Tim Searchinger, an attorney for the citizen’s group Environmental Defense, is telling farmers not to worry about the proposed “spring rise” on the Missouri. He says the U.S. Corps of Engineers won’t open-up dams upstream if there is a danger. And Searchinger says, even when they do, it will only affect river levels by a couple of feet. Environmental Defense thinks the Missouri River should be lower in the summer, even if it hurts barge traffic, because it is an under-used river. Searchinger claims if Missouri weren’t kept artificially high to help barges it would have more beaches, flow more slowly, and turn into more of an economic resource than it is.
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