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Neighbors opposed to wildlife management area near Cummings

HILLSBORO, N.D. — Neighbors to a proposed wildlife management area near Cummings, N.D., objected to the plan at a recent Traill County Commission meeting.

The Hillsboro Banner reported the county has been in talks with UND for a year about an idea to create the wildlife management area on county-owned land near Highway 81 about 2 miles northeast of Cummings.

Pam Lacher of Cummings asked the commission to reconsider the plan, saying her horses could be endangered if the land is opened to muzzleloaders for deer hunting.

"Our concern with muzzle-loading and goose and duck hunting is the noise for our livestock," she said. "Should a death occur because our horses (are) getting on the highway, we probably won't be the only ones in a lawsuit."

According to the article, Lacher discussed her concerns with a state wildlife official and Jay Boulanger, an assistant professor of wildlife ecology at UND. Boulanger earlier had presented county officials with a five-year plan that outlined how UND and Traill County could manage the area.

UND owns a large section of the property, and the county owns parcels in the heart of it, the Banner reported.

Boulanger said the county would be allowed to take gravel from its land, and limits would allow hunters to use only muzzleloaders or bows.

Lacher and other nearby neighbors agreed the deer population has expanded in recent years, but they still didn't think the area should be open to hunters.

Water groups host

Devils Lake tour

DEVILS LAKE — The Devils Lake Basin Joint Water Resource Board and the North Dakota Water Education Foundation will host a Wednesday tour of the Devils Lake region.

The tour will include farmland that remains covered by water and also farmland that was inundated and since has been reclaimed, the Michigan Spillway drainage project, the Tolna Coulee Control Structure and the East Devils Lake Outlet infrastructure, according to a report in the Lakota American.

The tour also will stop at the East Bay Resort and include lunch in the new Odessa Event Center. The public is welcome to attend the tour for a fee, which includes transportation, meals, refreshments and a subscription to North Dakota Water magazine.

For more information or to register, go to www.ndwater.com or contact the North Dakota Water Education Foundation at (701) 223-8332 or jellingson@ndwater.net.

Crookston meets next

GreenStep City II goal

CROOKSTON — The city of Crookston will be recognized by the League of Minnesota Cities at its summer conference for reaching GreenStep City II status.

The Crookston Daily Times reported the free initiative challenges cities to achieve their sustainability and quality of life goals. The program is based on 29 "best practices" that cities can implement on different levels from a list of four to eight actions.

According to the story, the best practices involve cost savings, reduction in energy use and encouraging civic innovation.

Crookston City Council

will help with library match

CROOKSTON — If supporters of Crookston Public Library's fundraising campaign fall short of their goal, the Crookston City Council will pitch in to make sure it gets every potential matching dollar from the Otto Bremer Trust.

The Crookston Daily Times recently reported the City Council will tap the Municipal Land and Buildings Fund to get the last few thousand dollars if proponents of the renovation project are unable to raise the total amount.

The Otto Bremer Trust initially awarded a $125,000 grant and offered another $25,000 if that amount could be matched.

"It's a public building, and we've gotten a big boost here," Mayor Wayne Melbye said. "I would hate to lose $5,000."

That's the amount Crookston Library Branch Manager Chris Boike said remained to be raised.

Boike said the library already has undergone a major transformation. New lights and fixtures are in place, and one bathroom is almost complete. A second is yet to be done. The article said Boike is ordering new furnishings, which could take up to three months to arrive. New carpeting also is in the plans.

So far, Boike says she's amazed by the progress.

"It's unbelievable, all things considered," she said. "If someone would have said we'd be this far by now, I would have said they're crazy."

Organizers of youth

center seek help

THIEF RIVER FALLS — The leader of a proposed youth center in Thief River Falls is seeking volunteers and financial help to renovate the former First Baptist Church building.

Mary Sieckert, executive director of Elevate Next Gen, said she and others plan to add a bathroom to the main floor and repair the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, the Thief River Falls Times reported.

People who would like to help can call Sieckert at (218) 688-2124 or send donations to Elevate Next Gen, 414 Horace Ave. N., Thief River Falls, MN 56701.