News Releases

Tribal Members of MRRIC Continue Review of Draft EIS, Recommend Extended Review

Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee
Published Feb. 3, 2017

The Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC) met in Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 31-Feb. 2 to discuss the Missouri River Recovery Program’s (MRRP) draft Missouri River Recovery Management Plan-Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that was released in December by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). An accompanying Adaptive Management (AM) Plan serves as the framework for implementing action described in the EIS.

MRRIC provided a formal recommendation, with a written abstention, to extend the public comment period for the Draft EIS to 120 days. In recognition of this recommendation and other extension requests, the Corps is working through the formal process to extend the public comment period to April 24.

Committee members also shared their thoughts on the merits of and concerns about the alternatives proposed, including the preferred alternative. They discussed MRRIC’s role in the MRRP under the AM Plan which will be fully implemented once a Record of Decision is reached.

Tribes were represented by Dr. Kelly Morgan, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Alan Kelley, Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska; Elizabeth Wakeman, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe; Reno Red Cloud, Oglala Sioux Tribe; Deb Madison, Ft. Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes; Shannon Wright, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska; and Pascha Enzi, Osage Nation.

Morgan gave a presentation on behalf of the Tribal Interests Work Group on the concerns common to the various Tribal nations and on the laws, agreements, and executive orders that govern the consultation process between the U.S. government and each Tribe as a sovereign nation. Morgan expressed Tribal members’ pleasure at the Corps’ willingness to take steps to extend the public comment period. “The Tribal Work Group continues to work closely with the Corps and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” she said.

Finally, the committee said farewell to chair Dr. Michael J. Mac, who is retiring after leading the committee since 2011. Ms. Gail Bingham was introduced as the incoming chair. “We look forward to working with the new chair on species recovery,” Morgan said. MRRIC is a 70-member committee that comprises stakeholders and representatives of Tribal, state and federal governments throughout the Missouri River Basin. The committee provides recommendations to federal agencies on the current and future activities of the MRRP.

MRRIC was authorized by Congress in the 2007 Water Resources Development Act and was established in 2008 by the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works). Its duties include providing recommendations to the Secretary of the Army and other Federal agencies on efforts to recover Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed species (the pallid sturgeon, least tern, and piping plover), mitigate habitat loss, and restore the ecosystem to protect other native species. The committee makes its substantive recommendations by consensus.

The committee meets quarterly at different locations throughout the Missouri River Basin. The next MRRIC meeting will be May 23-25, 2017. For more information on MRRIC, please contact the committee chair at

Information about the Missouri River recovery efforts is available online at  and

Omaha District Public Affairs

Release no. 17-009