Parks & Recreation Department Provides Comment on Army Corps Draft Shoreline Management Plan For Lake Sakakawea

SPECIAL TO DEVILS LAKE  JOURNAL

The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department sent a letter this week to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ on the Draft Shoreline Management Plan for Lake Sakakawea.  Lake Sakakawea is an important resource for recreational activities in the state. In the letter, the Department requested the Corps work with the Department to prioritize silt removal and shoreline stabilization projects along the lake.  As lake conditions change, due to the operation and management of the Garrison Dam, open access may become a concern as silt accumulates and erosion may occur within the shoreline areas of Lake Sakakawea.

“We know how important recreation and accessibility for recreation activities is for our citizens. The Department will continue to work in partnership with the Corps, as it has for years, to manage shorelines in a safe and sustainable manner,” stated Andrea Travnicek, North Dakota Parks and Recreation Director. “Our focus is to continue to provide safe, open access to recreational opportunities across our properties, including the Lake Sakakawea properties.”  

Lake Sakakawea

In addition, the North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department would like the Corps to continue to prioritize identifying further public access areas to the lake as well as private access.  A clear, transparent permitting process for access needs to be put in place for the approval and denial of permits. The Department has also requested a public hearing in regards to the 2021 Shoreline Management Plan. This public hearing would allow the Department to further understand specific changes from the previous manual to the 2021 manual that may impact the Department and the management of state park operations.  

The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for managing three state parks and a state recreation area along the Lake Sakakawea shorelines. These state parks include Lewis and Clark State Park, Fort Stevenson State Park, and Lake Sakakawea State Park. The state recreation area is Crow Flies High near New Town, North Dakota. Each of the state parks includes access to the lake and provides recreational amenities for visitors. Crow Flies High State Recreation Area is currently an undeveloped property, but the parks department is currently working on a development and management plan. 

The mission of the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department is to offer a diversity of recreation opportunities and sustainably manage resources. 

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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