WASHINGTON, DC – House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01) sent a letter today to U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, urging the agency to withdraw its Proposed Directive on Groundwater Resource Management. The letter was also signed by Committee Vice-Chairman Cynthia Lummis (WY-At large), Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans Chairman John Fleming (LA-4) and Vice-Chair Paul Gosar (AZ-4), and Subcommittee on Federal Lands Chairman Tom McClintock (CA-4) and Vice-Chair Doug LaMalfa (CA-1). The letter echoes similar concerns voiced by the Western Governors Association and others about how the proposal could usurp state management of groundwater.
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“As you know, bipartisan concern exists over the U.S. Forest Service’s (Forest Service) Proposed Directive on Groundwater Resource Management (Groundwater Directive). To date, there are many unanswered questions and growing issues on this far-reaching proposal that would impact 155 National Forests and adjacent lands and waters across the country. While we understand that you have put the Groundwater Directive on a temporary ‘hold’, we urge you to withdraw it permanently to allow states to continue their longstanding groundwater management,” the letter states.
The Members conclude the letter, stating: “…we believe the Forest Service has failed to justify the need for this new policy. The end result has been uncertainty and growing distrust between the Forest Service and state and local governments. Since putting this proposal on a temporary hold only increases uncertainty, we urge you to withdraw this misguided and unnecessary policy on a permanent basis.”