A ruling by a federal judge in Minnesota on how the Missouri River is managed is not exactly welcomed by either side in the fight. The judge ruled the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not have to run a low summer flow as some environmental groups had sued them to do. Liz Birnbaum with the Washington, D.C.-based group American Rivers says the environmental groups used to have the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on their side, but the agency caved in on its earlier demands that low summer flows be part of the management plan. Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon is pleased there won’t be low summer flows. But he worries that the court’s decision will set the precedent that the Corps can manage the river however it chooses, including providing future low summer flows, and undermine his efforts to get the new master manual tossed out. Both Birnbaum and Nixon anticipate more legal action before the issue is finally resolved.
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