Credit (Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/Photo by Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk)
Aerial views of the Missouri River in the Bismarck-Mandan, North Dakota area June 8, 2011. The upstream Garrison Dam was releasing water into the Missouri River at a flow of 140,000 cubic feet per second.
The Associated Press obtained a copy of a June 28 letter in which Vilsack questions the Corps' decision not to release more water from dams earlier in the spring to prevent prolonged flooding this summer. The flooding followed spring rains and the melting of a deep Rocky Mountain snowpack.
The letters in question are an attempt to gauge farmers' interest in selling their lands to the federal government for wildlife habitat restoration. Farmers in Missouri and Iowa have been receiving the letters.