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Published April 27, 2011, 02:31 PM

Corps Draft Plan on Devils Lake Being Reviewed

An Army Corps of Engineers draft report on the flooded Devils Lake Basin proposes a 48,000-acre national recreation and wildlife area in the Pelican Lake and Lake Alice areas.

By: Associated Press,

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) — An Army Corps of Engineers draft report on the flooded Devils Lake Basin proposes a 48,000-acre national recreation and wildlife area in the Pelican Lake and Lake Alice areas.

A Devils Lake working group of officials from several state and federal agencies planned to review the report Wednesday, the Grand Forks Herald reported.

The draft plan includes other ideas to address flooding that already are part of state and federal preliminary plans, such as an east-end outlet. The lake is at a record level after nearly two decades of wet weather and is less than 6 feet from overflowing naturally into the Sheyenne River. Officials fear an uncontrolled flow could cause flooding problems downstream.

The proposal for a recreation and wildlife area calls for compensating landowners $400 per acre of pastureland and $800 per acre of cropland.

Farmers in the Devils Lake area have lost more than 163,000 acres of productive farmland since 1993, according to Agweek. Another 3 foot rise in the lake expected this year threatens to swamp even more land.

"It's like cancer spreading," said Dan Webster, who farms in the Penn area.

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