Kyl Reintroduces Multi-Species Conservation Program Act
U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) today reintroduced S. 300, 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 Act was first introduced in September 2006, but Congress adjourned before it could take action on the bill.
"The MSCP is a long-term effort among the U.S. Interior Department and entities in Arizona, California and Nevada to conserve wildlife and maintain its habitat on the lower Colorado River while accommodating water and power operations on the river," Kyl said. "Among its many provisions, this bill upholds the federal government's end of the deal by funding the federal share of the program."
The legislation authorizes funds to cover the federal share of the program costs, directs the Secretary of 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 fifty-fifty 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.
The bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and John Ensign (R-NV).