The Missouri River Ecosystem: Exploring the Prospects for by National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life

By National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Water Science and Technology Board, Committee on Missouri River Ecosystem Science

Record from the Committee on Missouri River atmosphere technology and the nationwide examine Council. Softcover.

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The Corps’ plans responded to the devastating 1943 Missouri River floods and to lower basin navigation interests. The Bureau’s water development planning for the Missouri River basin was the responsibility of its regional director William Glenn Sloan. The Bureau’s chief goals were irrigation development and hydroelectric power generation. 7 million acres, which would have doubled the basin’s irrigated acreage (Carrels, 1999). 2 shows the Pick Plan and the Sloan Plan). Both were presented to Congress at the same time that Congress was considering legislation to create a Missouri River Authority that would promote and coordinate comprehensive development.

The basin’s northern landscapes include level to gently rolling plains and hills composed largely of glacial till. The region between the Missouri River (on the north) and the South Dakota-Nebraska border (on the south) is arid and has eroded to form deep valleys. From there to the basin’s southern boundary lie the Great Plains, with their characteristic widelyspaced streams and broad, flat valleys. In the basin’s eastern third, the plains give way to upland plateaus and gently rolling till plains.

HUMAN SETTLEMENT Native Americans were the Missouri River basin’s first known inhabitants. Spanish explorers, followed by British and French fur traders, were the first Europeans to enter the Missouri basin. The exploration and settlement of the Missouri basin represents a fascinating and well-documented chapter in the history of United States’ westward expansion (DeVoto, 1947; Webb, 1931). The basin became part of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. President Thomas Jefferson’s interests in the basin’s physical geography, ecology, and its Native American tribes led to Lewis and Clark’s celebrated expedition.

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