Lawton farmer files federal complaint over wetlands

Associated Press

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — A Lawton farmer who has been at odds with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over wetlands has filed a federal complaint asking for clarification about his property.

Alvin Peterson was convicted twice of illegally draining wetlands.

He was fined $4,000 in 2004 and $10,000 in 2008.

Peterson claimed in those cases the wetlands didn't exist when the easement was signed in 1966.

Peterson says in a court document filed earlier this week that the contract is vague and he's not sure which property on his more than 1,500-acre Walsh County land is under easement.

He says he is unable to drain any of his land "without reasonable fear and apprehension" that he would face criminal penalties.