On the Missouri River, tensions have run high ever since the Corps of Discovery explored the river’s furthest reaches in the early 1800s, with conflict between navigation and ecological protection in the Missouri River basin. Upper basin states are pitted against lower basin states, and both have had their run-ins with federal agencies. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stands at the vortex of the controversy while the states as well as environmental and commercial associations demand contradictory and even mutually exclusive responses in river operations. The objective of this article is two-fold: first, to show that the Master Manual revision process pursuant to the Flood Control Act of 1944 asks the wrong questions and therefore cannot provide a complete solution for the Missouri River basin; and second, to suggest legislative change. This Article begins in Part II by highlighting the remarkable ecological discoveries of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Part III describes the origins and implementation of the Flood Control Act, while Part IV details the rise of the modern environmental age in federal legislation, focusing on the Endangered Species Act. Missouri River litigation trends are assessed in Part V, which reviews cases brought in courts within the basin as well as the District of Columbia. Finally, Part VI illustrates the need for comprehensive federal legislation and lays the groundwork for a new Missouri River Organic Act by drawing on experiences with other federal organic acts and river restoration initiatives.
Sandra B. Zellmer,
A New Corps of Discovery for Missouri River Management,
83 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol83/iss2/4