OMAHA, Neb.—The Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee met in Rapid City, South Dakota Nov. 17-19. Missouri Basin Tribes participating in MRRIC emphasized the importance of the lead Missouri River Recovery Program agencies consulting on a government-to-government basis at key times during the development of the program management plan.
“The Corps (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) needs to specifically identify government-to-government consultation in its management plan development process, and make sure that consultation happens when it does both the Tribes and Corps the most good,” said Deb Madison of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes.
Tribal representatives also sought assurance that impacts to Tribal members’ access to and use of land and water would be identified and analyzed as part of the management development process.
“It needs to be very clearly shown how Tribal human considerations have been included in the Corps’ effects analysis,” said Elizabeth Wakeman of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe.
Tribal representatives also stressed the need for the Corps, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies to provide the Tribes better information and more resources to evaluate and provide responses to proposed management plan actions, particularly the proposed process for overseeing adaptive management.
MRRIC members welcomed a new Tribe, the Chippewa-Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy's Reservation, represented by their alternate Dustin White. New Osage Nation alternate Pascha Enzi was also welcomed at the meeting. Representatives of the Crow Tribe, Fort Peck Tribes, Flandreau Santee Sioux and Rosebud Sioux Tribe also participated.
MRRIC is a 70-member committee that comprises stakeholders and representatives of Tribal, state and federal governments throughout the Missouri River Basin. This committee provides recommendations to federal agencies on the current and future activities of the Missouri River Recover Program. 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 February 2015 in the Kansas City area.
For additional information regarding the MRRIC, please contact Dr. Michael Mac, committee chair, by e-mail at info@MRRIC.org. Web links related to the Missouri River recovery efforts are www.MRRIC.org and www.MoRiverRecovery.org.
MRRIC is staffed by RESOLVE, a Washington, D.C. dispute resolution firm (www.resolv.org), under a contract with the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution and with the assistance of federal agency staff.