Saturday, July 16, 2011

Iowa's governor wants to exit the Missouri River Assocation

Wallaces Farmer (Iowa): Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is urging governors in three surrounding states to consider pulling out of a Missouri River Association because of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' long-term management of the river and what he believes is a tendency for the Corps to favor upstream states.

Last week it was announced that Branstad wrote a letter earlier this spring urging the governors of Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska to discuss forming a new group of downstream states. The four states are now members of the Missouri River Association of States and Tribes, which was formed in 2006 to advise federal agencies. The association also includes Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, and American Indian tribes in the Missouri River Basin.

The Missouri River has flowed from its banks in 2011 and public officials and residents have criticized the Corps of Engineers for its management of the upstream series of reservoirs in the Dakotas. Those reservoirs filled to the brim with water from spring rains and an enormous Rocky Mountain snowpack.

Branstad sent his letter to the other governors in April. That was more than a month before the corps opted to begin massive releases of water from the upstream dams that raised the Missouri River to historic levels and forced residents along the river to erect temporary barriers with sandbags and dikes and levee extensions. In some cases people have had to abandon their homes and farms. A significant amount of farmland along the river has been flooded....

Intersection of I-29 and I-680 by Mormon Bridge in Council Bluffs, Iowa during the 2011 Missouri River floods, shot by the US Army Corps of Engineers

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