Friday, March 4, 2016

Just in from Capitol Hill

Simpson Questions BLM on Issues Facing Idaho

Washington- Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today examined the President’s FY17 budget proposal during a House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee hearing with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Neil Kornze. Simpson, who is the vice-chair of the subcommittee, took the opportunity to question Kornze on important issues facing Idaho.

During the hearing Congressman Simpson raised the issue of the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer and the role BLM can play in helping the State of Idaho stabilize the ground water level in the aquifer. Congressman Simpson commented, “The State of Idaho would like to recharge the (Eastern Snake Plain) aquifer since the water level is going down substantially, and there are periods of time when we have excess water that we just flush down the river. It would be nice to recharge that aquifer and I would encourage your office to work with the State of Idaho and our office in developing a plan that might work.”

Simpson also commented on sage grouse management plans. After the hearing, Simpson said, “While it is a success the sage grouse was not listed under the Endangered Species Act, it is important to remember that the State of Idaho has concerns with the management plans. BLM needs to keep their door open to the state regarding the future of the management plans to ensure that their voices are heard in a truly collaborative process.”

The BLM hearing was one of 26 hearings held by House Appropriations Committee this week on the President’s budget request.

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