The nomination of North Dakotan Lance Yohe to an international water commission has drawn the support of the state congressional delegation and the governor.
Yohe, who lives in Fargo, has long been involved with the Red River Basin Commission.
President Trump nominated Yohe to serve as a commissioner on the International Joint Commission (IJC), an organization that regulates shaded water use between the United States and Canada.
When confirmed, Yohe will be one of six IJC commissioners, three each from the United States and Canada.
Yohe was praised by the governor and North Dakota’s congressional members.
“Lance has more than three decades of experience helping local and state officials navigate issues over water and land resources in the Red River Basin, and we’re confident he will do an outstanding job representing U.S. interests on the International Joint Commission,” Governor Doug Burgum said. “We are grateful to the Trump administration for recognizing Lance’s expertise and to our congressional delegation for recommending him for this important role. We urge the Senate to confirm his nomination and look forward to his continued service on behalf of North Dakota and other states in addressing critical issues such as water supply, droughts and flooding.”
Senator John Hoeven, stressed Yohe’s long service in water management and the need for a representative experienced in western states’ water rights.
“Lance is a tremendous pick for the IJC,” Hoeven said. “He brings more than three decades of experience with our state’s water management bodies and, during this time, has specifically helped local governments navigate cross-border issues with Canada. In this role, Lance will help ensure North Dakota and other western states’ concerns are adequately addressed, which is critical to a wide range of issues in our state, from flooding and drought to clean and reliable municipal water supplies. That’s why we will work to move his nomination through the Senate as soon as possible.”
Senator Heidi Heitkamp also backs the Yohe nomination.
“For more than 35 years, Lance has been a leader in finding innovative solutions to some of North Dakota’s most pressing water challenges, particularly in the Red River Basin,” Heitkamp said. “Lance has spent decades addressing flooding, mitigating the impacts of water management on agriculture, and helping mediate water disputes between the United States and Canada. … His expertise will boost the Commission’s efforts as it looks to resolve a variety of transboundary water concerns— including issues involving the Red River that directly impact North Dakota”
Congressman Kevin Cramer noted Yohe’s expertise in water issues and said that experience and knowledge will serve to enhance the IJC’s work.
“For more than 100 years, the IJC has met to resolve conflicts involving the waterways flowing across the 5,500-mile border between United States and Canada,” said Cramer. “Lance Yohe has been a leader in regional water issues for more than 30 years, and is a recognized authority on regional river basin topics, especially the Red River. As an IJC Commissioner, Lance will bring extensive knowledge of the trans-boundary issues between North Dakota and the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.”