DOI cancels ‘National Blueways’ program
Federal effort to control watersheds
by Wyoming Senator John Barrasso media release
January 12, 2014
Last week, the Department of Interior announced that they are canceling the controversial "National Blueways" program. This is welcome news to private landowners and communities in Wyoming and across the country.
The Blueways program, which was created by the Obama Administration in 2012, gave the federal government the power to takeover state and local water rights without Congressional approval or public input.
Senator Enzi, Representative Lummis and I have repeatedly called on the Administration to put an end to this Washington power grab. We know that western states and local communities are better stewards of land and water than Washington.
As Chairman of the Senate Western Caucus, I’ll continue to fight against any attempt by Washington to takeover Wyoming’s water.
U.S. Senator John Barrasso, M.D.
U.S. Department of Interior
Secretarial Order deactivating the National Blueways System and Committee - (PDF) Supporting Watershed Partnerships, Order 3331, Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior, January 3, 2014
National Blueways System - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Blueways - Wikipedia
Wyoming opposition to Blueways - Wyoming U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis website about Cheyenne attorney and legal expert Karen Budd-Falen’s testimony that the Department of the Interior had exceeded its legal authority by unilaterally creating the authority for such sweeping land and water designations, exposing the National Blueways Program’s potential to undermine private property rights, state primacy over water law, and local conservation efforts. The hearing also revealed efforts by the Department of the Interior to designate the Yellowstone River Watershed without any consultation with Wyoming officials and water users.
Delegation: Blueways program just another Washington power grab - Wyoming Delegation media release, February 15, 2013