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Corps of Engineers Signs Missouri River Plan

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By Matt Hackworth, KCUR

Kansas City – Acting on a federal court order, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Friday formally signed a new plan for controlling the flow of the Missouri River. It took 14 years of negotiating to complete.

Corps spokesman Paul Johnston says the new river manual puts off an artificial spring rise until 2006.

"The idea was to provide a spawning cue for the pallid sturgeon, reconnect the river to its historic flood plain and create and maintain sandbar habitat for the turns and the plovers," Johnston said.

The endangerment of those species forced the Corps to change the Missouri River's flow.

The spring rise plan is good news for up-river states, where recreation interests want more water year round.

But Missouri Governor Bob Holden says he may sue to stop the change because it harms barge interests in the state.

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