Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer had some complaints about yesterday’s meeting of governors impacted by the flooded Missouri River. He is against the idea that flood control should take priority on how reservoirs are managed upstream. He stated his state relies on those reservoirs for recreation and wildlife.
Governor Dave Heineman today stated protecting property needs to be the ultimate priority. He says protecting citizens, property, farms, ranches businesses and public infrastructure is just as important as the pallid sturgeon.
While Governor Heineman says he knows Schweitzer and “is a good guy”, the Governor says Schweitzer prefers playing to the media than working with others in trying to solve the flooding issue. Governor Heineman says there have been two meetings now with state governors along the Missouri River and Schweitzer has not attended either.
Meanwhile, Governor Heineman is very pleased with the cooperation he is seeing from upstream states. He says one upstream governor suggested more storage capacity of water. He says that is a major step forward.
When it comes to the Army Corps of Engineers, Governor Heineman says have the ultimate say over river management. They are a federal entity so states have no jurisdiction over what they decide but he is pleased they are listening to what state leaders have to say.
The governors of states along the Missouri River have one more meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers before they finalize their river management plan for 2012.