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“Whiskey is for drinking, Water is for calm and considerate discussion”

Presentation and Discussion with David Galat, Karen Rouse and Robert Jacobson

Sure people like to fight about water, but we’re going to step back and look a little deeper at Missouri River policy. We’ll be joined by three local river experts to dig into the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Adaptive Management Plan for the recovery of the Missouri River. The public comment period for the plan is April 24, 2017.

Sandbar Storm

A storm approaches a sandbar across from New Haven, MO, rivermile 83. photo by Melanie Cheney.

Time and Place

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
7:00 pm

Les Bourgeois Vineyards Bistro
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Presentation and Discussion led by David Galat, Karen Rouse and Robert Jacobson…and YOU!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Bistro Restaurant will not be serving food during our Jan, Feb, and March Sessions – the presentation will take place upstairs. We’re sorry for the inconvenience! The bar, however, will be open to serve drinks to you! 

Presentation is FREE and open to the public!

The famous quote usually attributed to Mark Twain says, “Whiskey is for drinking, Water is for fighting”. Missouri River politics have always followed that pattern. But some of the bureaucratic processes behind modern river management can make it hard to get our passions up! So we want to take a moment to peek behind these complex processes, get a little help from some river experts and talk it through with each other.

The public comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Adaptive Management Plan for the recovery of the Missouri River has been extended until April 24. This gives us Missouri River lovers a chance to look a bit more carefully at what the process means, what the proposed alternatives include and how different stakeholders are weighing in on the topic. It’s a super complex process and easy for us citizens to be daunted by. Why are we going through this process? Does anyone care about the values we see in the river? How can we express those values in a way that will be heard and be useful?

We’ve invited a small group of experts to weigh in with their perspectives, help frame this complex process and to open up a discussion with all of us on how we can weigh in on these big river issues. They will summarize factors that initiated the DEIS process, what it is, and how long it took.  What alternative management actions the Corps is considering, their selected draft alternative, and the timeline going forward. What adaptive management is and how will it help guide implementation of the selected alternative.  Ample time will be allotted for questions and discussion. If you have time, please check out the page we’ve posted with supporting documents and more info on the DEIS and Adaptive Management Plan.

David Galat is an ecologist and retired fisheries biologist who has worked on big river issues across the world. He is currently representing Missouri River Relief on the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee as an “At Large” member, advocating for sound science and processes. Karen Rouse is the Surface Waters Chief for the Water Resources Center at Mo. Dept. of Natural Resources and has been working on Missouri and Mississippi Rivers for many years. Robert Jacobson is the River Studies Chief at the Columbia Environmental Research Center (USGS) and helped direct the “Effects Analysis” process that is informing the Adaptive Management plan for the Missouri River.

A little background info –

Operation of dams and reservoirs and construction and maintenance of the Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contributed to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service listing the pallid sturgeon, piping plover, and interior least tern under the Endangered Species Act.  The Missouri River Recovery Program was established in 2005 by the Corps to reduce their actions jeopardizing the continued existence of the three listed species and to acquire and manage lands to mitigate habitat loss.  In 2007, Congress established the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC), a broad-based stakeholder advisory group to make recommendations and guide federal agencies on Missouri River recovery.

An Independent Science Advisory Committee, created by MRRIC, reviewed new knowledge about the species since their listings and recommended an overarching river management plan based on adaptive management principles. These recommendations contributed to the need for a Missouri River Recovery Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Draft EIS (DEIS) was released in December 2016 and is available for public review and comment until 24 April 2017.  The DEIS describes why USACE is taking action at this time and what it intends to achieve.  Once finalized this Plan will aid management of the Missouri River for decades to come.


  • 14020 W. Hwy BB, Rocheport, MO
  • Take I-70 to the Rocheport, MO, exit (Exit #115). It’s the first exit east of the Missouri River.
  • Head north toward Rocheport.
  • After about a mile, turn left at the sign for Les Bourgeois Bistro. Follow the signs to the Bistro. You will probably need to park in the lot above the Bistro and walk the trail down.
  • The presentations are held in upstairs in the restaurant. The restaurant is no longer open on Tuesdays but the bar is! You are welcome to bring your own food or snacks.

Resources & Links

Dig Deeper for more info on this topic –

The Big Muddy Speaker Series in Rocheport

is hosted by these wonderful partners.

Click here for a list of upcoming presentations»

Special thanks to Les Bourgeois Vineyards for giving us the opportunity to use their beautiful space overlooking the Missouri River. All speakers are presenting for free! Thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us!

The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place monthly in Kansas City and St. Charles.

The Big Muddy Speaker Series is partially funded by the Mo. Dept. of Conservation.