Red River Valley | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Red River Valley

Theodore Roosevelt’s first step into Dakota Territory was not to western cowboy country, but to Fargo-Moorhead. His first tangle with wildlife was with birds, not bison.

And when 21-year-old Theodore and his 20-year-old brother Elliott left the Red River Valley after ten days of hunting with new shotguns, the area was minus 208 critters – prairie chickens, ducks, plovers, coots, grebes and more. That was acceptable hunting style in September 1880.

The next month he would marry Alice. And over the next few years, Roosevelt became the youngest man elected to the New York State Assembly, published his first book The Naval War of 1812, and shot his first bison in the Badlands.

The Red River Valley, glacial Lake Agassiz. For many among us, that probably brings to mind rich farmland and perhaps a finger shaped lake from the end of the last ice age that covered the area along North Dakota/Minnesota border. It would have been fifty miles wide or so, with the southern end in bit south of where North and South Dakota meet Minnesota. The northern end would have been, well, not sure. At the margin of the glacier, somewhere up by Winnipeg, maybe.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Work on the design for the proposed Red River Valley Water Supply project continues.

And soon the question will be – how to pay for the one billion dollar project.

As proposed, it would bring Missouri River water to the Red River Valley in times of drought. Easements have to be obtained, pipes and intakes have to be built, and partnerships with counties and cities along the route are being sought.

After the planning process is complete, the project’s directors will have to come back and present its financing proposals to state lawmakers.

When The Red Runs Dry.

Oct 1, 2015

Population and industry growth in the Red River Valley has put strains on water resources in the best of times. The General Manager of the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District says if the region should fall into a severe drought those problems would increase dramatically. Duane DeKrey says the effort to bring water from central North Dakota to the east is continuing. He says the Red River Water Supply Project is now estimated at One-Billion dollars, with work not getting underway until at least 2019.

Garrison Diversion conference in Fargo

Oct 1, 2015

The Garrison Diversion Conservancy District is hosting its third annual conference in Fargo this Thursday.

General Manager Duane DeKrey says the conference will showcase the history of the efforts to bring water to the eastern part of North Dakota.  He says 70 years after the Garrison Diversion was first proposed, the question of how to move water from west to east has been valuable to consider especially during times of drought.  DeKrey says the impact a drought could have on the Red River Valley is significant.

Working For A Healthier Red River

Jan 15, 2014

Keeping the Red River healthy… the challenge is part of on-going talks and planning by members of the Red River Basin Commission. The issue was given a lot of agenda time during the annual commission summit, this week in Fargo.

A new initiative to identify strategic economic opportunities for the Red River Valley has begun - and it's being led by several area business leaders.  Prairie Public's Danielle Webster reports.