Army Corps of Engineers Face River Issues
In 2011, the Army Corps of Engineers faced infrastructure issues, farmland destruction and reservoir management challenges as it dealt with the aftermath of the flooding. Runoff and drought forecasts for the summer show decreasing drought levels across the Midwest plains and increased soil moisture levels. (See here for more predictions from the Missouri DNR.) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Kansas City District produced a good summary of the problems they faced with the flooding and drought of 2011-2012. The Corps also had to defend the maintenance and management of the river’s infrastructure after the 2011 floods.
However, despite the decrease in severity, the drought could still remain a major problem for area farmers because of the smaller amounts of water funneled into the river from reservoirs. Further, according to this article, the Missouri River was named one of America’s most endangered rivers in 2012; however, it didn’t make that list this year.
The AP reported on the bill that would remove “fish and wildlife” from the description of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ responsibilities in river maintenance. The bill’s four sponsors – Sam Graves, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long – feel that resources used to protect habitats and endangered animals could be more effectively appropriated to help farmers and residents of flood-prone areas. The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1934 specifically made provisions for joint operations between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corps of Engineers.