US Forest Service pledges a balanced resolution to water rights conflict with ski industryNovember 13th, 2013
Devin Dotson, 202-243-7066
Washington, DC – American Rivers applauds the U.S. Forest Service’s pledge to swiftly resolve a growing conflict between federal land managers and water rights holders on our national forests, a resolution that will protect rivers and public lands while respecting important principles of water law and property rights. American Rivers recognizes the hard work of Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) in helping to broker a balanced solution to this issue.
Christopher E. Williams, Senior Vice President for Conservation at American Rivers, made the following statement:
“The House Natural Resources Committee, seizing on a narrow conflict over water rights between the U.S. Forest Service and the ski industry in Colorado, is attempting to fast track legislation that could have serious implications for water management across the country. H.R. 3189, the so-called “Water Rights Protection Act” is an unduly broad and unnecessary attempt to tie the hands of Federal agencies working to provide flexible water management options and reasonable safeguards to protect fish, wildlife, and recreational benefits on our public lands.”
“At Senator Mark Udall’s encouragement, the Forest Service is taking the right approach, proposing a change of regulations that will address the issue directly and maintain protection for public lands resources and the aesthetic and recreational opportunities they provide. We greatly appreciate the work of Senator Udall in moving this process towards a balanced and sensible resolution. Thanks to his hard work, the U.S. Forest Service has committed to maintaining environmental safeguards for our public lands while protecting water rights and the people and businesses that depend on them.”