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ND groups make pitch for money from new fund

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Government agencies, nonprofits and other groups in North Dakota are making pitches for grant money this week from a new state conservation fund.

The North Dakota Outdoor Heritage fund established last year by the Legislature will receive up to $15 million annually from oil and gas taxes. The goal is to restore land affected by energy production and to develop such things as fish and wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation areas.

A 12-member advisory board is hearing more than 70 presentations Monday and Tuesday in Bismarck from groups that want money from the fund. The requests total more than $34 million and range from building golf course restrooms to planting trees to restoring wetlands.

North Dakota's Industrial Commission oversees the fund.