A new plan that will affect how the Missouri River is managed for years to come is out for public review and comment. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Missouri River Recovery Management Plan Draft Environmental Impact State (MRRMP-DEIS) that will directly impact fish and wildlife, outdoor recreation, and communities along America’s longest river was released in late December. The plan is very complex and with its supporting documents runs over 4,900 pages.
The MRRMP-DEIS outlines six proposed recovery alternatives to restore aquatic and terrestrial habitat along the river. Following the public comment period the Corps will issue a Record of Decision and select an alternative. The habitat is needed for the pallid sturgeon, least tern and piping plover, three species on the federal endangered species list. These species, and many other native fish and wildlife, have decreased as a result of the man-made alterations on the river. Those changes include six mainstem dams in the upper basin and the creation of the 735 mile navigation channel on the lower river from Sioux City, IA to St. Louis, MO.
The League is reviewing the MRRMP-DEIS and will compile comprehensive comments on it. It is critical that the Izaak Walton League and our members, chapters, and divisions comment on the DEIS. Our comments will include recommendations for ensuring long-range river management that benefits fish and wildlife, the environment, increased recreational opportunities as well as the needs of a diverse array of people who depend on and use the river.
Divisions and Chapters will be able to sign on to the letter. Chapters and members can also submit their own comments on the DEIS. The public comment period runs through April 22. Click here to review the DEIS.
For more information and how you can get involved, please contact IWLA Regional Conservation Coordinator Paul Lepisto at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also look for Action Alerts from the League. Not on the Action Alert e-mail list yet? Sign up today at members.iwla.org/news.