Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Extension Act [H.R. 6060], which modifies the Department of Interior's Recovery and Implementation Program. This legislation, authored by Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01), will help protect and recover four endangered fish species while ensuring that water resources from the Colorado River continue to supply vital water and power resources to homes and businesses.
Specifically, the Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Extension Act supports recovery efforts for the Humpback chub, Razorback sucker, Bonytail chub, and the Colorado Pikeminnow. The protection and recovery of these species allows for the continuation of existing operations that provide water for homes and businesses as well as hydroelectric power.
"H.R. 6060 is bipartisan legislation designed to keep the lights on and water running for millions in parts of the intermountain West while reforming existing fish recovery programs. The bill enables revenues from power producers to be used toward recovery and protection efforts and helps ensure that funds are no longer used for unnecessary and redundant purposes. By ensuring that federal resources are spent wisely, I am confident that we will improve the long-term recovery of these fish species, which in-turn will allow for the long-term multiple-use of water resources from the Colorado River," said Congressman Bishop.
The legislation makes the following revisions to the Recovery Implementation Program to improve operations and accountability by:
reauthorizing recovery programs paid for by power users that receive hydroelectricity from the federal Colorado River Storage Project
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.