By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News
Posted 3/06/18 (Tue)
In the late 1990s, when I worked at the Cavalier County Republican in Langdon, I got to know Joe Belford.
I don’t know what he is doing now, but at the time he was a
For years, Joe did battle with the
We all know the Red River flows north so
In recent years, Canadians didn’t want
However, Joe had a unique public relations approach to fighting this threat by
He went on Canadian television to talk about
For a couple of years, he was a regular on CBC-TV, channel 6 in
It got to a point that Joe Belford was discussed in Parliament and
Canadians across the country began to sympathize with Joe. During many of his 1-minute segments, CBC would show aerial footage of
The lake has finally stabilized, but remains approximately 50 feet deeper than it was 35 years ago. Tens of thousands of private and tribal lands have gone into the drink. An entire subdivision got swallowed up and residents had to evacuate.
The state of
Through all of this, that dates back more than 20 years, Mr. Belford has been a “bull in the china closet” for the city of
Sadly, outside of Ramsey and Benson counties, and the state capitol, most folks in
Some of you might recognize his name, but I’m willing to guess most of you don’t.
It’s unfortunate, but Joe, a North Dakota resident and American citizen, is better known on the Canadian side than he is in the
Because of his frequent appearances on CBC television, most people in
Ask anyone on the street in
Ask anyone on the street in Minot or Dickinson to give you directions to
Joe is one of those people who has always had it in his heart to fight for the people of
Because he never found that magic wand to wave and get the water to drop 50 feet, he really hasn’t been given due credit for all the work he’s done.
I met this man in December 1995 in a town hall meeting in
And, this is only an assumption, but I doubt there’s anyone else like Joe who will ever be on the Devils Lake City Commission or the Ramsey County Commission.
Joe’s crusade went far beyond politics. It wasn’t about money or status or popularity for him.
His goal was very simple, to stop the flooding on