Army Corps of Engineers officials are traveling to cities on the Missouri River, gathering comments from the public on next year’s proposed operating plan. They’ll make a stop in Missouri tonight, in Jefferson City. There’s a different perspective on how to manage the Missouri River levels comparing the northern part of the basin with opinions in the south. That’s why the Army Corps of Engineers is gathering comments in all areas. And, one of the issues that is sure to come up in Jefferson City tonight will be the controversial spring rise. Corps officials say there won’t be a spring rise in 2003 because of the current drought in parts of the river’s basin. Larry Cieslik with the Corps’ Water Management Division does not totally rule out a rise if the drought should end.Missouri officials object to the spring rise because they say it would flood farm, business, and navigation interests. Environmentalists favor the rise because of the good they say it would do for wildlife. Cieslik says comments will be taken for about another month with a finalized annual operating plan to come out in January. He suggests those who come out to the public meetings bring as many facts as possible.
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