The seven-state group also includes representatives from Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, and native American tribes.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says flood control on the Missouri River was the main issue for him and his counterpart in Nebraska, Governor Dave Heineman.
“We didn’t feel that this group, MoRAST, had represented the interests of the constituents of our states,” Governor Branstad says. “We just went through this disastrous flood and MoRAST has not been supportive of saying that flood control should be the top priority in managing the Missouri River.”
Branstad says the governors along the river formed the Missouri River Working Group, which they feel will better represent them.
He says Governor Heineman pulled the group together and they have already met a couple of times in Omaha.
“We’ve come up with some suggestions on how things can be done differently,” Branstad says, “and we’re hopeful in the future that we can convince the Corps of Engineers that they need to respect and recognize the impact of the decisions that they’re making…on our farmers, business people and homeowners.”
Branstad says the downside to pulling out of the MoRAST group is that they want to work with other states, but he says that was not happening.
He says even before this year’s flood, agencies Iowa felt that their interests were not being represented by MoRAST.
Branstad says he wrote a letter expressing concern to the group back in April before the flooding began. He says the state has not felt the money it contributes to the group has been getting any results.
Branstad says Iowa contributed $60-to-70,000 annually to the group.