The Missouri River Authority of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will meet today  in Sioux City. The panel’s spokesman, Bernie Hoyer, says they are gathering somewhat out of turn this time as they usually meet right before the Missouri River Association of States and Tribes.

"This time, we’re not meeting in association with that at all," Hoyer says. "We’re meeting to try to listen to people and understand what the uses are and what the benefits they’re getting from it are and what the benefits could be. We’re really trying to formulate some sort of a vision for what Iowa wants on the river." Hoyer says they have decided to stay engaged with other states and Missouri River interests.

"The state of Iowa needs to be a player and we need to generate this vision and this is the way to do it," Hoyer says. "You’ve gotta’ start talking." There was some discussion at the last meeting about dropping membership in MORAST, due to financial strains. Hoyer says they decided it’s in the best interests to stay with the group.

"The state’s having a lot of financial problems but I think the consensus was we need to stay with this," Hoyer says. "We need to be engaged with the other states that are also trying to gain benefits from this river." Hoyer says they are still a long way from reaching a conclusion on the state’s benefits and best uses for the Missouri River.