Following Congressional Pressure, U.S. Forest Service Withdraws Overreaching Groundwater Directive

f t # e
Washington, DC, April 14, 2015 | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after U.S. Forest Service Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon announced the decision to permanently withdraw the Proposed Directive on Groundwater Management (Groundwater Directive) during today’s House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans:
share: f t

For Immediate Release

Date: April 14, 2015

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after U.S. Forest Service Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon announced the decision to permanently withdraw the Proposed Directive on Groundwater Management (Groundwater Directive) during today’s House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans:

“Attempted water grabs by federal agencies during the Obama Administration have been atrocious. Whether it is Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS), the Ground Water Service Directive, or the ski area water rights permitting conditions, the federal government has attempted an all-out assault to take control of precious water resources that have traditionally been managed by states or private ownership.

“Even worse, the manner in which these misguided regulations have been proposed completely ignored any input from the relevant stakeholders and state water managers. These attempted water grabs threaten to undermine the successful relationships previously developed between state and federal officials.

“While I am pleased to see the U.S. Forest Service back away from its unnecessary and overreaching groundwater directive, I will remain vigilant against any further attempts to override state water laws and extort private water rights.”


Background

The Groundwater Directive would initiate the Forest Service’s authority over state-managed groundwater resources claiming that surface water and groundwater is “hydraulically interconnected” and that the agency could object to state-regulated projects on “adjacent” land that purportedly harm groundwater.

Congressman Gosar and 42 lawmakers previously sent a letter on June 24, 2014, to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warning that the U.S. Forest Service’s recently proposed Groundwater Resource Management Directive will restrict access to public lands and interfere with state and private water rights. They also urged withdrawing the directive at that time. That letter can be found HERE.

###

f t # e

Stay Connected

Use the form below to sign up for my newsletter and get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.