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Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians of North Dakota

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A Cass County water board says it may have to use condemnation proceedings against two parcels of land at the site of the proposed Maple River Dam near Enderlin. Attorney Steve McCullough said the Cass County Joint Water Resource District has asked permission to go on the land to do appraisals and check for historic sites, but landowners are not cooperating. McCullough said the board may have no choice but to "commence condemnation proceedings" on the parcels. Landowner Roger Shea, who has been fighting the dam project for 30 years, said it would flood some of his land and damage American Indian graves and artifacts. Turtle Mountain tribal representative Jane Martin said she doubts the water board can condemn the land because of its historical significance. The tribe owns the other parcel in the dispute. "This is going to be a very long, drawn-out battle," she said. "Cass County already has expended a great deal of money on this project, so they're not really looking at what could be reasonable alternatives." The dam is intended to control flooding on the Maple and Sheyenne rivers. The Army Corps of Engineers has not yet approved a permit for the project.

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