Hoeven: Army Corps Needs to Ensure Access to Lake Sakakawea for the Spring and Summer

Senator Advances Recreation Area Repairs with Army Corps Commander

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee, this week spoke with Col. Geoffrey Van Epps, Commander of the Northwestern Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, urging him to: 

  • Identify funding to address maintenance needs at the recreational areas around Lake Sakakawea, which is currently impacted by drought conditions that make lake access difficult.
  • Provide regulatory relief to ensure maintenance projects, including for boat ramps that are owned by the Corps, are completed in a timely way.
  • Coordinate the repair efforts with local stakeholders in order to ensure issues are adequately resolved to improve access to the lake.

“With the ongoing drought in western North Dakota, we continue pressing the Corps to ensure we have access to Lake Sakakawea,” said Hoeven. “We need regulatory relief and funding so that boat ramps are extended and other steps are taken to ensure access to the lake for this spring and summer.”

The meeting builds on a recent letter that Hoeven sent to Army Corps Chief Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon outlining the maintenance needs in the region. The senator also previously met with Col. Mark Himes, Commander of the Army Corps’ Omaha District, to discuss efforts to appoint a drought coordinator, establish a regional general permit to expedite drought-related projects and secure funding for maintenance.

Prior to this, Hoeven worked to include report language in annual appropriations legislation directing the Corps to work with local stakeholders on a long-term sustainable plan to restore and maintain recreational facilities near Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe.

Stakeholders can obtain Missouri River updates from the Water Management Division at https://www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc/index.html