June 30, 2016

Land transfers will happen

By Jerry W. Kram and

Patricia Stockdill

Ten years is a long time. In 2006 we were watching Malcolm in the Middle and Donald Trump was hosting the second season of The Apprentice. It was also when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started seriously looking at returning about 30,000 acres of shoreline property around Lake Sakakawea to the Three Affiliated Tribes.

The Corps, acting on a request from the TAT Tribal Business Council the previous year, held hearings and studied the the request for two years. It decided that land that it was using that is above the high water mark of the lake of 1854 feet that was being used for vegetation management should be returned to the tribe and not individual landowners under the provisions of the 1984 Fort Berthold Mineral Restoration Act.

Colonel John Henderson, head of the Omaha Division of the Corps, explained at a public informational meeting that the agency took public input and documented its decision that was made final in 2008. That’s why at the meeting in the 4 Bears Casino and Lodge, he would not be taking any sort of testimony but that he and staff from the Corps and Bureau of Indian Affairs would be answering questions from individuals to the best of their ability.

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