Our View: Missouri River pact necessary
A new pact has been formed to give a unified voice for states and tribes in this region with an interest in Missouri River issues. The Missouri River Association of States and Tribes includes seven upper Midwest states and 27 tribes. Gov. Mike Ro...
A new pact has been formed to give a unified voice for states and tribes in this region with an interest in Missouri River issues.
The Missouri River Association of States and Tribes includes seven upper Midwest states and 27 tribes. Gov. Mike Rounds announced its goals this week.
Known as MoRAST, the coalition's primary function is to protect and enhance the future of the Missouri River basin by combining natural resources management, water resources, fish and wildlife, and consideration of the impacts to economic, historic, cultural and social resources, according to a press release from the governor's office.
We notice that the state of Missouri declined to sign on. That's no surprise, considering its location at the end of the long river and the differences upstream states - like South Dakota - and downstream states - like Missouri - have in ideas concerning river management.
The group's board of directors will include up to two people from each participating state and up to six tribal members. State members will be appointed by their respective governor.
MoRAST is a good idea. When it comes to something so important to our region as the Missouri River, a distinct plan presented through a unified voice is important.
There are many issues facing the Missouri River these days.
Fish and wildlife management always seems divisive for the states through which the Missouri flows.
Water management also is important. Everybody, especially in these dry times, wants their share. Up here, we like deep, blue water to support our large recreation industry; southern states feel they need water for river traffic, such as barges.
One issue we feel should be at the forefront is sedimentation. Anyone who has crossed the bridge near Springfield knows there is a big problem that isn't going to remedy itself. In that area, and also near Pierre, sedimentation from sandy waterways like the Bad River and Niobrara River are silting in our Missouri River reservoirs. It's especially apparent where the river skirts the southern border of Bon Homme County.
Other groups and states have talked about these issues, but concrete solutions - or even ideas - have been rare.
MoRAST has its hands full.
It's our hope that the group can stay on track and attack the myriad issues that the Missouri River presents in the 21st century.