News Releases

  • Print

Bill focuses on recovery of four target species and provides water users in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska with regulatory certainty and Endangered Species Act compliance.


WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), along with Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) released the following statements after the House and Senate passed the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (PRRIP) Extension Act that was included in H.R. 1865.

The bipartisan bill was introduced by Barrasso on April 2, 2019.

“The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (PRRIP) is a great example of how states can work together to recover endangered species and preserve existing water use and development,” Barrasso said. “Over the past decade, this program has proved to be a huge success. Thanks to PRRIP, birds on the endangered species list are recovering and critical habitat for a variety of wildlife is expanding. Extending this critical program will allow all three states to continue building on this success.”

“The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program has responsibly protected endangered species living in Colorado’s natural habitats,” said Gardner. “It’s a great example of how a partnership between federal, state, and local stakeholders can promote conservation, protect nature and prevent litigation, and I’m pleased to see it reauthorized.”

“The Platte River in Colorado is the bedrock of our economy and the headwaters for a unique and important ecosystem. The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program has helped protect endangered species through a collaborative approach with other states and water users in the region,” said Bennet. “I’m glad to see this effective program extended.”

“Since 2008, the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program has served as a model for how a partnership between states and federal agencies can provide regulatory certainty,” Fischer said. “This program has enabled Nebraska to meet its water infrastructure needs through a streamlined approach, which is why I am proud to join my colleagues in supporting its extension.”

Background:

The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (PRRIP) Extension Act was introduced by Barrasso on April 2, 2019 and is cosponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Ben Sasse (R-NE).

The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (PRRIP) is a cooperative agreement among the governors of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and the secretary of the Interior to achieve Endangered Species Act compliance on the Platte River. PRRIP also allows new and existing water use and development through this streamlined consultation process.

The program was initiated to alleviate habitat threats along the Platte River for the endangered whooping crane, interior least tern and pallid sturgeon, and the threatened piping plover. A recent announcement from the Fish and Wildlife Service credited the PRRIP with helping to recover the interior least tern.

In addition to addressing protections under the federal Endangered Species Act, PRRIP has allowed the three states and the department of Interior to avoid lengthy and expensive litigation involving the Endangered Species Act. The program has provided a level of certainty to water users in the Platte River drainage that litigation would not have afforded.

PRRIP was authorized by Congress in 2008. The first increment of the program is set to expire on December 31, 2019. This legislation extends the program by an additional 13 years. The legislation was developed by the three state representatives on the Governance Committee and enjoys broad bipartisan support from lawmakers, water users, conservation groups, and the administration.

###