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No Action on NE/S.D. Conservation Project?

FILE: Missouri River
Galen Jons/WikiMedia Commons

Some Nebraska and South Dakota federal elected officials have sent a letter to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, urging “no action” be taken on the “Ponca Bluffs Conservation Area Project.”

Senators John Thune (SD), Mike Johanns (NE) and Deb Fischer (NE) and Representatives Kristi Noem (SD) and Adrian Smith (NE-3) signed the letter. The proposed project is in South Dakota and Nebraska.

Here is a portion of the letter, “In the current era of high federal deficits, we do not believe the projected costs of this project are justified, nor do we believe the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) reflects there would be satisfactory benefits to the U.S. taxpayers in return for the federal outlays required to fund and maintain this proposed project area.”

The letter concludes, “We are concerned that enrolling 112,000 acres into easements and the federal acquisition of 28,000 acres in this proposed area would have adverse economic impacts on local businesses, rural towns, agricultural land prices, and farm and ranch operation.”

My comment:  The Government is now shutdown and even after it opens the chances of finding money for this project seem slim. If it is important to conservation then private groups and individuals, along with local and state governments should be leading the effort.

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