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Neguse, Lamborn Secure Support from Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming to Extend the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program

June 12, 2019
Press Release

Washington D.C.—Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, along with Congressman Doug Lamborn, introduced bipartisan bicameral legislation to extend authorization of the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (PRRIP). Over the last 13 years, PRRIP 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. The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program Extension Act would allow the program to continue for the next 13 years with financial support from the Bureau of Reclamation. The legislation is supported by the Governors of Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming and is co-sponsored by Representatives Diana DeGette (CO-01), Scott Tipton (CO-03), Ed Perlmutter (CO-07), Jason Crow (CO-06), Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01), Don Bacon (NE-02) and Adrian Smith (NE-03). Companion legislation in the Senate also has support from Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming.

“The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (PRRIP) has been serving endangered species of the Platte River Basin for thirteen years,” said Joe Neguse (CO-02). “This collaborative conservation partnership between Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and the U.S. Department of Interior protects four endangered species that reside in the river basin between these three states while allowing for effective water development for communities in the Front Range. Extending this program to allow for water management and habitat conservation goals to be completed is essential, which is why I’m proud to introduce legislation to extend this program and support Colorado water and Colorado wildlife.”

“For the last 13 years this successful program has allowed the Platte River Basin to meet the water and land habitat needs for four species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. This legislation will allow the current collaborative effort by Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska to continue while also protecting our state’s water and power infrastructure,” said Doug Lamborn (CO-05). “This cooperative agreement is truly a win-win for Colorado’s people and our environment.”

“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”

PRRIP cooperating organizations include Colorado Water Conservation Board, Wyoming Development Commission, the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District, Nebraska Public Power District, Nebraska Natural Resources District, Northern Water, Denver Water, Pathfinder Irrigation District, Rowe Sanctuary and TNC Nebraska.

This bill is the 13th Neguse has introduced since taking office.