May 2, 2017

Burgum signs bill on river minerals

By Jack Dura
Farmer Staff Writer

After years of litigation, a state senate bill signed into law will provide a clear path on contested minerals under Lake Sakakawea.
Gov. Doug Burgum signed SB 2134 on April 21, which as amended will order a review of a 1950s federal survey of the historic Missouri River channel, prior to inundation by the Garrison Dam.
A firm to delineate the survey’s ordinary high water mark will report its findings to the state department of mineral resources, with a hearing for public input and final adoption by the North Dakota Industrial Commission to come.
“We commend the Legislature for enacting a clear roadmap toward resolution that includes due process for stakeholders,” Burgum said.
Up to 3,600 individual mineral owners stood to be affected by the ambiguity of state mineral ownership under Lake Sakakawea. North Dakota originally has claim to minerals between the ordinary low water marks of its navigable rivers.

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