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To Missouri’s Legislative Delegation:
An article in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago sounded familiar to what’s been happening on the Missouri River. It is pretty clear the Endangered Species Act causes hardships for people across the country. It seems to us, if representatives from each area in the country negatively impacted by the Department of Interior pushed for reform, some positive changes could take place.
It is high time Congress took a serious look at the ESA and the real burdens being placed on people and communities. The Department of Interior and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service use the ESA to force other federal agencies, as well as state and local governments, to spend millions of dollars to meet their demands. Often these demands have no sound scientific basis and even do harm to the very species they are trying to protect.
We have seen this on the Missouri River with the implementation of a spring rise, which we learned does nothing to aid the pallid sturgeon, and now with shallow water habitat projects, which independent scientists agree aren’t necessary for the pallid sturgeon to recover. Yet the Corps of Engineers continues to spend millions on these projects.
Missouri is not alone. While the species and location may be different, the economic suffering is similar across the country. In these times of financial crisis in government, we feel a new look at ESA would uncover millions of dollars that could be directed to higher priorities. Our question then is why isn’t anything being done to change this? Will you and your staff please work to do something to start the reform process? Please seek out your colleagues from across the country with constitutes facing the same ESA hardships and find a way to stop this madness. The Missouri Levee and Drainage District Association look forward to your response and we stand ready to help you in this effort.
– Tom Waters, Chairman
Missouri Levee & Drainage District Association