Omaha, Neb. The Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC) met in Kansas City, Mo., February 11–13th. At this meeting, the Committee continued work on the development of a formal process for assessing how actions taken by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to recover endangered species will influence river uses. This process is designed to measure economic impacts and benefits of management strategies on uses such as agriculture, water supply, navigation, ecological services and recreation.
MRRIC comprises stakeholders and representatives of Tribal and state governments, as well as federal agencies throughout the Missouri River Basin. The Committee advises the federal agencies on managing the Missouri River system and on promoting recovery of the endangered pallid sturgeon and least tern and the threatened piping plover.
The Committee also heard from its Independent Science Advisory Panel who is reviewing the scientific information and approaches for recovering the species. The panel confirmed the approaches being used that employ conceptual ecological models as the basis for learning about the needs of the listed species. Committee members also began discussing options for developing an Independent Social Economic Technical Review panel that will provide similar technical review of the approaches being considered for evaluating socioeconomic impacts on the river.
MRRIC discussed with the Corps their Recovery Program 2014 budget and how it will be used in the recovery of the listed species, and discussed the potential of using easements as options for acquiring land in the basin for constructing habitats critical to the threatened and endangered species.
The committee meets quarterly at different locations throughout the Missouri River Basin. The next MRRIC meeting will be May 20–22nd in Rapid City, SD. For more information on MRRIC, please contact Dr. Michael Mac, Committee Chair, at email@example.com. Additional links related to the Missouri River recovery efforts are www.mrric.org and www.moriverrecovery.org.
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, state, and tribal governments on efforts to recover Endangered Species Act (ESA)–listed species, mitigate habitat loss, and restore the ecosystem to protect other native species. MRRIC is supported by the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution and RESOLVE, an independent dispute resolution non-profit organization, and federal agency staff.
Release no. 20140218-001