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Associated Press, Published March 03 2010

Federal judge denies appeal for ND man in wetlands case

FARGO (AP) — A federal judge has denied an appeal from a northeastern North Dakota man who was fined $10,000 for draining wetlands on his property.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson on Monday upheld a 2008 ruling that found Alvin Peterson guilty of improperly draining wetlands under easement to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Peterson was ordered to pay the fine and serve five years' probation.

Peterson, a retired farmer from Lawton, has been at odds with the Fish and Wildlife Service over wetlands for more than 40 years. The agency had an easement contract with his father for potholes to house wildlife. Peterson contested the contract and has said he wanted to put the land back to the way it was supposed to be.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.