ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Gov. Burgum meets with Devils Lake-area leaders to talk health care, lake elevation

Burgum, cabinet leaders and representatives from the governor’s office met with U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Spirit Lake Nation Chairman Doug Yankton, and Devils Lake Mayor Dick Johnson on Friday, according to a news release from Burgum’s office.

Burgum mug.jpg
Gov. Doug Burgum
We are part of The Trust Project.

ST. MICHAEL, N.D. — Gov. Doug Burgum discussed health care access, the rising elevation of Devils Lake and other issues in a meeting with officials from the Spirit Lake Nation and Devils Lake.

Burgum, cabinet leaders and representatives from the governor’s office met with U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Spirit Lake Nation Chairman Doug Yankton, and Devils Lake Mayor Dick Johnson on Friday, according to a news release from Burgum’s office.

The meeting, held at Spirit Lake Casino, included discussion about the need to address food deserts on reservations to expand access to healthy foods, and to look at new approaches to community-based health care instead of trying to navigate the cumbersome federal health care system, the release said.

“We think we have an opportunity in North Dakota, working with the tribes and with the health care sector, the nonprofit side, to actually create a national model,” Burgum said. “Whatever the conversation is, the State of North Dakota would like to be a part of it going forward, and we appreciate the invitation.”

Devils Lake elevation

Also discussed during the meeting was the elevation of Devils Lake. The lake has risen by about 3.5 feet so far this year due to heavy precipitation and runoff over the past few months. On Thursday, the North Dakota Department of Water Resources began annual discharge operations of the two Devils Lake outlets to slow the lake’s rise and reduce flooding, the release noted.

ADVERTISEMENT

From where the lake was before freeze-up last fall at elevation 1,447.1, Devils Lake has risen about 3.5 feet so far this year to an elevation of 1450.6 feet, the DWR said. The lake is expected to potentially rise to a peak elevation of about 1,451 feet by mid-summer.

Department of Water Resources staff have continued to work with local, state and federal partners to monitor runoff conditions in the Devils Lake Basin this spring very closely.

“With the rising lake levels that we’ve seen again at Devils Lake this spring and early summer, the outlets will continue to be a critical component in ongoing efforts to reduce flood-related damages in that region,” Andrea Travnicek, DWR director, said in a statement. “As in the past, downstream river flows and water quality conditions will continue to be monitored and outlet operations will be adjusted as necessary to ensure they’re being operated as efficiently and responsibly as possible.”

Related Topics: DOUG BURGUMKEVIN CRAMER
Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
What to read next
While the statement does not overtly lay out North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum's reasons for taking such action, the move comes in the wake of a 7-2 decision by the Fargo School Board last week to rescind a decision the board made earlier this year requiring that the Pledge of Allegiance be recited at the start of each board meeting.
Secretary of State Al Jaeger announced in March that a proposed measure to set term limits on state legislators and governors would not appear on the November ballot after thousands of signatures failed to meet legal standards.
New Approach North Dakota’s proposed measure would legalize the possession and purchase of small amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and older.
In April, state Rep. Rick Becker lost the Republican nomination to incumbent U.S. Sen. John Hoeven at North Dakota's GOP convention. After the convention vote, the founder of the North Dakota Legislature's ultraconservative Bastiat Caucus told Forum News Service the race might be the end of his political career.