, livestock and water as drought lingers

Governor thanks ranchers for resiliency at ND Stockmen's Association's 92nd annual Convention & Trade Show

Gov. Doug Burgum speaks to the North Dakota Stockmen's Association's 92nd annual Convention & Trade Show on Friday, Sept. 24, at the Holiday Inn in Fargo.

Gov. Doug Burgum on Wednesday signed an executive order waiving hours of service, weight, width and height restrictions and fees for drivers of commercial vehicles transporting hay, water and livestock to help North Dakota livestock producers affected by continuing drought conditions.

While conditions have improved in recent weeks, nearly all of North Dakota remains in some stage of drought. The U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday rated 52% of North Dakota in extreme drought, 40% in severe drought and 8% in moderate drought. The National Weather Service expects drought conditions to persist through the fall across the state, though further improvement is possible in central and eastern North Dakota.

North Dakota ranchers and livestock producers have been forced to find supplemental feed and water supplies out of state or have hauled livestock to areas where water and hay inventories are more plentiful, and increasing numbers of producers have sold off herds due to lack of feed and water supplies, Burgum noted in the order.

“With drought conditions expected to continue through the fall across North Dakota, it’s critical that haulers be able to deliver livestock and supplemental water and feed in a timely fashion to help ranchers sustain their herds,” Burgum said.

The executive order will remain in effect for 30 days, as of Sept. 22, and applies to both intrastate and interstate carriers. The Governor’s Office, North Dakota Highway Patrol and North Dakota Department of Transportation worked with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to secure the waiver for interstate carriers.

All road safety and vehicle compliance regulations still apply. The executive order serves as a permit and must be carried in vehicles operating under the waiver.

On Friday, Burgum delivered remarks to the North Dakota Stockmen's Association's 92nd annual Convention & Trade Show at the Holiday Inn in Fargo. The governor thanked North Dakota's beef producers for their resiliency during the drought and reaffirmed the state's commitment to assisting ranchers through this challenging time.

Gov. Burgum visits with North Dakota Stockmen's Association President Jeff Schafer and Executive Vice President Julie Ellingson at the Convention & Trade Show on Friday.

Burgum congratulates schools in Crystal, Mandan and Wyndmere for National Blue Ribbon recognition

Gov. Burgum congratulated Valley-Edinburg Elementary School in Crystal, Roosevelt Elementary School in Mandan and Wyndmere Public School for being recognized by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021.

“This incredible honor is a testament to the passion, hard work and dedication of the exceptional students, teachers and administrators at these three outstanding schools and the innovative approaches to teaching and learning being applied in schools across North Dakota,” Burgum said. “These three schools – and schools throughout our state – have done a tremendous job of educating students under extremely challenging conditions during this past year and a half. Congratulations to Valley-Edinburg Elementary School in Crystal, Roosevelt Elementary School in Mandan and Wyndmere Public School for this well-deserved recognition.”

Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon School recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. There were 325 schools recognized across the nation as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021.

Burgum statement on Biden administration again delaying U.S.-Canada border reopening until Oct. 21

Gov. Burgum released the following statement after the Biden administration announced it is extending restrictions on nonessential travel at the U.S.-Canada border for another month, until Oct. 21. Canada reopened its border to vaccinated U.S. citizens for nonessential travel on Aug. 9.

“Again without an explanation from the White House, it’s impossible to know what’s driving this baffling decision to extend these unnecessary restrictions on land-based travelers from Canada – when Canada’s vaccination rate is substantially higher than the United States’ – while making accommodations for foreign visitors traveling by air to our country,” Burgum said. “We won’t relent in our efforts to press the Biden administration, as we’ve done repeatedly including in our July letter with four border states and provinces, to lift these needless restrictions that continue to hurt communities and citizens on both sides of the border as well as our retail and tourism businesses that rely on Canadian travelers.”

Burgum appoints Cody Schulz to lead North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department

State parks saw record camping numbers last year

Gov. Burgum appointed Cody Schulz to lead the North Dakota Department of Parks and Recreation, citing his extensive record of public service and strong leadership at the state and county levels, including through some of the most challenging periods in recent state history.

Schulz joined the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (DES) in 2007 and has served as director of Homeland Security since March 2018. During his 13 years with DES, he also has served as disaster recovery chief, business manager and finance officer, and hazard mitigation grant specialist. Prior to joining DES, Schulz spent nearly 13 years in the private sector as a business owner, account specialist and government and public affairs analyst.

Schulz also served on the Morton County Commission from 2012 to 2020, including as chairman in 2016, 2017 and 2020, helping to guide the county through the historic Dakota Access Pipeline protests and COVID-19 pandemic. As a county commissioner and member of the Morton County Park Board for eight years, Schulz also oversaw major infrastructure upgrades and expansion of park services and amenities.

“Cody brings demonstrated leadership skills and a strong passion for providing a high quality of life for North Dakota citizens to the role of North Dakota Parks and Recreation director,” Burgum said. “Throughout his service to state government, he has embodied the concept of ‘working as one’ across state agencies with a whole-of-government approach. And as a former county commissioner and park board member, he understands how parks can enhance communities and help attract and retain workforce, drive tourism and improve quality of life. We look forward to his continued leadership in state government, which will serve all North Dakota citizens well.”

A native of New Salem, N.D., Schulz earned an associate’s degree from Bismarck State College, a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Dickinson State University and an MBA from the University of North Dakota. He currently services as chair of the North Dakota State Emergency Response Commission and the North Dakota State and Local Intelligence Center Executive Committee, and as vice chair of the National Emergency Management Association Legislative Committee. He is a member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region VIII Advisory Council and a past board member of the Bismarck Mandan Development Association and the Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC.

Schulz’s appointment as Parks and Recreation director is effective Oct. 11, 2021.

“It’s been an honor to serve our state at DES for over a decade, helping to keep our citizens safe. I have been incredibly fortunate to be a part of great teams over the years, and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to lead this great Parks and Recreation team of servant leaders and take our parks system to the next level after a year of record camping numbers,” Schulz said. “We are at a time of boundless opportunity here in North Dakota, and Parks and Recreation is positioned to seize that opportunity by continuing to enhance partnerships and collaboration, making smart and lasting infrastructure investments and focusing on what really matters most – the people who visit our great parks.”

Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, director of DES, has appointed Preparedness Chief Debbie LaCombe to serve as interim homeland security director until a replacement for Schulz is named.

Burgum expressed his gratitude for the leadership provided by Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Paul Taylor, who has served as the agency’s interim director since former director Andrea Travnicek was appointed Department of Water Resources director effective Aug. 1.

The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department has about 60 full-time team members, 18 long-term seasonal staff and approximately 150 short-term seasonal staff and a biennial budget of $43 million to manage and operate 15 statewide parks and recreation areas, enriching generations through experiences that connect people and places. The department actively promotes and supports access to North Dakota’s great outdoors through a diversity of recreation opportunities and sustainably managed resources. The department is additionally responsible for off-highway vehicle planning and safety programs, snowmobile safety programs and trails, the Nature Preserves Act and outdoor recreation grants and statewide recreation planning.

Register today for Recovery Reinvented on Oct. 25

Gov. Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Burgum are inviting the general public to join them for Recovery Reinvented on Oct. 25 at the Bismarck Event Center. The event will be free and open to the public. A robust, online experience will also be available to all.

The daylong event will feature state and national addiction and recovery experts who will focus on reinventing recovery through:

  • Sharing of stories.
  • Creating recovery-friendly cultures in the workplace and community.
  • Eliminating the stigma surrounding the disease of addiction.

This year’s event will create more opportunities for the public to get involved in shaping and participating in the event, including:

  • Submitting nominations for the Recovery Champion awards, which honor local individuals and groups that are making an impact in the field of addiction and recovery.
  • Musicians and artists contributing their talents through recovery-inspired performances.
  • Volunteering at the event.
  • Addiction and recovery-related nonprofit organizations and service providers participating in the Recovery Resources Expo, which will connect people to extensive addiction, recovery, and mental health organizations and resources from across the state.

The Behavioral Health Conference will be held the following days on Oct. 26-28 also at the Bismarck Event Center.

Registration open for 2021 Main Street ND Summit

The North Dakota Department of Commerce is now accepting registrations for the 2021 Main Street ND Summit.

This year’s Main Street ND Summit will be held Oct. 12 beginning at 8 a.m. at the Rustad Recreation Center in West Fargo. Both in-person and virtual options are available to those wishing to attend.

Registration for the 2021 Main Street ND Summit can be found at msnd.link/2021-registration. Visit msnd.link/MainStreetND-2021 for more information and updates about this year’s summit.

Team ND is working as one to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) and other state agencies continue to work to slow the spread of COVID-19 in North Dakota and administer safe and effective vaccines. In partnership with federal, local and tribal partners, Team ND has tackled this pandemic through a whole-of-government, whole-of-community approach.

  • For the most up-to-date COVID-19 information, see the NDDoH website.
  • NDResponse.gov is your one-stop site for the latest news, as well as state and federal resources for COVID-19.