Spring of 2011 was a difficult time for many states as water levels rose on the mighty Mississippi River: the river borders ten states, and most if not all experienced some degree of flooding this spring.
Illinois was especially hard hit duringthe months of April and May as the waters rose to record levels. Many of the state’s levee systems were breached or threatened, putting thousands of lives and millions of dollars at risk. Illinois even reached the point of blowing up a section of the levee to reduce pressure on the levee system, a drastic move challenged by neighboring states and presented in the U.S. courts. North Dakota was also hit very hard just before the summer conference of the North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association. I surveyed the area near Minot, North Dakota in mid-July, and from the amount of damage, it was evident that nature had taken a toll on the water systems.