Kyl Introduces Multi-Species Conservation Bill
U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) today introduced S. 3841, the Multi-Species Conservation Program Act, which is intended to protect Arizona's wildlife and its habitat on the lower Colorado River by funding the federal government's responsibility for the Multi-Species Conservation Program (MSCP).
"The MSCP is a comprehensive, 50-year effort among federal and non-federal entities in Arizona, California and Nevada to conserve wildlife and maintain wildlife habitat on the lower Colorado River while accommodating water diversions and power production on the river," said Kyl. "This bill holds up our end of the agreement - it will, among other provisions, fund the federal share of the program."
The legislation authorizes funds to cover the federal share of the program costs, directs the Secretary of the Interior to manage and implement the MSCP in accordance with the underlying program documents, and provides a waiver of sovereign immunity so that the non-federal participants would be able to hold the U.S. government accountable for its obligations under that plan in court, if that became necessary.
The MSCP covers approximately 400 miles along the Colorado River in the states of Arizona, California, and Nevada. The costs will be spread over 50 years, and be split 50/50 between the federal government and the non-federal entities involved in the program. The entities in Arizona and Nevada will each bear 25 percent of the non-federal costs and the California entities will bear 50 percent.