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I do not think my first attempt to send this worked!  Larry Lade





This was copied from the St. Joseph News-Press 



EDITORIALS 

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Friday, August 29, 2003



Words make a difference



Congressman Sam Graves already suspects what some Lake Contrary residents 
contend: The federal government may need to tighten its definition of endangered 
species, especially when it comes to managing the Missouri River. 

"Many of the species aren’t endangered at all," The Tarkio Republican said 
during a visit to the St. Joseph Regional Port Authority this week. "We would 
like to see it narrowed considerably."



At issue is the fate of the piping plover, least tern and pallid sturgeon. A 
federal court recently forced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to lower the 
flow of the Missouri River to a historic low, ostensibly to accommodate the 
breeding patterns of the piping plover and the least tern. 



Ironically, the residents of Lake Contrary (an oxbow lake left from a shift 
in the river channel) contend their lake is well stocked with both piping 
plovers and least terns. One resident recently joked that the lake might need an 
open season on the birds just to thin them out. 



The joke, of course, springs from a bit of anger. Low river levels hurt oxbow 
lakes already hit by a drought. The point is still valid and supports Mr. 
Graves’ hunch that the federal definition of endangered species needs some 
tightening. 



Our 6th District lawmaker is in a position to make that happen. He is 
chairman of an oversight subcommittee that will study the Endangered Species Act.



"A lot of people talk about taking the river back to the way it was when 
Lewis and Clark explored it," Mr. Graves said. "The truth of the matter is that 
Lewis and Clark were looking for a western commercial route, which is what we 
have now."



The ultimate resolution of the river management problem depends on finding a 
fair balance that addresses the concerns of commercial, recreational and 
environmental advocates. Finding that balance will be impossible until Congress 
comes up with better definitions for the Endangered Species Act. 

 

 

Larry Lade

Saint Joseph, Buchanan Co.

Please see my reply, subject line "Least Tern Piping Plover Editorial"

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