Policy Pulse: League Calls for Sustainable Management of Missouri River

Upper MO Breaks Natil Monument_BLM

On March 31, Paul Lepisto, IWLA Regional Conservation Coordinator, testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee, where he provided the League’s recommendations for improving and expanding efforts to restore some of the natural river functions and habitat for fish and wildlife in the Missouri River basin. The hearing, chaired by U.S. Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota, focused on what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has accomplished since the 2011 Missouri River flood and solicited recommendations for managing the river in the future.

In 2011, historic and prolonged flooding inundated large areas along the river from Montana to Missouri. A recent report from the Government Accountability Office found that federal agencies have made little to no progress in implementing recommendations identified following that flood, many of which focused on how the Corps should manage water stored in major reservoirs on the river.

Lepisto urged the Corps to expand river recovery and restoration efforts that will reduce flood risk, improve water quality, benefit fish and wildlife, and increase recreational opportunities along the river. You can read Lepisto’s complete testimony on the League Web site.