The Looming Missouri Dam FloodJune 07, 2011
The attitude that our natural resources can be managed like you use a remote control to change channels on your television set is not limited to fish management. The medium in which fish live – water – is also singled out by human beings as something they would like to control. But our tinkering must be carefully thought out, and also properly maintained, else it makes things worse than if we had left things alone and thought more carefully before building in flood plains and relying on structures to “control” billions of gallons of water. WFC Board member Bernard Shanks, former Director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, head of the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units in the western states for the US Geological Survey, wrote this op-ed published today in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on the frightening scenario of dam failure on the Missouri River.
Dr. Bernard Shanks, a Fellow at the Resource Renewal Institute, has studied the six main stem Missouri River dams for over four decades. He has worked for the USGS, served as Director of the WA Department of Fish and Wildlife and advised CA and AZ governors on land and wildlife policy. The author of three books on public land policy, he is now completing a book on the hazards of the Missouri River dams.