Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee or MRRIC will meet in May to work on recommendations for the Secretary of the Army and other federal, state, and tribal governments on efforts to recover Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed species, mitigate habitat loss, and restore the ecosystem to protect other native species. The area of authority for the federal committee covers eastern Montana although the meetings are held in Kansas. The next meeting will be May 3-5.
The Committee, now in its third year, meets quarterly at different locations throughout the Missouri River Basin. It will begin its upcoming meeting having successfully approved eight substantive recommendations to date addressed to federal agencies responsible for Missouri River recovery. Yet to be announced proposals are expected to come before the committee from key groups who also have authority over waterways and adjacent land in eastern Montana including the Missouri River Recovery Program (MRRP) Work Group, Missouri River Ecosystem Restoration Plan (MRERP) Work Group, Integrated Science Program (ISP) Work Group.
MRRIC members are hoping that the proposals will enhance the Committee’s ability to potentially reach a preliminary consensus on recommendations for the 2012 Fiscal Year MRRP work plan and geographic scope discussions, as well as possible final consensus on a MRRIC engagement strategy in MRERP. MRRP may or not be funded and the funding for the next phase of the study is current in question in the US Congress.
One issue will also be leadership of MRRIC. Since the beginning of the organization, MRRIC has been lead by a Montanan, John Thorson.
MRRIC was authorized by Congress in the 2007 Water Resources Development Act and established in 2008 by the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works).
MRRIC is staffed by RESOLVE, a Washington, D.C. dispute resolution firm, under a contract with the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution and with the assistance of federal agency staff.
The MRRIC meeting, which is open to the public. More information can be found at www.mrric.org and www.moriverrecovery.org.