WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 08, 2011, 09:43 PM

Valley City residents oppose Devils Lake outlet

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) - There's a huge cry to "Save the Sheyenne" in Valley City. A petition to stop uncontrolled Devils Lake water flowing in to the Sheyenne is now in the hands of the mayor and the state water commission.

Sharon Buhr – Save the Sheyenne Group: "I would like to present to the mayor, the petitions from 900, over 900 people from in and around the Sheyenne River and around Valley City."

It has been a long, passionate push from people like Sharon Buhr of Save the Sheyenne group to come to today..

Sharon Buhr: "Somewhat hopeful, you could say were hopeful."

And optimism, that today is just the beginning in the fight for controlled water to come out of Devils Lake.

Bob Werkhoven – Valley City Mayor: "There’s a lot of signatures and there's a lot of concern there and I understand that."

The petition as is asks that no outlet be built on East Devils lake A moratorium be placed on future upper basin drainage, a mitigation plan for downstream damages, and Tolna Coulee be protected to 1458 feet.

Bill Moore – Save the Sheyenne Group: "Devils Lake is flooding, there's a lot of water up there. But its just to hell with the people down stream."

The state water commission proposes a control structure in Tolna Coulee. It would erode the coulee to 1446, 8 feet lower than where Devils Lake sits now.

And many people here say if all that water is not controlled from the north, there's no telling how much more water will come their way.

Sharon Buhr: "There just needs to be an environmental impact statement done."

A study that people who signed the petition hope will be done before any big changes to water flow are made in Devils Lake

People with "Save The Sheyenne" say they don't have any input on what, or how much water, will be coming downstream to Valley City.