December 20, 2019

Congressman Neguse Bill to Protect Platte River Basin Wildlife Signed Into Law

Washington, D.C.— Today, the bipartisan and bicameral legislation led by Congressman Joe Neguse to protect Colorado wildlife in the Platte River basin was signed into law by the President. The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program Extension Act, which Neguse introduced in June, was included in the end-of-year minibus package that will fund the Departments of Agriculture, Labor, Energy, Interior, State, Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs and the Legislative Branch.  The legislation is co-led by Congressman Doug Lamborn and was supported by the full delegations of Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. 

Over the last 13 years, the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program has allowed dozens of water projects in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska to comply with the Endangered Species Act and continue operating, which has revitalized bird species, including the whooping crane, piping plover and least tern as well as the pallid sturgeon fish. This legislation from Neguse will allow the program to continue for the next 13 years with financial support from the Bureau of Reclamation. This marks the third piece of legislation from Congressman Neguse to be signed into law by this President. Earlier this year, the Bolts Ditch Access and Use Act and Arapaho National Forest Boundary Adjustment Act, two bills led by Neguse that benefit the 2nd Congressional District were signed into law.

“The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program has been serving endangered species of the Platte River Basin for thirteen years. Extending this program to allow for water management and habitat conservation goals to be completed is essential,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “I’m proud to shepherd the passage of this legislation through the House of Representatives and ecstatic to see it signed into law. ”

“Over the past decade, the Platte Program has become a model for collaborative endangered species recovery programs,” said Jason Farnsworth, Executive Director of the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program. “ Much of our success stems from the commitment and ongoing support of Program stakeholders who have demonstrated that environmental groups, water users and regulators can work together to benefit the endangered species of the Platte basin and the people who live here. We are appreciative of the time and effort that has already been expended to navigate the legislative process and look forward to continuing the Program’s important work during the Extension.”

“The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program is an important partnership with resounding benefits to Colorado’s economy,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “The Program allows for water development in Colorado’s booming Front Range and supports our farming communities in Northeastern Colorado all while benefiting the recovery of four threatened and endangered species. This collaborative and proactive conservation program stands as a national model and has led to 13 years of success. I lend my full support for the reauthorization of this Program”

Legislation from Congressman Neguse to reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools program was also included in the minibus.