Denny Lundberg, Corps of Engineers: We are trying to get a point where a reasonable decision can be made. Are we going to know everything? Remember the slide where we talk about adoptive management. We are trying to get to a point where we make an informed decision and then we are going to use adaptive management for continuing monitoring.
Question (John Raslow, Illinois Sierra Club): Siltation is the largest negative problem to the Illinois river. How will we quantify the siltation? Rich Fristik, Corps of Engineers: We identified 30 specific areas on the Mississippi River and Illinois River that will be as risk because of increased barge traffic. In some areas there will be a positive correlation between siltation and barge traffic. Question (John Raslow, Illinois Sierra Club): Will this be incorporated into a scenario? Rich Fristik, Corps of Engineers: Yes, they will. Question (John Raslow, Illinois Sierra Club): Will the reduction of traffic be considered in a scenario? Rich Fristik, Corps of Engineers: Possibly is a certain portion. The economic impacts will be considered.
Royce Wilken, American River Transportation Company: Supports the modernization of two locks on the Illinois River and five locks on the Mississippi River. Modernization of the locks will relieve congestion and provide economic and environmental benefits to the nation. It is time to start upgrading the system now.
Dan Dawson, Mayor of Princeton, IA: Suggests a “cap” on the number of tow boats and barges at today’s level, with the current lock and dam system. Suggests a 5-10 year moratorium on any commercialgrowth to the river system, while the environment is further studied.
Gary Niemeyer, Illinois Corn Growers Association: The Interim Report should come to a conclusion after spending 60 million to date and taking over 10 years. The longer the delay in building the locks means more cost to farmers. Supports five new 1,200 ft locks on the Mississippi River and two on the Illinois River. The new locks will provide jobs and return benefits to the region for decades.
Tracy Paxton, Audubon Society: Cautiously optimistic about looking at the ecosystem impacts considered by the Corps. Hopes the Corps will stand behind its commitment to ecosystem restoration. Wants to have a botanist, ornithologist, etc. on staff getting information for the baseline. The biological side is as important as the economic or hydrological.
J. Skorburg, American Farm Bureau Federation: Supports upgrades on the Mississippi and Illinois waterways. Public policy should encourage inland water transportation since it is the most energy-efficient mode. Supports education to the general public in regards to the economic importance of the Mississippi River. Supports Corps of Engineers effort to update locks and dams to allow for larger barges. Supports lengthening of locks. Encourages members of Congress to become involved.
Roger Scuncst, Citizen: The locks are outdated and need to be improved. The locks are very important to farmers and the region’s economy, such as the carpenter’s union. As a City Alder, he intends to pass a resolution endorsing the Navigational Study and work with the local politicians to gather support. It is time to move forward.
Tom Martin, Farmer/Ill Corn Marketing Board, National Corn Growers Assoc.: Has traveled to South America to evaluate agriculture. South America has outpaced the US in agricultural exports because of the