OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

STATE OF MONTANA
B R IAN SCH W EIT Z ER GOVERN O R

J O HN BOHLING E R LT. GOV E RNOR

October 27, 2011 Brigadier General John R. McMahon Commander and Division Engineer U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1125 NW Couch St., Suite 500 Portland, OR 97209 Dear General McMahon: Montana has reviewed the proposal by the State of North Dakota requesting that operations of the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System in 2012 deviate from long-standing management practices by lowering Lake Sakakawea by 2.5 feet by 1 March, 2012. While we recognize the extensive damages wrought by the Flood of 2011 in Montana and our neighboring states, and we appreciate basin residents' eagerness to avoid a similarly disastrous event in 2012, we have strong reservations about making alterations to this complex systen1 in reaction to an extraordinary year. Nevertheless, Montana can agree to the proposal under the following conditions: • Any plan to reduce storage at Lake Sakakawea must be managed so that any deficit created by the plan must be refilled last when the system reservoirs are rebalanced. If, due to insufficient runoff in 2012, the reservoirs are unable to reach the base of the annual flood control and multiple use zone by 1 March 2013, Lake Sakakawea or other downstream reservoirs will carry the deficit created by the plan into subsequent years. • The increase in flood storage requested by North Dakota will be provided by increased releases from Garrison and by reduced, stable releases from Fort Peck during January and February. • Fort Peck will not be charged in 2012 for being favored during the scheduled forage fish spawn in the event of low runoff as part of the intrasystem release arrangement. Fort Peck will be favored for the next two years, 2013-2014. • Fort Peck will not be operated to support downstream navigation at any time in the future. We look forward to continued dialogue with states, stakeholders, and the Corps about the operations of the Missouri River reservoir system. Sincerely,

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Governor
STA T E C A PIT OL T E L E PH O NE: • P.O . Bo x 200801 • HEL E NA , MONTANA 59620-0801 406-444-3111 • FAX: 406-444-5529 • W EB SIT E : WWW.MT.GOV

cc:

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