Missouri Corn Urges Opposition To Misappropriated Corps Funding
(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)–President Barack Obama released a proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 last week and it is business as usual for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) when it comes to flood management on the Missouri River.
“Once again showing preference for ecosystem restoration, the Missouri River Recovery Program was allotted $90 million in the president’s proposal while only approximately $7.7 million was appropriated for operations and maintenance on the Missouri River,” said Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) President Billy Thiel of Malta Bend, Mo. “This is an increase of $17 million for fish and wildlife while Missourians struggle to recover from a devastating flood. This injustice once again shows a disconnect still exists between those who manage the river and those who rely on it.”
Following last year’s epic failures along the Missouri River and the Birds Point-New Madrid Spillway, the Corps was continually blasted in public meetings and media articles for not making flood management the top priority. In November, Northwestern Division Commander Brig. Gen. John McMahon released a statement saying they “have listened intently to the people we serve.”
However, the latest budget proposal once again fails to reflect flood control as the Corps’ top priority in managing the river and continues the trend of protecting fish and birds over lives and personal property. MCGA sent letters to Missouri’s congressional delegation Feb. 22, urging them to take action and oppose the outlined funding for the Missouri River Recovery Program.
“It is time for the Corps’ actions to match their words,” Thiel said. “This proposed budget for the Missouri River Recovery Program is a slap in the face to those families and communities struggling to rebuild after last year’s devastating floods.”
MCGA is a longtime advocate of improved flood management along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. To learn more about the devastation caused by the 2011 flood, the short film Underwater and Overlooked: Crisis on the Missouri River is available online at www.mocorn.org/flood.
Downloadable media assets for this article:
Right-click the link and choose "Save as." Captions for the photos are provided.