Missouri Congressman Sam Graves introduced a bill this week to remove fish and wildlife as an authorized purpose for management of the Missouri River and make flood control the highest priority.
“Time and again, we continue to see fish and birds take precedence over people and property when it comes to managing the Missouri River,” Graves said.
“This latest round of flooding has devastated communities up and down the river. We already know that management practices are contributing to it. It’s just another stark reminder that flood control must be the top priority for the Corps of Engineers, along with navigation. Removing fish and wildlife from the equation is a good step towards managing the river to better protect our friends and neighbors.”
H.R. 2174 would remove fish and wildlife as an authorized purpose of the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System and make flood control the highest priority of authorized purposes for the system. If the bill were enacted, it would direct the Chief of Engineers to revise the Missouri River Master Manual within 90 days of enactment.
In addition to the bill, Graves also inserted language into the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) last year to halt the construction of interception-rearing complexes (IRC) until a report is produced regarding the impacts of IRC construction on Missouri River flood control, navigation and other purposes in the Master Manual.