MISSISSIPPI INTERSTATE COOPERATIVE RESOURCE AGREEMENT (MICRA)


This agreement entered into by and between the States through which the Mississippi River and its tributaries flow and the various Federal agencies and Federally chartered entities which manage and regulate Mississippi River resources on an interstate basis, this 1st day of September, 1989.

RECITALS

1.  The Mississippi River, including but not limited to its tributaries, the Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee rivers, drains a twenty-nine state area of the contiguous United States and is recognized as one of the largest and most valuable ecosystems in the world.

2.  The Corps of Engineers (COE), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the United States Forest Service (USFS), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), are authorized by the Federal Government together with various other agencies and Federally chartered entities to regulate commerce upon and manage interstate water and fish resources or have responsibility for management of habitat important to fish resources of the Mississippi River Drainage System (MRDS).

3.  In recognition of the several existing "compacts" committees, commissions, and councils on the Mississippi River and its tributaries, it shall be the goal of this Agreement to recognize and embrace these existing "compacts" in a manner that will honor their long standing status and missions while at the same time, striving to join together all those entities that have jurisdiction and responsibilities for the fisheries resources of the Mississippi River Drainage System.

4.  In recognition of the need to develop a comprehensive and cooperative plan which will provide for the competing needs of both commerce and fisheries management on a system-wide basis, the states comprising the MRDS and the various Federal agencies or entities that regulate or utilize its resources, have agreed in principal, to enter into discussions, leading to the development of cooperative fisheries research programs or cooperative fisheries management programs which will provide for cooperative resource management of the MRDS. This agreement is hereinafter referred to as the Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Agreement (MICRA).

Now therefore it is agreed as follows:

a.  AGREEMENT:  The states of Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, hereinafter "States" and Federal Agencies, National Marine Fisheries Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Forest Service, United States Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, and/or Charter entities, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Indian Tribes, hereinafter "entities", agree in principal to the establishment of a Committee which will meet periodically to facilitate the establishment of cooperative projects between the States or between the States and the Entities to provide for the cooperative resource management of the MRDS.

b.  STEERING COMMITTEE:  Each member state and entity signatory will have one voting member on the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee shall elect by majority vote from among its members, a chairperson who will coordinate meetings and take on other duties as established from time to time by the Steering Committee.

c.  PROCEDURES AND SUBCOMMITTEES:  The business of the Steering Committee shall be managed by a policy subcommittee, hereinafter PSC, of seven members under the direction of the chairperson, popularly elected with due regard to geographical and entity representation according to procedures established at the first meeting of the Steering Committee. The PSC will meet from time to time at the call of the chair and shall have such duties, in addition to coordinating MICRA activities for approval of the membership, as the Steering Committee may prescribe. The Steering Committee shall at its initial meeting establish such other subcommittees (scientific and technical) and procedures as are necessary and appropriate to the conduct of its business.

d.  REPORTS AND MEETINGS:  Each member of the Steering Committee, at intervals determined appropriate at the initial meeting, shall be entitled to receive reports detailing the activities and progress of the subcommittees.

e.  ADMISSION AND WITHDRAWAL:  The Steering Committee and its subcommittees, as the case may be, shall provide for admission and withdrawal of members according to procedures adopted at the initial meeting.

In witness whereof, the States and Entities have executed this Agreement as of the date first written.