March 10, 2005

Craig, Crapo Bill To Help The Fremont-Madison Irrigation Passes Senate Committee

Bill would convey water titles from the Bureau of Reclamation to the Irrigation District

WASHINGTON, DC â?? Today the Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted toapprove S. 520, the â??Fremont Madison Conveyance Act,â?? which is authored by Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Larry Craig. The bill intends to convey title of the Cross Cut Dam and Canal, the Teton Wells, and the Idaho Department of Water Resources Permit number 22-7702 from the Bureau ofReclamation to the Fremont-Madison Irrigation District (FMID). FMID has maintained and controlled the facilities in question since they were built. This bill passed the Senate last year but Congress adjourned before it could be reconciled with a similar billwhich passed the House of Representatives, sponsored by Representative Mike Simpson. â??I am very pleased that this legislation is now on its way to the full Senate,â?? SenatorCraig said. â??We have been working with the local stakeholders for years in crafting a bill thatall can agree to. Today we have succeeded in that effort. The collaboration between all theparties has been remarkable, and I believe we can pass this legislation in the Senate thisyear.â??Senator Crapo said, â??It is great that this legislation is making its way to the Senate floorquickly. It is a good example of how to manage local resources in a way that reflect the needsof all involved. The representatives of the district have worked with local citizens, agricultureinterests, the Bureau of Reclamation, and conservation groups to create a transfer agreementthat works best for everyone. I expect that the legislation will complete its journey in the nextfew months and that the Fremont-Madison Irrigation District will soon have title to the landon which it operates.â??The bill will now be scheduled for a vote by the full Senate. There is also an identical bill,sponsored by Representative Mike Simpson and cosponsored by Representative Butch Otter, beingconsidered by the House of Representatives.[30]