The governor’s of Iowa and Nebraska have decided to pull out of the Missouri River Association of States and Tribes (MoRAST) effective immediately. The seven-state group also includes representatives from Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, and Native American tribes.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, says flood control on the Missouri River was the main issue for him and his counterpart in Nebraska.
Branstad says they didn’t feel that MoRAST has represented the interests of the constituents of their states, and he says despite the record flooding this year, MoRAST wasn’t supportive in saying that flood control should be the top priority in managing the Missouri River.
Branstad says the governors along the river formed the Missouri River Working group, which they feel will better represent them.
He says Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman pulled the group together and they have already met a couple of times in Omaha.
“We’ve come up with some suggestions on how things can be done differently,” Branstad says, “we’re hopeful in the future that we can convince the Corps of Engineers that they need to respect and recognize the impact of the decisions that they’re making…on our farmers, business people and homeowners.”
Branstad says the downside to pulling out of the group is that they want to work with other states, but he says that was not happening.
He says even before this year’s flood, agencies in the state have felt that their interests were not being represented by Mo-Rast.
Branstad says he wrote a letter expressing concern to the group back in April before the flooding began. He says the state has not felt the money it contributes to the group has been getting any results.
Branstad says Iowa contributed 60 to $70,000 annually to the group. MoRAST has an office in Lawrence, Kansas and is led by former Kansas Governor Michael Hayden. Radio Iowa contacted Hayden for comment on this story, but he has not returned the call.
Governor Brantad’s letter dropping out of Morast.