Date of this Version
In mid 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) requested the independent and impartial assistance of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution (U.S. Institute) in planning, designing, and implementing efforts to build collaborative opportunities with public stakeholders into the development of the Missouri River Ecosystem Restoration Plan (MRERP). To meet this request, the U.S. Institute developed and implemented the Civic Engagement Program (CE). The CE program consisted of a series of public meetings throughout the basin, intended to educate public stakeholders on the MRERP, to gather input on key elements of the Missouri River Ecosystem Restoration Plan, to foster dialogue among public stakeholders, and to help ensure that there were ample opportunities for public involvement as part of the overall public scoping process. These meetings occurred between August 18th and October 3rd, 2009 in seven Missouri River basin states: Montana, Missouri, North Dakota, Kansas, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa. The CE meetings were not designed to be traditional public scoping meetings or hearings, but rather to provide a unique setting allowing for face-to-face discussions with pre-selected participants intended to represent diverse perspectives from the community. The intent of the CE meetings, and of the attached state reports and meeting notes, was to inclusively gather perspectives and opinions from a diverse group of stakeholders with a broad array of interests in the basin, without quantifying, weighing, judging, or prioritizing their views. This report, authored by the U.S. Institute and presented to USACE and FWS for its consideration in the MRERP, describes the CE program, and highlights some of the common themes from the meetings. The summary reports and detailed meeting notes from each of the CE meetings are included in the Attachments and are also submitted to USACE and FWS for consideration.