House Concurrent Resolution No. 17



      Whereas, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has mandated a man-made "spring rise" for the Missouri River that is purportedly necessary for the survival of the pallid sturgeon, an endangered species; and


            Whereas, accurately controlling upstream discharges for the "spring rise" is extremely difficult because Missouri weather and flooding are unpredictable, as evidenced by the Missouri River's rise of nine feet in less than eighteen hours twice during a drought period in June of 2005; and


            Whereas, once water is released for the "spring rise" there are no intervening dams or locks to halt the rise during the ten-day travel time from Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota to St. Louis, Missouri, thereby increasing the risk that such a rise would compound flooding problems resulting from a major rain event; and


            Whereas, Federal agencies should not be implementing plans that are known to harm Missouri's farmers solely for the purposes of an experiment to determine whether the "spring rise" will trigger spawning of the pallid sturgeon; and


            Whereas, a "spring rise" will potentially exacerbate drainage problems on agricultural land which could delay crop planting, destroy crops, and require additional pumping at additional costs for Missouri farmers; and


            Whereas, by using water in the spring that is needed to support navigation and other uses in the summer, a "spring rise" will shorten the navigation season during times of water shortages causing additional financial burdens on shippers, commercial carriers, and producers; and


            Whereas, Missouri infrastructure, communities, businesses, farmers, ranchers and the economy all will be put at an increased risk of flooding in the event of a "spring rise"; and


            Whereas, it is unjust for Missouri consumers, communities, businesses, commercial carriers, farmers and ranchers to bear any additional direct or indirect costs for an unproven experimental plan; and


            Whereas, many businesses and residential communities along the Missouri River suffered great devastation after the flood of 1993; the intentional flooding of the river through a "spring rise" enhances the risk that such destruction will once again visit these communities, making it harder and ultimately less attractive to rebuild; and


            Whereas, the economic responsibilities that individual families and businesses have to bear in the face of a devastating flood, like that in 1993, are enormous; to compound and confuse that responsibility with the uncertainties that accompany a "spring rise" places a heavier burden on the backs of those families and businesses:


            Now, therefore, be it resolved that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-third General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby concur with the Governor of the State of Missouri that all reasonable and necessary action should be taken to prevent the planned man-made "spring rise"; and


            Be it further resolved that the members of the Missouri House of Representatives Ninety-third General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, respectfully encourage the United States Army Corps of Engineers not to implement an artificial "spring rise," which would increase the risk of flooding for Missourians, thereby being in violation of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' recent ruling, which held that flood control and navigation are the dominant uses of the Missouri River; and


            Be it further resolved that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare a properly inscribed copies of this resolution for the Governor of Missouri and the members of the Missouri Congressional delegation.