Cause for Concern in Missouri River Recovery Plan

The League is preparing detailed comments outlining our concerns about the Army Corps of Engineers’ preferred alternative for Missouri River recovery. Whatever alternative the Corps adopts will chart river recovery for decades to come and directly impact fish and wildlife, outdoor recreation, and communities along the river.

The Corps' proposed recovery plan outlines six recovery alternatives to restore habitat for fish and wildlife. The Corps’ preferred alternative (Alternative #3) is based entirely on constructing habitat along the river using heavy equipment – a very costly endeavor. The League strongly believes that to provide the best results, recovery actions need to restore as much natural fish and wildlife habitat as possible.

In addition, a construction-only recovery alternative would leave the river’s endangered and native species vulnerable to federal budget cuts, making the recovery goals unobtainable without sustained federal funding. A more natural restoration process – letting the river create its own habitat in certain areas – would be less expensive and would more effectively reduce flood risks, improve water quality, restore habitat for self-sustaining fish and wildlife populations, and increase recreational opportunities.

The public comment period runs through April 24. League chapters and divisions are encouraged to sign on to our comments in support of a more sustainable, effective approach to restoration. To add your support, please e-mail Paul Lepisto at

The Corps will evaluate all comments received and issue a final Environmental Impact Statement in summer 2018.