By Associated Press - Friday, March 11, 2016

WASHBURN, N.D. (AP) - A group that advises North Dakota’s governor on land purchases by nonprofits is mulling a proposed land buy in McLean County.

The county is trying to find a solution to floodwaters from Painted Wood Lake, which have been inundating adjacent farmland for the past six to eight years, due to silt build up and 10- to 12-foot-tall cattails restricting drainage into the lake.

“Everything went fine until about 2007,” said Ladd Erickson, McLean County State’s Attorney and attorney to the McLean County Water Resources Board.

The county and several state and wildlife advocacy group partners want to buy 255 acres of nearby land to build drainage infrastructure. The land would then be turned over to the state so it could be managed by North Dakota Game and Fish as part of the Painted Woods Wildlife Management Area.

“Our goal is to prevent further damage to private and public property,” which includes ditches cut by backed-up water trying to make its way to the Missouri River, McLean County Water Resources Board member Lynn Oberg said.

Neighboring landowners have expressed support for the proposal, the Bismarck Tribune reports ( ) reported. Mark Giedd, a member of the Natural Areas Acquisition Advisory Committee and the Dakota Stockmen’s Association, believes something needs to be done, but he wonders whether this is the right solution.

“We are going to move forward and are going to make this project work,” Oberg offered as an assurance.

The project needs a recommendation from the Natural Areas Acquisition Advisory Committee and approval from the governor before the farmland can be purchased.

The committee will make its recommendation on March 18.


Information from: Bismarck Tribune,

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