Congressman Tom Latham says congress will conduct hearings to examine the way the Army Corps of Engineers has managed the Missouri River. 

“Is it managed for flood control or is it managed to protect endangered species?  Is it managed for recreational purposes upriver?” Latham says. “Those are questions that we’re going to have to investigate.”

Critics say the Corps is too concerned with the recreation level of reservoirs upstream, and doesn’t give enough weight to the concerns of downstream residents.  

“Certainly I think the master manual needs to be revised, so that once again flood control is the number one priority,” Latham says, “as was intended when these dams were built in the first place.”

Latham, a Republican, currently lives in Ames — about  200 miles from the Missouri River. But Latham intends to move to Des Moines soon and plans to seek reelection in 2012 in the new congressional district that will include both Des Moines and Council Bluffs and the southwest stretch of Iowa that borders the Missouri River.

Last Wednesday Latham visited Glenwood and Sidney, cities that are in Iowa’s new third congressional district.  Congressman Leonard Boswell, a Democrat from Des Moines, also intends to run in that new southwest Iowa district.  Boswell visited Hamburg and Councli Bluffs last Monday.