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Associated Press, Published August 06 2012

Backers of ND conservation fund seek ballot spot

BISMARCK — Supporters of spending some of North Dakota's oil tax revenues on conservation projects say their idea is ready for voters to decide.

They've been circulating an initiative petition, and they say they'll be turning it in to Secretary of State Al Jaeger's office on Monday.

The measure is a proposed constitutional amendment. It needs the signatures of at least 27,000 North Dakota voters to qualify for the November ballot. The submission deadline arrives at midnight Wednesday.

It would set aside 5 percent of North Dakota's oil tax collections in a special fund for conservation, wildlife and wetlands projects.

The fund would be controlled by a nine-member appointed board. Based on current rates of oil production, the fund could collect more than $80 million a year.

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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.