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Published April 23, 2009, 06:44 AM

Letter to the editor: Stop blaming farmers for problems with rivers

I get upset with letters like Richard Betting’s in The Jamestown Sun on April 22. The thought seems to be blame the farmers. The Red, Sheyenne and James rivers just broke records established approximately 100 years ago. I don’t believe there was much drainage then and I know there were not hundreds of acres of concrete and asphalt along the rivers.

By: Bruce Lindgren , The Jamestown Sun

I get upset with letters like Richard Betting’s in The Jamestown Sun on April 22. The thought seems to be blame the farmers. The Red, Sheyenne and James rivers just broke records established approximately 100 years ago. I don’t believe there was much drainage then and I know there were not hundreds of acres of concrete and asphalt along the rivers.

I was at a conference about 20 years ago, the speaker discussed the wet/dry cycles of the weather. He referred to a 160-year cycle and the present one’s dry point was the late 1930s. You add 80 years to that and you end up with a wet point at about 2015. He said Devils Lake would flow on its own at that time as it has many times before. I saw in a recent article by some weather prognosticators that a short time ago the chance Devils Lake flowing again was one-half of 1 percent; within a short time they have increased that to 6 percent. 

In our area of the Coteau Hills the potholes are about as full as they were in 1997. If we were to get excessive snow and rain the next couple of years they would start empting into the rivers also.

Is it going to happen? I hope not, but a lot of the land I pastured and farmed in the ’80s is now under water. 

Bruce Lindgren

Kulm, N.D. 

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