Missouri River Conservation

There are a number of not for profit organizations that work tirelessly to protect the Missouri River ecosystem.

Here are a few to visit to learn more about the critical issues facing the Big Muddy:

The River Management Society
A national non-profit river management society working to assist river professionals in their efforts to provide for the health of river ecosystems of today and tomorrow.

Missouri River Association of States and Tribes

Association of governor-appointed and tribal council appointed members that represent interests related to cultural, economic and recreational issues in the Missouri River Basin.

Missouri River Recovery Program

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers program for restoring the ecosystem functions of the Missouri River. Program resulted from a 10-year eff ort that produced the Master Water Control Manual. This document governs how the Corps retains or releases water among the six dams on the main stem of the Missouri River. As part of the process, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a Biological Opinion (2000, amended in 2003) that found operation of the reservoir system imperiled two federally-endangered species (pallid sturgeon, interior least tern) and one threatened species (piping plover). In addition to aff ecting water management, the Biological Opinion stipulated that the Corps undertake research on and enhance critical habitat for the rare species, restore fl oodplain wetlandsand create additional shallow water habitat. The Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, state agencies and academic researchers assist the Corps in these restoration activities. Learn more about the program at: www.moriverrecovery.org

MRERP (Mr. Urp)
Missouri River Ecosystem Recovery Plan

Although the Biological Opinion issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service for the Master Water Control Manual stressed restoration of ecosystem functions, it was not a public examination of alternative means of doing so. The Water Resources Development Act of 2007 authorized a public planning process to consider alternatives and direct multi-jurisdictional recovery eff orts for the next 50 years. The fi rst of four phases for plan development began in 2009, with the fi nal plan anticipated in 2016. There will be formal public comment periods in each phase to help identify issues, assess current conditions, evaluate alternatives and compare potential impacts of proposed actions. These comment periods are opportunities for your voice to be heard on Missouri River, and therefore Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, issues. Watch local newspapers for public meeting announcements, or follow planning progress and add your name to the contact list on the MRERP tab of the MRRP website, www.moriverrecovery.org.

MRRIC (Mr. Rick)
Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee

A coalition of all non-governmental interests in the river basin specifi cally chartered to participate in the MRERP process. Committee members represent the broad range of commercial, industrial, agricultural, and recreational interests throughout the river basin. Learn more about the purpose and function of the committee on the MRRIC tab of the MRRP website, www.moriverrecovery.org.

MRAPS (Mr. Apps, M-Raps)
Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study

In 2009, Congress directed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review the project purposes authorized by the 1944 Flood Control Act (Pick-Sloan Act). Implementation of this act resulted in dams on the Missouri and its major tributaries managed by the Corps and the Bureau of Reclamation. The stated purposes of this infrastructure was to provide for (in alphabetic order, all have equal priority): Fish and wildlife habitat, Flood risk management, Irrigation, Navigation, Power generation, Recreation, Water quality, Water supply; this unprecedented review of the Federal law will determine whether these purposes are still valid under current economic, ecological and societal conditions. This study may also determine if changes to existing federal water resource infrastructure is warranted. Although this process is distinctly separate from MRERP, the fi ndings of this fi ve-year study may inform that longer-term planning process. There will both formal and informal opportunities for public input during scoping and document review phases. Public scoping for MRAPS is planned to begin summer 2010. Watch newspapers for local meetings, or obtain further information, schedules and Corps contacts on the MRAPS website at: www.mraps.org

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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