March 09, 2005

Crapo: Water, Salmon Talks Will Continue

Historic six and one-half hour session raises several issues

Washington, DC - Talks between various water users and interests in Idaho made enough progress for negotiations over a threatened lawsuit to continue, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. Crapo brought more than 50 people representing water users, environmentalists, federal agencies, state legislators, tribal officials, and others together over the weekend to discuss the issue. The six-and-a-half hour session was the first face-to-face meeting of the groups. At Crapoâ??s request, four conservation groups, two from Idaho and two national groups, have delayed until at least October 12th their threat of a 60-day notice of intent to sue for more Upper Snake River water to be used for anadromous fish recovery. Currently, this water is used in many ways, including irrigation, municipal water supplies, recreation, resident fish habitat, and flows for anadromous fish recovery.â??Given the significance and complexity of the issues we are facing, I felt we had a very productive series of meetings over the weekend,â?? Crapo said. â??I am very encouraged that we have identified several issues and discussed ways to deal with them over the next several days. Given the fact that this particular group of people has never before met around any kind of table to deal with these decades-old issues, we are making progress and doing so outside a courtroom.â??Crapo expects the group to meet again in the next two weeks. â??What is important at this point is the commitment all sides have to talk and keep talking outside the courtroom. I will be working on this with the parties every day until our next general meeting which will occur sometime during the week of October 6th,â?? he added. # # #FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. If you encounter any difficulties with the system, please contact Susan Wheeler at the above number. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at www.senate.gov/src/radio/crapo.