This is pretty interesting, and I'm surprised it's the first time it's surfaced on this site. Once when sharing a "******" with neighbors in one of our garages, one of them with no connection to hunting and very little to the outdoors or rural ND asked "Why in the world would we support and fund that outlet if there's a risk to water quality and flood exacerbation to us and others? If they've got a problem, let them take care of it themselves." Having spent enough time in the DL area and having friends there, I explained to him that, yes, there were some, largely unquantifiable risks to the downstreamers, but we needed to accept those risks because of the greater and known risks to the DL region. In other words, there must be some compromise and risk assumption by us for the greater good of other fellow ND's.
That's one of the things that honked me off the most about the reaction of some of the more prominent DL folks to the waterfowl issues. To them, there was no compromise or looking past what they perceived was best for their area. No consideration or moderation towards an approach that might work decently well for all, but not perfectly for any. To the contrary, efforts towards compromise were met with threats of lock-outs.
Incidentally, DL doesn't want a return of the pre-90's lake levels. The outlet is only to regulate maximum elevation. An inlet, as part of the Garrison Diversion project, is also desired. That way the lake elevation can be moderated, probably just 3-4 feet below the current level and much higher than most of us can remember. That's great, as the larger lake has made for recreational opportunities (and $) for the area beyond what anyone could have imagined 15 years ago. But, as the DL area looks to the rest of the state to help it with these issues, I hope that some in that area will be willing to work with folks in other areas of the state on other issues, even those they perceive could negatively affect them somewhat. Get a little, give a little.
This topic brings up another point. Urban sportspersons serve as important liaisons and ambassadors to rural ND. I can't tell you the number of times someone who doesn't venture out into the country much says "I'm going to or traveling through ___________" Invariably, I'll say, "you can't possibly travel to or near __________ without stopping at __________ [store or restaurant]" As ND continues to "urbanize", the role of urban sportspersons to market, promote and stand up for rural ND will become even more important. This is another reason I think there are strong reasons for rural and urban to find common ground and compromise on the hunting issues. By and large, urban sportspersons are the most direct link between city and country, and whether or not believed, often rural's strongest advocates.