In an effort to ensure that water resources from the Colorado River continue to supply vital water and power resources to homes and businesses, Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) today introduced the Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Extension Act [H.R. 6060]. The legislation helps facilitate the recovery of four endangered fish species, ensuring compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for over 1,600 water projects that withdraw water from the Colorado River.
The Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Extension Act supports recovery efforts for the Humpback chub, Razorback sucker, Bonytail chub, and the Colorado Pikeminnow. Protection and recovery of these species is necessary to maintain existing operations that provide water for homes and businesses as well as hydroelectric power.
"Water is essential to supporting all aspects of life. However, there are some laws that influence access and utilization of this vital resource when there is the possibility that plant or animal species may be affected in a detrimental way. This legislation importantly provides dual protection of the fish species as well as the continued use of water resources from the Colorado River. It ensures that we are not only being responsible stewards of our water resources, but also taxpayer dollars. It is important that funding for this program go directly toward recovery and mitigation and not wasteful overhead," said Bishop.
The legislation also makes revisions to the Recovery Implementation Program to improve operations and accountability by:
strengthening reporting requirements on the status of the ESA listed fish, determining projected dates for delisting, and providing information on how power revenues are being utilized for base funding.
limiting funding transfer fees from historic levels of 22% to 3%, thereby reducing wasteful overhead. This is consistent with other Department of Interior programs. This includes limiting unnecessary travel of federal employees from their duty stations to Washington, D.C. for the sole purpose of lobbying congress in order to advocate for recovery programs. Resources spent on travel detract from funds that could be utilized in recovery and mitigation efforts.
Presently, co-sponsors of this legislation include Representatives Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Jared Polis (D-CO), Scott Tipton (R-CO), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Steve Pearce (R-NM), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Jim Matheson (D-UT), and Diana DeGette (D-CO).