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Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  2018
   MRRIC Recommendation Agency Response
41. MRRIC Recommendations to USACE on the Draft MRRP 2018 Strategic Plan and Science and Adaptive Management Plan Implementation, June 2018

MRRIC made 40 recommendations within the following topics areas:

  1. Decision making informed by science and learning from management actions;
  2. Outreach and collaborative action; and
  3. Strategic Plan and funding priorities.

Full Recommendation

USACE provided a detailed response to address each recommendation; see full response.

Full Response

40. MRRIC Recommendations to USACE and USFWS Regarding Draft MRRP 2018 Strategic Plan and Science and Adaptive Management Plan Implementation, June 2018

MRRIC made 12 recommendations within the following topics areas:

  1. Decision making informed by science and learning from management actions;
  2. Independent scientific review;
  3. Apply new information to MRRP piping plover actions; and
  4. Other recommendations.

Full Recommendation

USACE and USFWS provided a detailed response to address each recommendation; see full response.

Full Response

 

39. MRRIC Recommendation on Approach for Fall Science Meeting 2018, May 2018

MRRIC recommends the lead agencies and MRRIC use an 8-step approach to the Fall Science Meeting in 2018 to ensure the 2018 Fall Science Meeting, the 2018 Adaptive Management Report, and the 2019 Adaptive Management Workshop effectively support decision making throughout the Adaptive Management governance process.

Full Recommendation

USACE and USFWS concur with the recommendations.

Full Response

38. MRRIC Common Ground Recommendations to USACE and USFWS concerning the pallid sturgeon stocking program and science informed decision making, May 2018

MRRIC:

  1. Supports USACE and USFWS's continued funding of and efforts to improve the quality of the pallid sturgeon stocking program. Quality criteria should include physiological and ecological factors such as overall health of fish when stocked, the ability of newly stocked pallids to be adaptive to Missouri River conditions (e.g., feeding, positioning in current, and habitat selection) and grow and perform as well as wild fish. MRRIC also supports USFWS efforts to preserve the genetic diversity of local pallid populations.
  2. Supports science-informed decisions through Adaptive Management and the NEPA process to meet the needs of the listed species while minimizing impacts on human uses of the river, utilizing and independent science review process.

Full Recommendation

USACE and USFWS appreciate the support.

Full Response

37. MRRIC Common Ground Recommendations to USACE on inclusion of science from the Middle Mississippi and role of MRRIC, May 2018

MRRIC:

  1. Supports USACE's inclusion of science from the middle Mississippi in the scientific efforts to understand pallid sturgeon recruitment.
  2. Recommends that USACE continue to utilize MRRIC as the best venue for sharing concerns and pursuing solutions to benefit species and stakeholders and provide funding, staff support and scientific information to guide management plan actions with the understanding that the MRRIC process does not supersede the need for USACE to consult with local, state, and tribal nations' jurisdictions regarding implementation of site-specific actions (with the engagement of the MRRIC Independent Science Advisory Panel).

Full Recommendation

USACE concurs with the recommendations.

Full Response

36. MRRIC Common Ground Recommendations to USACE and USFWS concerning the independent scientific review of the draft Biological Opinion, March 2018

MRRIC recommends that the Independent Science Advisory Panel (ISAP) review the science used by USACE and USFWS for the Biological Assessment and the Biological Opinion (in addition to the Effects Analysis and Conceptual models already reviewed by the ISAP).

Full Recommendation

USACE and USFWS concurred with the recommendation.

Full Response

35. MRRIC Common Ground Recommendations to USACE on invasive species and piping plover metapopulation studies, March 2018

MRRIC recommends:

  1. That USACE assess the impacts from aquatic invasive species on the pallid, and invasive species (in general) on the plover in the Adaptive Management process.
  2. That USACE consider the results of the piping plover studies by the U.S. Geological Survey ("Spatial variation in population dynamics of northern Great Plains Piping Plovers" to be completed) and Virginia Tech (Relevant citations can be found at the following link: http://vtshorebirds.fishwild.vt.edu/publications.html) meta population studies in Missouri River Recovery Management Plan Adaptive Management.

Full Recommendation

USACE responded as follows:

  1. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is coordinating study of impacts of Asian carp to aquatic ecosystems on the Missouri River outside of MRRP.
  2. The piping plover metapopulation study will be used to refine the bird model when the study results are finalized.

Full Response

 

Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  2017
MRRIC Recommendation Agency Response
34. MRRIC Common Ground Recommendations to USACE and USFWS, November 2017

MRRIC recommends:

  1. That the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) conduct ongoing discussions with MRRIC of rationales for funding research, monitoring, and evaluation to appropriately support the Integrated Science Program (all to be described in the Adaptive Management (AM) Plan); and
  2. That USACE and USFWS provide additional clarification in the AM Plan about the information and criteria to be used in deciding either to continue with, but modify, a hypothesis or management strategy, or to put aside a hypothesis and focus on a different hypothesis or management strategy.

Full recommendation.

USACE and USFWS concurred with the recommendations.

Full response.

33. MRRIC Common Ground Recommendations to USACE, November 2017

MRRIC:

  1. Recommends clarifying the definition of the word "channel" in the context used within the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Adaptive Management Plan;
  2. Affirms and supports USACE's commitment to conduct the supplemental flood risk modeling recommended by the IEPR in Panel Comment 39; and
  3. Recommends that USACE develop criteria for use in the discussion of the Missouri River Recovery Program (MRRP) 5-year Strategic Plan to help inform discussion on how to prioritize the MRRP budget. These criteria should be shared at a MRRIC meeting.

Full recommendation.

USACE concurred with the recommendations.

Full response.

32. MRRIC Recommendation on Missouri River Clean Up, August 2017

MRRIC recommends that tires and trash be removed from the Missouri River from Gavins Point to Ponca reach.

Full recommendation.

USACE concurred with the recommendation but is not authorized to implement this task.

Full response.

31. MRRIC Recommendation on Adaptive Management Plan Governance, August 2017

MRRIC recommends that USACE modify the next version of the Adaptive Management Plan to reflect the changing relationship between MRRIC and the lead agencies in implementing the Adaptive Management Plan.

Full recommendation.

USACE concurred with the recommendation.

Full response.

30. Recommendation on Draft Environmental Impact Statement public review and comment period extension, January 2017

MRRIC recommends extending the Draft Environmental Impact Statement public review and comment period 120 days.

Full recommendation.

USACE agreed to an extending the formal comment period to April 24, 2017.

Full response.

 

Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  2016
   MRRIC Recommendation Agency Response 
29. Recommendation on Adaptive Management governance, November 2016

MRRIC recommends:

  1. Shifting to three face-to-face plenary meetings over the year; additional meetings could be recommended if necessary; allowing for MRRIC to convene a phone call plenary meeting to reach final consensus on recommendations;
  2. Supporting agency establishment of Bird and Fish teams and recommend establishment of a Human Considerations (HC) Team;
  3. Supporting Lead Agency establishment of a Technical Team that will be engaged in ongoing analysis of significant aspects of the Adaptive Management (AM) Plan and Work Plan implementation and provide information to the Bird, Fish, and HC teams;
  4. Supporting Lead Agency establishment of an annual Fall Science Meeting and a Winter AM Workshop to include the Bird, Fish, and HC teams;
  5. Maintaining separate ISAP and ISETR Panels for the MRRP AM Plan but provide for the panels to meet together when appropriate; 
  6. Supporting Lead Agency establishment of a Peer Review Process; and
  7. Includeing AM Program evaluation and accountability mechanisms in the biennial report to Congress.

Full recommendation.

USACE provided a detailed response to address each recommendation.  

Full response.

28. Recommendation to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo Ellen Darcy regarding FY17 MRRP budget, August 2016       

MRRIC recommends:

  1. Funding to support travel of MRRIC members to four plenary meetings per year;
  2. Funding for a demonstration project to improve bird nesting habitat created by the 2011 flood;
  3. Continuing funding for pallid sturgeon research to provide life history information that will lead to species recovery; and
  4. Additional funding for support of MRRIC for discussion and coordination around the draft Adaptive Management Plan and EIS and to enable discussion with the independent panels through FY17 meetings and teleconferences.

Full recommendation.

Ms. Darcy responded that, while the recommendations would be considered if additional funding becomes available, no commitments could be made at this time.

Full response.

27. FY17 Work Plan for the Missouri River Recovery Program, August 2016

MRRIC recommends:

  1. Presenting the results of the piping plover metapopulation study after completion of the FY16 field season;
  2. Including funds necessary for ESH maintenance in the FY17 Work Plan;
  3. That USACE consider depositing sand and sediment on adjacent shoreline or to form islands to provide nesting habitat for shore birds upstream of the Platte River;
  4. Engaging MRRIC about funding for Project Management and MRRIC in-house support across plenary meetings, work and task group activities, and ISAP/ISETR engagement;
  5. Supporting the allocation of $1.8 million toward finalization of the EIS and ensure the needed work is completed in a timely manner; 
  6. Directly linking the FY17 Work Plan to the prioritized “big questions” in the draft Adaptive Management Plan; and
  7. Supporting continuing efforts to find naturally-produced, age-0 pallid in FY17.

Full recommendation.            

USACE provided a detailed response to address each recommendation.

Full response.

    

Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  2015
  MRRIC Recommendation  Agency Response 
26. Regular Attendance and Engagement of the Environmental Protection Agency, May 2015

MRRIC recommends the Environmental Protection Agency attend MRRIC meetings regularly.

Full recommendation.            

EPA responded to MRRIC’s letter stating that their limited role in MRRIC does not warrant regular attendance at MRRIC. However, EPA will continue to participate on an ad hoc basis.

Full response.            

25. FY16 Work Plan for the Missouri River Recovery Program, August 2015

MRRIC recommends:

  1. Evaluating opportunities that could make sturgeon propagation efforts more effective;
  2. Maintaining full, consistent funding for ISP efforts directed at assuring key pallid sturgeon questions to implement the management plan;
  3. Restoring funding for the ambient water quality monitoring program;
  4. Maintaining, enhancing, or modifying the water quality monitoring to provide information necessary for evaluation of water quality effects on pallid sturgeon;
  5. Providing a plan for addressing Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project (BSNP) mitigation moving forward within the new Management Plan; and 
  6. maintaining a level of funding necessary to successfully carry out the new Management Plan. 

Full recommendation.

USACE provided a detailed response to address each recommendation.

Full response.

24. Expedite Implementation of Reimbursing Travel Expense, February 2015

MRRIC recommends USACE expedite implementation of reimbursing Committee member travel expenses as stated in Water Resources Reform Development Act of 2014, Section 4013.

Full recommendation.            

No response available.  

 

Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  2014
  MRRIC Recommendation   Agency Response 
23. MRRIC Response to Recommendation 14, Options for Easements, August 2014

MRRIC recommends USACE reconsider altering the current policy on real estate acquisition, is disappointed in response to offer authorized easement option on proactive basis to all landowners, appreciates USACE's willingness to evaluate requests for non-standard estates on a case-by-case basis and requests the easement option be offered to all landowners as one of the acquisition tools. 

Full recommendation.

Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo Ellen Darcy responded, asking that a meeting be scheduled with Mr. Eric Hansen, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget. 

Full response.

22. Human Considerations Objectives and Metrics (and associated prologue), August 2014

MRRIC recommends this set of Human Considerations objectives and metrics agreed upon by the Committee at the August 2014 plenary meeting and agrees that this document will assist efforts to evaluate Management Plan alternatives and future consideration of these alternatives. 

Full recommendation.

USACE appreciates working with MRRIC throughout the development of the Objectives and Metrics and the prologue to assist the Corps' Management Plan team with understanding the concerns of members. The Objectives and Metrics were initially drafted by the Corps and were subsequently revised by MRRIC prior to being submitted as a consensus recommendation. Some revisions or additions made by MRRIC deserve clarification from the Corps. 

Full response.

21. FY15 Work Plan for the Missouri River Recovery Program, August 2014

MRRIC recommends prioritizing funding for the Effects Analysis and Adaptive Management, continued robust funds for the ISAP and to address each Proposed Action and supports the proposed pallid sturgeon stocking and research study with hopes of finding reason for lack of recruitment. 

Full recommendation.

USACE provided a detailed response to adequately address each recommendation.  

Full response.

20. Amendment to the Charter to Lift Term Limit Provision for the Chair and Vice-chair, May 2014

MRRIC recommends lifting the term limit provision for the Chair and Vice-chair three-term limit of one year each. 

Full recommendation.

USACE found the proposed amendment to the term limit provisions consistent with the intent of Section 5018 of WRDA 2007 in establishing MRRIC. 

Full response.

19. Amendments to the Charter Recognizing the Osage Nation as a Member and Adding a 29th Stakeholder, May 2014

MRRIC recommends adding the Osage Nation as a member and adding a 29th stakeholder seat. 

Full recommendation.

USACE found the proposed amendments to include the Osage Nation as a part of MRRIC and add a 29th stakeholder seat consistent with the intent of Section 5018 of WRDA 2007 in establishing MRRIC.

Full response.

  

 

 

Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  2013
  MRRIC Recommendation  Agency Response 
18. Communication and Outreach Regarding USACE Land Acquisition, October 2013

MRRIC recommends USACE develop a check-list of best communication and outreach practices for site acquisition and management. 

Full recommendation.

USACE agrees and is initiating a new communications strategy to develop a protocol for holding regular and recurring sharing and listening meetings to improve communication and collaboration which will incorporate specific information about the types of habitat and site characteristics being sought for acquisition as well as what will be developed. 

Full response.

17. 2014 Recovery Program Work Plan, August 2013

MRRIC recommends including description of activities and transparency in implementing their proposed actions and continue professional judgment regarding monitoring and analysis while developing adaptive management plan; recommends agencies share information and evaluated additional opportunities for hatchery operations. 

Full recommendation.

USACE concurs with the recommendations; the FY14 MRRP Work Plan has been updated to describe anticipated actions to be taken and focused research efforts directed at critical early life history for pallid sturgeon have been funded including lab and field work aimed at identifying factors affecting hatching success, drifting free-embryo and post-drift larval survival; results will be shared with MRRIC. 

Full response.

16.  Evaluation of Irrigation Intake Structure on Lower Yellowstone River for Pallid Sturgeon, August 2013

MRRIC recommends USFWS conduct and share an evaluation of the project's anticipated contribution to pallid sturgeon recovery and to work with the Bureau of Reclamation and USACE to share pertinent information to assist in an increase of understanding. 

Full recommendation.

No response available.  
15. Strategies in the Recovery of the Piping Plover and Least Tern, August 2013   

MRRIC recommends priority efforts to improve the population of the piping plover, but not to exclude the interior least tern; evaluate the potential of constructed nesting habitat on upper three storage reservoirs during periods of high levels; continuation of metapopulation studies and investigate alternative techniques. 

Full recommendation.

USACE concurs with the recommendations while the bird monitoring program serves many purposed including providing incidental take estimates, tracking population trends, identifying at-risk nests for water management purposes and information and evaluating habitat creation activities. 

Full response.

14. Options for Easements, May 2013

MRRIC recommends improving land acquisition of offering land owners the option of selling an easement rather than land in fee; recommends allowing land owner to restrict public access and perform maintenance of structures and noxious weeds. 

Full recommendation.

USACE response concludes they have until 2042 to acquire the interests needed for the MRRP, a significant amount of time remains to acquire the necessary fee interest before considering exceptions to Corps policy; however, it is determined that easements may be appropriate for specific parts of the project, requests will be evaluated for non-standard estates on a case-by-case basis with adequate justification. 

Full response.

    

Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  2012
   MRRIC Recommendation Agency Response 
13. FY13 Work Plan for the Missouri River Recovery Program, October 2012

MRRIC recommends special attention toward identifying and resolving pallid sturgeon reproduction; encourages developing metapopulation studies for least tern and pallid sturgeon; supports efforts to evaluate and prioritize sandbars created during the 2011 flood; recommends USACE evaluate land acquisition tools and share approach to engagement with riverside landowners; and recommends to expand modeling study. 

Full recommendation.

USACE provided a detailed response to adequately address each recommendation. 

Full response.

12. Save and Enhance Emergent Sandbar Habitat, October 2012

MRRIC recommends federal agencies expedite implementation efforts to save and enhance emergent sandbar habitat and sediment resources created by the 2011 flood.

Full recommendation.

USACE concurs and agrees it’s paramount to continue to work efficiently and effectively to maintain this key habitat for as long as possible; at time of note, 16 acres of ESH have been treated and plans are underway for treating additional sandbars during the spring and fall of 2013. 

Full response.

11. Implementing ISAP Final Report on Spring Pulses and Adaptive Management, August 2012

MRRIC recommends USACE, in concert with USFWS, proceed with a series of seven proposed actions for moving forward on fulfillment of the ISAP Final Report recommendations; attached document details the seven proposed actions.

Full recommendation.

USACE agrees the recommendations in the ISAP report provide the catalyst for a path forward to explore management strategies in meeting the requirements for MRRP; initial concepts outlining the process for development of CEMs, conducting an Effects Analysis and developing and Adaptive Management strategy are further detailed. 

Full response.

10. Provide written response to Recommendations in the ISAP Final report on Spring Pulses and Adaptive Management, February 2012

MRRIC recommends the lead agencies review the ISAP Final Report #1 and consider next steps, provide a written response to MRRIC regarding the findings/recommendations in the ISAP Final Report on Topic #1.

Full recommendation.

USACE agrees the recommendations in the ISAP report provide the catalyst for a path forward to explore management strategies in meeting the requirements for MRRP; initial concepts outlining the process for development of CEMs, conducting an Effects Analysis and developing and Adaptive Management strategy are further detailed. 

Full response.

  
Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  2011
  MRRIC Recommendation Agency Response 
9. FY12 Work Plan for Missouri River Recovery Program, October 2011  

 MRRIC recommends USACE should actively pursue efforts to coordinate implementation of the recommendation with MRRIC, maintain necessary funding to continue efforts to create ESH off-channel pilot projects,  applaud the establishment of the Independent Science Advisory Panel and encourage continued funding for addressing challenging scientific issues and implementing the adaptive management strategies. 

Full recommendation.

 USACE provided a detailed response to adequately address each recommendation. 

Full response.

 

Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  2010
  MRRIC Recommendation  Agency Response 
8. Constructing Habitat for Terns and Plovers in Non-traditional Areas, October 2010

MRRIC recommends construction of non-traditional tern and plover habitat and provides a suggested timeline for implementation.

Full recommendation.

USFWS supports the recommendation to create ESH outside current in-channel habitat creation approach considering the low productivity of piping plover populations this year and the need for more habitat dispersed throughout the system and also recommends USACE develop a plan to shape future needs and pursue experimental ESH projects outside traditional work.

Full response.

7. Conduct Government-to-Government Consultation with Basin Tribes, October 2010

MRRIC recommends USACE and USFWS should jointly conduct government-to-government consultation with Missouri River Tribes to discuss opportunities for involvement and obstacles in MRRIC.

Full recommendation.

The agencies are continuously seeking ways to improve communication with basin Tribes and will use the recommendation as an additional vehicle to reach out to them; also agree greater Tribal participation on Committee would not only benefit the Tribes, but would also make the Committee a more robust and influential organization.

Full response.

6. FY11 Work Plan for the Missouri River Recovery Program, August 2010

MRRIC recommends USACE use professional judgment to allocate funds to meet requirements of the BiOp with emphasis on the Integrated Science Program and emergent sandbar habitat including on Tribal lands; and for USACE to facilitate increased understanding for project work request development to know how/when to engage.

Full recommendation.

USACE provided a detailed response to adequately address each recommendation; see attached for complete details.

Full response.

5. MRERP Values Workshop Summary, August 2010

MRRIC recommends the agencies develop a list of social, economic, Tribal and cultural values for characterizing existing conditions for MRERP and EIS; attached document from workshop identifies what MRRIC members and alternates value about the Missouri River Basin.

Full recommendation.

The agencies sincerely appreciate the summary document as it came at an ideal time for MRERP; currently teams are preparing a list of social, economic, Tribal and cultural resources to be considered and characterized during this planning effort, descriptions of those values will also be considered in characterizing those resources.

Full response.

4. Amendment to Section 5018 to Allow Travel Reimbursement, July 2010

MRRIC recommends Congressional delegations, ASA-CW, USFWS and all other federal agencies working with MRRIC seek legislation and/or other means to authorize and appropriate funds for travel reimbursement.

Full recommendation.

USACE identified such reimbursement is currently prohibited by Section 5018(b)(5)(B), WRDA 2007.

Full response.

 

Click here to expand contentClick here to collapse content  2009
  MRRIC Recommendation  Agency Response 
3. MRERP Purpose and Need, July 2009

MRRIC recommends initial study list should include: ecosystem restoration to prevent declines of federally-listed and other native species; culturally significant natural resources; invasive species; sediment and river morphology; water quality and quantity; and impacts to bank stabilization and channelization structures.

Full recommendation.

USACE and USFWS have fully considered each recommendation to incorporate into the Purpose and Need Summary; in some cases the recommendations have not been incorporated verbatim, but the agencies believe it does address substantively all the recommendations made by the Committee. 

Full response

2. Similarity of Appearance of Shovelnose Sturgeon, July 2009

MRRIC recommends the USFWS expedite release of the Shovelnose Sturgeon Similarity of Appearance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for public comment.

Full recommendation.

USFWS proposes to treat the shovelnose sturgeon as threatened under the “Similarity of Appearance” provisions of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended.

Full response

1. MRERP - MRRIC Engagement Strategy, November 2009 

MRRIC recommends consultation between MRRIC and lead agencies should be ongoing during study process and requests to make substantive recommendations at key points throughout the process and on selection of preferred alternatives.

Full recommendation.

No response available.