Hoeven Holds Signing Ceremony to Finalize Patterson Lake Land Transfer, Allow Lots to be Sold to Homeowners

Senator Introduced & Passed Land Transfer Legislation, Worked to Move BOR Process Forward

DICKINSON, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today held a virtual signing ceremony with Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) Missouri Basin Regional Director Brent Esplin, North Dakota state legislators and local officials to finalize the transfer of federal land around Patterson Lake to the Dickinson Parks and Recreation Department and allow homeowners to purchase their lots. Hoeven introduced legislation to enable the transfer in November 2017 after working with homeowners and local officials, and passed the legislation through Congress in 2018. The president signed the senator’s bill into law later that year. Following this, Hoeven organized discussions to ensure clear communication between BOR, local officials and the homeowners to keep the process moving forward.

“This is a landmark occasion for those living around Patterson Lake, as they can now own the land under their homes, removing the uncertainty of short-term leases and giving them greater control over their properties,” said Senator Hoeven. “At the same time, agreements like this help reduce BOR’s administrative burden, enabling the agency to focus on its primary missions. That’s a win for all involved, and we welcome the completion of this process.”

“Today is a great day for us and the conclusion of many hours of trying to reach a legal conclusion that would be fair to all parties,” said Tom Fisher, President of the Patterson Lake Homeowners Association. “We appreciate the assistance of Senator Hoeven and his staff. Through their work, our long partnership with the Dickinson Parks and Recreation Board and the cooperation of the Bureau of Reclamation, our dream of ownership has come true.”

Specifically, the legislation Hoeven sponsored and passed:

  • Transfers 41 home lots and additional recreation and wildlife management lands to the Dickinson Parks and Recreation Department. It also transfers a parcel of land, currently being leased, to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
  • Directs that proceeds exceeding the costs of preparing residential lots for sale be used for administrative costs and deferred maintenance of the dam. BOR maintains responsibility over the reservoir and dam.