Senator Grassley I wish to point to UNITED STATES CODE CITATION: 16 U.S.C. 460d et seq; 33 U.S.C. 701 et seq, in a response to the Colonels remarks in reference to prior communications regarding Boat Ramp Access on the Lower Mo. River on both sides IA & NE from Sioux City south to Hamburg Iowa.
" Currently, we don't maintain nor are we funded for any boat ramps on either side of the Mo. River. In addition, we are not authorized to use disaster Relief Appropriation act ( DRAA) funding to repair boat ramps after the 2011 Mo. River Flood.
Our recreation mission applies to lands we own, which are Generally associated with reservoirs projects we operate on the Mo. River and associated Tributaries with in the Mo. River Basin. As for the down stream areas, we own approximately 19,000 acres under the Missouri River Recovery Program, which is only used for restoration of fish and wildlife Habitat. "
FLOOD CONTROL ACT OF 1944
LEGISLATIVE TITLE: Flood Control Act of 1944
UNITED STATES CODE CITATION: 16 U.S.C. 460d et seq; 33 U.S.C. 701 et
OTHER TITLES AND POPULAR NAMES: None identified
SUMMARY: Section 4 of this Act authorizes the Corps, under the supervision of the Secretary of the Army, to construct, maintain and operate public park and recreational facilities at water resources development projects (16 U.S.C. 460(d)). Local interests are also permitted to construct, operate and maintain such facilities with permission from the Secretary of the Army. Water areas of all such projects shall be open to public use generally, for boating, swimming, bathing, fishing, and other recreational purposes, and ready access to and exit from such water areas along the shores of such reservoirs shall be maintained for general public use, when such use is not found to be contrary to the public interest. The lease of public lands and structures at water projects is also authorized. Recreational uses must be consistent with State laws for the protection of fish and game. All persons designated by the Chief of Engineers for enforcement shall have the authority to issue a citation for violation of the regulations adopted by the Secretary of the Army. Amendments to this Act extend the development of recreation to non-reservoir projects.
TITLE I—LAND AND WATER:
SHORT TITLE AND STATEMENT OF PURPOSES
SECTION 1. (a) CITATION: EFFECTIVE DATE.—This Act may be cited as the "Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965" and shall become effective on January 1, 1965.
(b) PURPOSES.—The purposes of this Act are to assist in preserving, developing, and assuring accessibility to all citizens of the United States of America of present and future generations and visitors who are lawfully present within the boundaries of the United States of America such quality and quantity of outdoor recreation resources as may be available and are necessary and desirable for individual active participation in such recreation and to strengthen the health and vitality of the citizens of the United States by (1) providing funds for and authorizing Federal assistance to the States in planning, acquisition, and development of needed land and water areas and facilities and (2) providing funds for the Federal acquisition and development of certain lands and other areas.
The Federal Water Project Recreation Act (“Act”) is a U.S. federal legislation which requires that recreation and fish and wildlife enhancement be given full consideration in federal water development projects. This Act was enacted on July 9, 1965, and has been amended a number of times since then. The provisions of the Act are found under 16 USCS §§ 460l-12 through 460l-21.
Pursuant to the Act, federal water project funds can be used for land acquisition in order to establish refuges for migratory waterfowl. The Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to provide facilities for outdoor recreation and fish and wildlife at all reservoirs under the Secretary's control, except those within national wildlife refuges.
The Act requires that:
1. While investigating and planning a federal navigation, flood control, reclamation, hydroelectric or multiple-purpose water resource project, full consideration must be given to the opportunities which the project affords for outdoor recreation and fish and wildlife enhancement.
2. Planning for a project's recreation potential must be coordinated with existing and planned federal, state or local public recreation developments.
3. Project construction agencies must encourage non-federal public bodies to administer project land and water areas for recreation and fish and wildlife enhancement purposes, and to operate, maintain and replace facilities provided for those purposes, unless the areas or facilities are within a national recreation area, the national forest system, the public lands classified for retention in federal ownership or an authorized federal program for the conservation and development of fish and wildlife.
As a Constituent of the Lower Mo. River Basin in respect to the Colonels response, is he telling me and you that He has the authority and funding for the development and maintenance of recreational boat ramp access solely for the Reservoirs and NOT for any portion of the lower reach of the Mo. River in Iowa or NE just below Sioux City to Hamburg Iowa? Is that what he is saying, that congress, YOU have only Authorized revenues for boat ramp development and public access for the reservoirs and that under Congressional Authority granted to ACE they do NOT have any Responsibility or obligation under said congressional authority to administer, operate, maintain Recreational BOAT ACCESS on the lower sections of the Mo. River? Is that what he is trying to say because that is exactly how it sounds.
Does ACE under Congressional Authority granted by congress have an Obligation to provide Public access to lands and waters in which it holds in the lower reach of the Mo. River ( Sioux City to Hamburg Iowa )? It is clear to me in the letter provided that they do in deed have the authority and responsibility to provide public access for recreation but according to the Colonel that obligation and revenues only applies to the steak holders and recreational sportsmen of the reservoirs in SD,ND,MT. As my state senator what are you going to do about this because as I clearly attached ACE does have that obligation to meet the needs of recreational access on the lower reach of the Mo. River, It simply does not have the authority to discriminate as to where and what part only it will execute its authority granted by congress ? That authority applies to the Entire Mo. River, just not portions it owns.
As to the colonels response over the Mo. River water Management issue, I say this. I do have a problem with how they manage the water and when that water is held back in the reservoirs for next years Ghost fleet Mo. River Barges. Hydrology wise when they start to hold back water in the fall, all public areas begin to drop in water level. With this said those areas are highly susceptible to early freeze and become un- accessible for boats. Not only that Water levels in public areas managed for migratory birds, said habitat is Negatively effected as banks become nothing more than mud flats, existing pumps unable to provide enough water to maintain quality migratory habitat conditions. Migratory birds such as ducks and Geese are Not Domestic Chickens, they Do Not prefer to get out of the water climb up a mud bank to go feed in the grass like chickens. This level of water Management has direct Negative impacts on the states ability to manage quality migratory habitat and thus are forced further with the financial burden to try a pump water from wells or other sources in an attempt to maintain water levels conducive to quality migratory habitat management. As my state Senator what are you going to do about this?
However the complaint I listed in my letter directly relates to the present Boat ramp designs. Under Normal Spring & Summer management flows of the river those boat ramps provide great access to the Mo. River. When we go into Fall & Winter water management regimes those same ramps are Not accessible and are a risk hazard. Most are entirely out of the water and what is exposed is sand bank and the sand bank leads to the waters edge which drops strait off directly into the Main Mo. River Channel. Have you ever tried launching a boat directly off a cliff? Well, that is the desired effect and it negatively impacts recreational use of the Mo . River as WE end up with NO WAY TO USE THE RIVER.
What I suggest is that ACE adopt a New design for boat ramp access along the Mo. River in the lower reach that parallels the bank and at a much lesser grade. These ramps would be longer to accommodate low flow management regimes and still provide recreational users the ability to safely launch a boat during those low flow periods. This seriously needs to be done to accommodate Fall & Winter Recreational River users.
I look forward to your response Senator Grassley on the above stated issues and hope that the colonel can bring about a resolution to the problems. I look forward to his comments and I hope his committment to resolving the issues.
William J. Smith
Mo. Valley Waterfowlers Association