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AG Notes

Press Release | 115th Congress
House Seal

Peterson Statement at Subcommittee Hearing on Small Watershed Infrastructure

June 13, 2017

Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry
Small Watershed Infrastructure: Continuing the Mission, Building upon Success

--As Prepared for Delivery--

“Thank you Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Fudge for holding today’s hearing. I know the watershed programs, especially the small watershed rehabilitation program, are important to Chairman Lucas and he has been a long-time advocate of their importance and inclusion in the farm bill. I’m glad other members of the Committee will be able to learn more about these programs today.

“I am pleased that John Finney, from my district in Minnesota, is joining us at the witness table today. John is chair of the Red River Management Board and I’ve had the pleasure of working with him closely over the years. Thank you to the rest of the witness panel for joining us today. I look forward to your testimony.

“Watershed programs are an incredibly important part of the conservation toolbox. Unfortunately, I don’t think a lot of folks are really aware of the programs themselves or the benefits they provide which is why today’s hearing is so useful. For example, a decade ago the small watershed program relied on earmarks for funding which, despite its broad support in Congress, is what led to the program’s demise.

“As part of the 2014 Farm Bill we allowed project sponsors to use PL-566 authorities under the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. This was done to provide both communities and projects the flexibility they need to be successful. I expect that at this hearing you will learn more about the experience that local watershed districts in my Congressional district had in utilizing the RCPP 566 funding to try and find practical solutions to expensive and controversial flood control challenges.

“So, I think this is an important topic that I think a lot of folks will be interested in learning more about. I thank the Chair and Ranking Member and yield back.”