St. Louis Public Radio News
9:05 am
Tue July 15, 2003

Feds Will Try to Stop Missouri River Flow Change

Washington, DC – The federal government will try to block a judge's ruling that ordered reductions in the amount of water in the Missouri River this summer.

Judge Gladys Kessler ruled the Missouri should have a more natural flow to protect endangered birds and fish, saying injury to wildlife will be irreparable without curtailing the Missouri's flow.

But another court ruling issued in June said the U.S. Corps of Engineers, which regulates the nation's waterways, must keep enough water in the lower Missouri to allow for barge navigation, power generation and other needs. Several other lawsuits are also pending.

American Rivers, Environmental Defense, the Isaac Walton League, the National Wildlife Federation and a half-dozen other groups are suing to force the flow changes, which they say are required by the federal Endangered Species Act. The speces in question are the least tern, piping plover and pallid sturgeon.