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ND to sue Corps of Engineers

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – North Dakota is taking the U-S Army Corps of Engineers to court -- to force it to keep more water in upstream reservoirs.

The state fears Lake Sakakawea will drop below 1825 feet above sea level -- which state officials say would severely cripple the fishery. The state says the Corps is in violation of the state's Clean Water act -- and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says that's the leverage to try and get the Corps to keep more water upstream.

"We are very concerned about what can only be categorized as the obstinant refusal of the Corps of Engineers to manage the water system in a way that gives equal consideration to all uses of the river after flood control and municipal uses," said Stenehjem, "including recreation and game and fish -- not just the miniscule barge industry."

Governor Hoeven wants the Corps to reduce the downstream barge season by five weeks. The Corps says it will reduce it by five to twelve days.