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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Fargo Forum Attacks Minnesota DNR

Rogue Diversion Authority

Perhaps the greatest dis-service the Fargo Forum has provided the region is pretending to be custodians of ethical and serious journalism.

Whether or not they choose sides on an issue or not…, is their right!

However, suppressing and marginalizing the voice and rights of citizens that they have labeled adversarial to their cause is the greater villain.

In the Fargo Fool’em latest apoplectic editorial rant, the self appointed “know-it-all’s” attempted to profile the Minnesota DNR as a “rogue agency”.

Hmmm…, suggesting the MN DNR is dishonest and unprincipled, when they are clearly following Minnesota law…, begs the question of who the real reprobates “are” in this issue.

Let’s see…, you have the MN DNR tasked with conserving and managing the state’s natural resources to provide for commercial uses of natural resources in a way that creates a sustainable quality of life.

…and then there’s the Fargo Fool’em serving as the chapter and verse mouthpiece of the Fargo Diversion Authority with a propensity to assail any voice that questions or challenges the proposed boondoggle.

Well…, you’re smart enough to have read this far…, you can drawn your own conclusions on who the true “rogue agency” is.

Here is the editorial with commentary:

Forum editorial: A candid message from corps
Posted on Jul 23, 2014

It was not difficult to read between the lines when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reviewed the Fargo-Moorhead diversion project for the Moorhead City Council. The project will move ahead with or without support from Moorhead or the Minnesota DNR. The DNR is conducting an environmental review of the project, even as the agency conceded it has no authority over the diversion.


The above paragraph pretty much sums up the pure lack of integrity of the Forum editorial staff…, and you don’t even need to read between the lines.

Minnesota has not conceded that is has no authority over the diversion, contrary to what the great deceivers at the Forum would like people to believe. The subject matter of the Forum’s falsification appeared in an email exchange between the Fargo Diversion Authority and the Minnesota DNR, wherein, the MN DNR questioned the Fargo Diversion Authority on whether the OHB project was part of the overall project. The Fargo Diversion Authority manufactured a story of the OHB project providing independent utility to a city that is 97 percent above the 100 year flood plain.

Only 5 of 175 homes within the OHB project are below the FEMA 100 year flood level.

The Minnesota DNR didn’t buy into the fabrication of “independent basis” and neither did the U.S. Army Corps of engineers Omaha District ND Regulatory office.

On July 22nd, 2014 the state of Minnesota made several court filings to protect the integrity of Minnesota rights, contrary to the misinformation being disseminated by the crony-journalism pool at the Fargo Fool’em.

Trust me…, these are worth reading!
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Forum editorial board:
Nevertheless, the agency (rogue agency?) has asked to intervene as a friend of the court in a lawsuit aimed at stopping the project.

There it is…! That “Fargo Fool’em” un-biased journalistic integrity!

Referring to the Minnesota DNR as a “rogue agency” has to set well with Minnesota officials.

Forum editorial board:
Aaron Synder, chief of the corps’ Project Management Branch in St. Paul, advised council members the diversion will proceed “with minor modification we elect to make to continue to minimize impacts to people and the environment.”

“… we elect to make,” Snyder said. In other words, the project’s design and execution is primarily in the hands of the corps, which has worked hand-in-glove with the local Diversion Authority to develop the best option for permanent flood protection for Fargo-Moorhead and the metro’s immediate environs.

Anyone not getting the message? The diversion has been subject to one of the most thorough reviews of any flood control project in history. The nature of the Red River has mandated intense scrutiny of every aspect of the project, including consideration and rejection of other options. The approved plan has cleared every phase of the federal assessment process (including congressional approval and endorsement by the federal Office of Management and Budget) with straight A’s.


It is doubtful that few are not getting the message(s).

#1: The Fargo Forum is bought and paid for and they refuse to share the entire story.

#2: The “so called” thorough review is all rubber stamped by Corps related agencies. Most recently the withdrawal, then re-issue of the 404(b) permit without a public hearing or comment period.

The Fargo Fool’em spins the WRDA passage as though the Fargo project were the main focus of debate and vetted by better minds inferring all other projects in the WRDA bill were along for the ride.

In fact, quite the contrary!

The Fargo project was stuffed into the WRDA bill that attempted to have something for everyone to encourage its passage. Yet, the Fargo Fool’em and Diversion Authority refuses to accept that this project may not have passed upon it’s own merits without its inclusion into the WRDA bill.

Forum editorial board:
Given that well-reported history, it was curious to hear members of the Moorhead council ask about a “plan B,” should the DNR not sign off on the approved plan. Where have they been for the past three years?

Where has Moorhead been for the past three years?

One could say…, living under the thumb of Fargo and marginalized for questioning any aspect of the project.

Moorhead’s worst traitor is Nancy Otto, for allowing Fargo to misguide her and hampering Moorhead’s future development.

Forum editorial board:
Every option was reviewed, examined, parsed and then reviewed again. When the engineering, science, costs and benefits were in (including resistance to building the channel on the Minnesota side of the river), there was no doubt the approved project was the only viable way to achieve long-term flood protection. The conclusion was crystal clear: No “plan B” could get the job done.


Completely false statement. All options were not reviewed, only those options that provided an encroachment option for development of the last natural flood plain south of the city were pursued.

Three of several alternatives that were not explored:

Northern Inlet with Distributed Retention
Wild Rice Alternative
Preserve Natural Flood Plain

Forum editorial board:
None of that process was discussed in the dark. It made headlines. It was front and center on local evening newscasts. The corps conducted dozens of well-attended public meetings. It was debated for hundreds of hours in open Diversion Authority meetings; Moorhead officials participated. Moorhead has a council member on the authority board – and has from the beginning.

The very first meeting that shifted impacts upstream was done from behind closed doors, media not allowed.

Biased headlines and newscasts do not provide valid support for an immoral project that failed to include representation for property owners expected to burden the bulk of the impacts. The so called “open meetings” of the Diversion Authority do not allow public comments or the opportunity to publicly redress officials. Nancy Otto’s representation for Moorhead on the Fargo Diversion Authority is dismal at best.

It’s curious that there has not been a hard-hitting investigative Forum series on potential property assessments and the long term negative effects the tax burden places on homeowners and businesses.

Even more curious are those property owners that have been recently stuck with new flood insurance premiums will most likely get stuck twice with diversion related property assessments.

Forum editorial board:
So, for a council member to ask the “plan B” question, which was answered frequently and in detail a long time ago, suggests either a short attention span or a tendency to pander to the strident and selectively uninformed cabal of project opponents.

The most scary part of asking for a “plan B” is that there are little to no plans for a “plan b”.

The question is valid! A $2 billion all or nothing approach underscores the lack of thorough review and exploration of viable alternatives that could provide the city with a similar or better measure of protection if congressional funding does not come or the Class 1 High Hazard dam is not permitted by Minnesota.

Fargo’s tactics are not hard to comprehend. During a non-flood event, the city used their grandiose narrative, police escorts for sandbags and the media to over-hype overstated conditions to garner sympathy when the North Dakota legislature was in session.

…it appears the uniformed cabal…, is NOT project opponents.

Forum editorial board:
The diversion seems to stop and start again. As expected in an undertaking of such magnitude, it has hit a pothole here and there, faced a hurdle or two, come to sharp curves in the road. But the trajectory has not been altered. The diversion has moved along at a pace that is unprecedented for a big, expensive and complex flood control project – confirmation the plan is sound.


The pace and push for the proposed Fargo Dam and FM Diversion is the very essence of corruption. It is the melting pot of decisions made under duress due to time constraints with a constant overstatement of impacts and a manufactured EOE study to set Fargo’s flood gage as the benchmark for the entire Red River Valley.

The proposed Fargo Dam and FM Diversion plan is not sound, does not cause the least impact, violates Executive Order 11988 and is a contrived development plan under the guise of flood control.

Forum Editorial Staff: Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.

Forum editorials represent the abandonment of any journalistic integrity and fiscal accountability of elected officials.

Views: 85

3 Responses to “ Fargo Forum Attacks Minnesota DNR ”

  1. does this old axium apply to the diversion authority, USACoE, darrel vanyo and others? “when you find yourself in a hole, quit digging”

  2. Marcus,

    You continue to outdo yourself. Good hard hitting journalism, calling it like it is, unlike what the local newspaper does but should be doing.

  3. I was at the Corps Maple River aqueduct model open house on Thursday. This is very much a work in progress. There are many unanswered questions the model is trying to solve. The aqueduct is already being redesigned. No study has been made of township roads which create a waffle grid in the valley. Aaron Snyder stated during the tour that township roads would not be raised. Then five minutes later when I talked with him about that he said he hadn’t said it. It’s in my notes.

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