ND Water - September 2020
September ND Water - Oakes Test Area Title Transfer Forthcoming
The Oakes Test Area (OTA) is an irrigation research site located near Oakes in southeast North Dakota. For more than 40 years, it has provided a wealth of important data imperative to developing the best management practices for irrigated agriculture in North Dakota.
The OTA has been owned by the US Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) since it was developed in 1980; however, the Department of Interior recently notified Congress of its intent to transfer ownership of the OTA to the Dickey-Sargent Irrigation District (DSID). Congress has 90 days to review the transfer before it is finalized and the DSID takes ownership.
The Lands Package signed by President Donald Trump in March 2019 has allowed the title transfer to move forward, as the legislation removes the need for congressional authorization prior to transferring the title of a Reclamation project facility such as the OTA. The Lands Package aligns with legislation introduced by Sen. JohnHoeven, with Sen. Kevin Cramer as an original cosponsor, to authorize the title transfer of the facility to the DSID.