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Backers making push ND conservation measure

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Backers of a proposed North Dakota conservation fund ballot measure say they're making a big push this summer to gather signatures to get the issue on the November ballot.

Conservation advocates want a bigger slice of North Dakota oil tax revenues for an outdoor heritage fund. Backers want 5 percent of the state's oil extraction taxes for a fund to benefit water, wildlife and parks projects. That would raise about $150 million during the 2015-17 budget period. The current fund is capped at $30 million.

Opponents include energy, farm and business groups and they have started a campaign against the measure. The say the state already provides money for conservation efforts, and they worry that a bigger fund would take away from other critical needs.