- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A Hutterite colony in Willow Lake has agreed to restore federally protected wetlands that it drained more than four years ago.

U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier ruled this week that the Mayfield Hutterite Colony must restore the wetlands on its land to their previous condition.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service filed a lawsuit against the colony in 2014 after it refused to heed requests that colony members remove drain tiles they had placed on the land.

The agency argued the colony hasn’t respected an easement from 1979 that requires the landowners to leave the area’s wetlands intact.

The colony eventually agreed to restore the wetlands at its own expense. It must pay $10,000 if it fails to comply.

The colony also agreed to be permanently enjoined from draining the wetlands.

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