Iowa gov. proposes downstream Missouri River group


July 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad thinks his state and four others should consider forming a group to seek changes in how the Army Corps of Engineers manages the Missouri

River. Branstad sent a letter in April to governors in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska that outlined his complaint that federal officials place too much importance on recreational needs in upstream stretches of the Missouri. The Associated Press obtained the letter through Iowa’s open records law.

Branstad wrote the letter before spring rain and a huge snow pack prompted the corps to begin months of record releases from its dams that have increased the flood risk downstream. Corps spokeswoman Monique Farmer says officials base their decisions on specific guidelines.

Other governors say they’ll consider Branstad’s idea after the floodwaters recede.