Property owners from the Roseau County Landowners Coalition contracted a licensed hydrologist to review the Roseau River Watershed District's engineer's report on the Roseau "Lake" Rehabilitation Project.
The outside engineer found that that this project is not justifiable.
The Roseau River Watershed District (RRWD) was formed in 1963 to manage the waters of Roseau County and its surrounding area. The agency has been studying the Roseau Lake Basin for decades to reduce chronic flooding in the region. The original Roseau Lake was drained in 1914 for agricultural purposes. But, RRWD claims that the area consistently floods, leading to losses of crops and decreased biodiversity among wildlife.
The Roseau Lake Rehabilitation Project was re-born in 2014 from this concern to reduce flood damage and improve habitats for wildlife. RRWD plans to build embankments and control structures along the Roseau River to help with flood storage in the Roseau Lake Basin. To date, the project was set to start construction in 2020, however, no construction has begun. The project site appears to have not been updated since mid-2016, despite project planning continuing to this year.
Project goals were rearticulated in a June 2019 Engineer’s Report with a similar emphasis on reducing flooding, improving conditions for wildlife, and preventing loss of crops for farmers. Most of the land in Roseau lake is owned and managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). DNR has made attempts in the past to move forward with the project, but all previous attempts inevitably stalled from lack of funding or sustained interest.
History of the Project