March 10, 2005

Crapo-Craig Water Measure Passes Senate

Legislation conveys title to irrigation district that manages facilities

Washington, D.C. â?? Legislation that would convey title of facilities presently owned by the Bureau of Reclamation to the Fremont-Madison Irrigation District (FMID) cleared the U.S. Senate. Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Larry Craig, who introduced and co-sponsored the bill (S. 520), have been working for its passage this session, and heralded the action.Senator Crapo said, â??For nearly seven years, we have been working to make this legislation a reality, and Iâ??m pleased that weâ??ve made it through the Senate. Itâ??s only logical that the FMID own the title to the facilities since it has managed them since its creation. More than 150,000 acres of farmland are watered through the facilities in this legislation, and todayâ??s action meets the concerns of local citizens, agriculture producers, the Bureau of Reclamation, local tribes, and conservation groups. I applaud all parties for working together on this important matter.â?? â??I am very pleased that this legislation has finally passed the full Senate,â?? Senator Craig said. â??We have been working with the local stakeholders for years in crafting a bill that all can agree to. Today we have succeeded in that effort. The collaboration between all the parties has been remarkable, and I look forward to the President signing this bill very soon.â??FMID has maintained and controlled the facilities in question since they were built. The facilities include the Cross Cut Dam and Canal, the Teton Wells, and the Idaho Department of Water Resources Permit number 22-7702 from the Bureau of Reclamation to the Fremont-Madison Irrigation District (FMID).The legislation was introduced and passed in the 107th Congress. Different versions of the bill passed the Senate and the House; however, a conference report was not reached before the congressional adjournment. The bill will now be considered by the U.S. House, where a similar bill has been introduced by Idaho 2nd District Representative Mike Simpson, and co-sponsored by Idaho 1st District Representative C.L. â??Butchâ?? Otter.# # #