Not Plover Lovers
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday released a long-awaited environmental impact statement for managing the Missouri River, listing six possible options but refusing to back the only one that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says would save the pallid sturgeon, least tern, and piping plover. The Corps during the Clinton administration publicly backed the position of the USFWS, which would involve restoring some of the seasonal ebb and flow of the river. But barge and agricultural interests have since pressured the Bush administration not to make the change. (Note: No one disputes that very little grain is actually barged down the river.) The Corps will hold public hearings on the EIS this year; a final decision is expected next spring.