News from Representative Graves
March 21, 2018

Dear Friend,

Those who live or farm near a river are always aware of the threat of flooding. They do their best to prepare for them and they expect the federal government to do the same. In the last ten years, landowners along the Missouri River have faced multiple devastating floods. Unfortunately, it’s now become apparent that those floods were preventable if it weren’t for the way the river has been managed.

For years, the Corps worked to prevent flooding in areas where there were landowners and farmers trying to make an honest living. Then, in 2004, the Corps bowed to pressure from liberal environmental interests and decided that the river should be more natural and free-flowing so endangered species could flourish. Favoring endangered species came at the expense of the countless businesses, homes and acres of farmland along the river.

To add insult to injury, we have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to carry out this program while the floods it has created cost landowners along the Missouri River more than $300 million dollars. On top of that, the program hasn’t even shown a measurable impact in helping the animals it aims to protect.

It has been my long-held belief that the Army Corps of Engineers has been favoring fish and birds over people and property on the Missouri River. Last week, a court agreed.

If you know a program is harmful and you can avoid doing more harm, common sense says that you put a stop to it.

For the sake of landowners, business owners and taxpayers, I believe it is past time we halt this dangerous program that prioritizes fish and birds over people. That’s why I’m leading an effort to get rid of the program’s funding for next year while we re-evaluate the Corps’ priorities.

As a farmer, I fully believe we should be mindful of our impact on the environment, including endangered species, because the land is how we make our living. However, doing so at the expense of people’s livelihoods is unacceptable.

Flood control should be our first priority. All other priorities should be balanced in a way that utilizes the river most effectively. The Missouri River, like every river, can either be a gift or a curse; how we manage it going forward will determine which we receive.


Sam Graves


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