It’s been in the works for 15 years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has now released the final draft of the Master Manual for Management of the Missouri River. Corps’ spokesman Paul Johnston says the new manual focuses more on upstream management. Johnston says that means there could be a split navigation season on the Missouri River, hampering barge operators’ efforts to move goods. Plus, today’s announcement leaves open the door for man-made spring floods to help endangered species, although Johnston points out there’s nothing directly mandating them. Randy Asbury with the Coaltion to Protect the Missouri River, a group representing agricultural and business interests along the river is not pleased with the decision. Asbury says this could end up flooding farmers and people who live along the river or drop water levels so low, utilities won’t be able to operate. And barges could shut down permanently.
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