April 21 through April 27, 1999
1999 Washington, D. C. Briefing Meetings
Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Implementation Program
Prepared by John Shields, Chairman, Management Committee
SYNOPSIS AND PURPOSE:
Representatives of the Upper Colorado Recovery Implementation Program and the San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program conducted briefing meetings on April 21, 22, 26 and 27th, 1999 in Washington, D.C. concerning the Recovery Program and the authorization and funding legislation for the Upper Colorado and San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Programs. Our group was joined by a representative of the San Juan Water Commission on April 21 and 22nd. The group met with the Congressional Delegations of the States of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, Congressional committee staff for the authorizing and appropriations committees having jurisdiction over the Bureau of Reclamation and Fish and Wildlife Service, Administration officials and several other entities.
The purpose of the meetings were twofold: to develop support for Fiscal Year 2000 funding for Recovery Program line-items in the President's recommended budget for the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation, and to develop support and co-sponsorship for the authorization and funding legislation. Relative to the latter purpose, these meetings were in follow-up to briefings that occurred on March 22nd through 24th by a smaller group representing the Upper Colorado and San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Programs. The focus of our briefings were on:
1. Status of the Recovery Program and its accomplishments.
2. Fiscal Year 2000 funding needs and inclusion of Recovery Program funding line-items in the budgets for the USFWS and the Bureau of Reclamation in the President's Fiscal Year 2000 recommended budget to meet those needs.
3. Authorizing and funding legislation for the Upper Colorado River Recovery Implementation Program and the San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program.
Detailed information was provided to those with whom we met. Materials distributed included the 1999 Washington D.C. Recovery Program Briefing document, an information packet concerning the authorization and funding legislation assembled with products developed by the Ad-hoc Funding Legislation Committee and Tom Pitts, and copies of the States' letters (e.g., Governor Geringer, Governor Leavitt and CO DNR Director Greg Walcher) supporting Program Fiscal Year 2000 funding for the Recovery Programs. Other materials and handouts were provided at or in advance of our meetings.
Draft letters addressed to the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and the Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies (expressing funding support for line-items in the President's FY 2000 recommended budget for the Bureau of Reclamation and USFWS) were handed out and discussed at each meeting with the participating States' Congressional delegations. We asked each State Congressional delegation member to sign these letters. In addition, letters supporting funding for the San Juan River Basin Endangered Fish Recovery Implementation Program were shared with the Congressional delegations of the States of Colorado and New Mexico and the request was made that they sign onto these letters addressed to the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittees of the House and Senate. This was the first time that joint delegation letters supporting funding for the San Juan River Basin Recovery Program have been prepared for circulation - as this is the first year that the USBR's budget line-item has included funding for that Program.
Requests were made to the Members of Congress or their Legislative staff who represent the States of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming that they support and co-sponsor the authorization and funding legislation for the two Recovery Programs.
The group representing the Recovery Program consisted of:
Tom Cassidy (TNC - Arlington Office) [did not participate]
Kathleen Clarke (Utah) [4/26-27]
Wayne Cook (Upper Colorado River Commission) [4/26-27]
Leslie James (Colorado River Energy Distributors Association) [4/27]
Robert King (Utah)
Randy Kirkpatrick (San Juan Water Commission[4/21-22]
Henry Maddux (USFWS - Recovery Program)
Tom Pitts (Water Users)
Janice Sheftel (Southwestern Colorado Water Conservancy District - Colorado) [4/21-22]
John Shields (Wyoming)
Greg Walcher (Colorado) [did not participate]
Robert Wigington (TNC) [4/21-22]
A schedule of the meetings held, along with a description of the meeting attendees, is attached to this report (Appendix 1).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:
Our group generally received supportive and positive responses to the messages that we conveyed. The Upper Colorado River Program enjoys general support among the three States' Congressional Delegations continues to be strong and we found the New Mexico Congressional Delegation to be strongly supportive of the authorization and funding legislation.
A. SUPPORT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000 PROGRAM FUNDING
As noted above and as done in past years, the group circulated joint delegation letters among the the three participating states' House and Senate Congressional Delegations addressed to the chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriation Subcommittees having jurisdiction over the Bureau of Reclamation and the Fish and Wildlife Service. Letters were also sent to the ranking minority members of those subcommittees. Kris Larson, Legislative Assistant for Representative Scott McInnis, consented to provide the leadership to initiate the letters' circulation on the House side, while Tim Stewart and Fitz Elder of Senator's Bennett's office were willing to take on this task relative to the letter circulation process on the Senate side.
We were successful in obtaining the signature of nine of the ten members of the House of Representatives who represent the States of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming on the joint delegation funding support letters. Despite our continuing efforts each year, we did not obtain the support and signature of Rep. Joel Hefley (Colorado - 5th District) on these letters. All other members of the House Delegation from Colorado, Utah and Wyoming signed onto the two letters! Copies of the signed joint delegation funding support letters as circulated on the House of Representatives side are attached to this report (Appendix 2).
On the Senate side, the letter circulation process has not yet been completed, but we anticipate that at least four of the six Senators who represent the three States will sign either the joint delegation letters addressed to the two Senate Appropriation Subcommittees (Interior; and Energy and Water Development).
Our briefings with Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation and Fish and Wildlife Service officials were well received. They indicated an understanding of the need for the Program and expressed support for all participants continuing to pull together to accomplish the Programs' objectives. In addition, our meeting with the Office of Management and Budget went well from our perspective and Mr. Starler, with whom we met, quickly grasped the fact that our Program is working and is meeting its dual objectives.
The marks (allocations) to be made by the Budget Committee to the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, and hence to the Appropriations Subcommittees, will be significantly less than last year. The reduction is not yet known, but estimates have placed it from $10 to $40 billion less than last year. Committee staff are anticipating that it will be very difficult for the subcommittees to allocate the more-limited funding resource to the many identified needs. These statements, made on both the House and Senate sides by both the Interior and Energy and Water Development subcommittee staff, confirmed to us the importance of holding these meetings and led us to emphasize the fact that our Program is ongoing and that we are seeking funding to complete our capital construction projects.
B. SUPPORT FOR AUTHORIZATION AND FUNDING LEGISLATION FOR THE UPPER COLORADO AND SAN JUAN RIVER BASIN RECOVERY IMPLEMENTATION PROGRAMS
On the Senate side, based on the meetings held during this trip and the feedback that we have received, we are confident that Senator Bennett of Utah, Senator Hatch of Utah and Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado will co-sponsor the legislation along with Senator Allard who is the lead sponsor. We believe that Senators Domenici and Bingaman of New Mexico will join as co-sponsors on the bill. We are hopeful that Senators Thomas and Enzi of Wyoming will be persuaded by Governor Geringer's strong messages of support for the authorization bill to join on as bill co-sponsors. We met with Doug Benevento on the afternoon of April 27th (our last meeting of the trip) and went over with him the messages that we had heard relative to support for the bill. We discussed the meeting held on the previous afternoon with Allen Freemyer and House delegation staff relative to getting all comments and suggestions to the bill back to Freemyer within a week. Freemyer will share with Benevento the redraft of the bill (when prepared by House Legislative Counsel's office) so that the exact same-worded bill is introduced on the House and the Senate side. Benevento noted that Greg Walcher, Colorado Department of Natural Resources Director, has told Benevento that the State of Colorado wishes to have the bill introduced as soon as can conveniently be done and that a letter from Governor Owens to Senator Allard has been prepared but not yet sent. Benevento stated that Senator Allard is ready to seek co-sponsorship and introduce the bill on the basis of these statements (and that receipt of said letter is not keeping Senator Allard from proceeding).
On the House of Representatives side, we are very encouraged that Representative Jim Hansen has agreed to act as the lead sponsor of the bill. His seniority as a member of the House Resources Committee will be most helpful in moving the authorization bill to an early hearing and having it favorably reported out of Committee. We believe that we will likely gain the support of eleven of the remaining twelve members of the House of Representatives who represent the four States of Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. We were quite pleased with the indications of support for Program funding evidenced by getting nine of the ten members of the House delegations from Colorado, Utah and Wyoming to consent to sign the joint delegation funding support letters.
C. MEETINGS WITH OTHER ENTITIES
Although logistically difficult to arrange, our meeting with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation was quite useful. We met with Lorraine Howerton, Director of Policy for the NFWF, who just assumed her duties a few days before our meeting. She committed to trying to get information about our Program into NFWF's very attractive annual report next year.
Rich Bechtel, Legislative Assistant for the Western Governors' Association was quite enthusiastic, as he has been in the past, about the approach being taken with, and apparent success being enjoyed by, the Upper Colorado Recovery Program. He indicated that our Program's approach continues to be entirely consistent with the WGA's positions on changes that ought to be made to the current ESA and the ESA reauthorization process. Gary Taylor of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies clearly understood the Program's accomplishments and was complimentary for having covered all of the bases.
The presentation (made by Wayne Cook and Kathleen Clarke) at the Western Water Caucus Federal Water Issues Meeting, sponsored by the Family Farm Alliance, exposed others to our proposed legislation that we would not have had the opportunity to meet with otherwise. Although the attendance was only about 25 people, it included legislative staff for other Western States and representatives of organizations that monitor water resources matters. The Family Farm Alliance had prepared for the meeting a two-sided document that succinctly - and positively - discusses the two recovery programs and the need for our proposed legislation. A copy of that document is attached (Appendix 3).
A number of thank you letters have been written since the Program's trip participants have returned to the Upper Colorado River Basin. These have been directed to nearly all of the House and Senate staff or Members of Congress with whom we met. Shields has sent letters to: Patty McDonald (Cubin); Kris Larson (McInnis); Matt Knoedler (Tancredo); Nick Karamanos (DeGette); Stan Sloss (Udall); Larry Hojo (Hefley); Allen Freemyer (Hansen); Mike Garrity (Cook) and Windsor Freemyer (Cannon). In addition, letters have been sent to Celia Wallace and Jody Woirhaye (Thomas); Paul Burgess (Enzi); Doug Benevento (Allard); Seth Voyles (Campbell); Tim Stewart and Fitz Elder (Bennett) and J.J. Brown (Hatch). Further, thank you letters have been sent to Colleen Deegan (Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee); Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Patty Beneke; Norman Starler (Office of Management and Budget); Jim Ogsbury (House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee); Loretta Beaumont (House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee); Josh Johnson (House Resources Water and Power Subcommittee); David Gwaltney (Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee); Kurt Dodd (Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee); Valerie West (Sen. Gordon Smith - Chairman of the Water and Power Subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee); Jason Patlis (Senate Environment and Public Works Committee) and David Hoskins (Senate Environment and Public Works Committee).
Tom Pitts will prepare and transmit thank you letters to the New Mexico Congressional Delegation members. Tom Pitts will also send letters supporting the passage of the authorization legislation written by San Juan River Basin Endangered Fish Recovery Implementation Program participants and beneficiaries to Colleen Deegan, Counsel, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power and Liz Megginson, House Resources Committee.
John Shields has sent a copy of his CLE Conference paper describing the Upper Colorado River Recovery Implementation Program and the authorization legislation (to be presented May 20th in Tucson) to Colleen Deegan, Counsel, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power.
John Shields has sent a copy of the CLE Conference paper describing the Upper Colorado River Recovery Implementation Program and the authorization legislation (to be presented May 20th in Tucson) to Rich Bechtel of the Western Governors' Association.
A reminder was included in the thank you letter to Doug Benevento to send a letter to Senator Murkowski and Senator Gordon Smith when the San Juan and Upper Colorado River Programs' authorization legislation has been introduced requesting that hearings be scheduled on the bill.
A request is made here that the State of New Mexico and the San Juan Water Commission send copies of letters that they prepare supporting the enactment of the Programs' funding authorization bill to Colleen Deegan of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and to Liz Megginson of the House Resources Committee.
Copies of this trip report were requested by and have been sent to Charlie Scott and Christine Eustis of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with an e-mail thank you letter in follow-up to our meeting with them. Copies of the trip report will be sent to Allen Freemyer (Rep. Hansen) and Doug Benevento (Senator Allard).
The 1999 Recovery Program Washington Briefing Trip has again reaffirmed that it is important to "participate in the process" and that these annual trips, while intensive, expensive and time-consuming, are an important part of maintaining a viable Program that has both political and funding support. The people we met with told us that it is important to make these efforts to assure that Recovery Program-designated funding in the President's budget is actually appropriated.
Having the participation of nearly all of the Program participants is important for a number of reasons. This was demonstrated time and again during meetings when we could turn to, or get the perspective of different participants, on a particular point then under discussion. It is important that if commitments are made to participate that those making the commitment follow-through and attend the meetings.
Based on the feedback that was received, it appears that our present means of going about building support each year is appropriate and that we are not "missing" any significant elements. Our approach is correct. We did receive several comments/questions about whether we were handing out the same briefing booklet this year as was used last year so it is recommended that we give the booklet, at least the cover design and color, a "face-lift" prior to next year's trip.
Should you have any questions about the contents of this report, or the specifics of any of the meetings, please don't hesitate to contact any of the trip participants.
Appendix 1. Trip Meeting Itinerary
Appendix 2. House Delegations' Joint Funding Support Letters
Appendix 3. Family Farm Alliance "Water Review" newsletter, dated March 1999, concerning Recovery Programs' funding authorization legislation
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1999 Washington, D. C. Briefing Trip
Schedule of Meetings -- April 21 through April 27, 1999
Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Implementation Program
Wednesday, April 21
7:30a.m. Trip participants held a pre-briefings strategy and itinerary information exchange meeting in Room 108 of the Capitol Hill Suites Hotel. Copies of the briefing booklets and the various letters of support were distributed and we reviewed the trip itinerary and covered the normal course of our meetings with those who had not previously participated.
9:30 a.m. Met with Doug Benevento, Legislative Assistant of Sen. Wayne Allard's office (513 Hart -- 224-5941), Seth Voyles, Legislative Assistant and Amy Amato, Legislative Analyst, of Sen. Ben Nighthorse-Campbell's office (380 Russell -- 224-5852). This meeting was held in 513 Hart Senate Office Building.
11:00 a.m. Met with Tim Stewart, Legislative Assistant, and Fitz Elder, Correspondent, for Sen. Robert Bennett (818 Hart -- 224-5444). Senator Bennett briefly stepped into the meeting at its onset and greeted us and expressed his support for the Program's efforts. Stewart and Elder agreed to take the lead in circulating the joint delegation funding support letters. The meeting was held in 818 Hart Senate Office Building.
12:00 noon Met with J.J. Brown, Legislative Assistant for Sen. Orrin Hatch (131 Russell Senate Office Building -- 224-5251). Brown indicated that Senator Hatch would support the funding authorization bill and requested that the joint delegation letters be faxed to him when put into final form so that he can submit the letter through his office's letter approval process. We met with J.J. in 131 Russell Senate Office Building. After the long-term funding bill is ready for introduction, Senator Hatch will need a few days to a week to consider co-sponsorship.
1:30 p.m. Met with Celia Wallace, Legislative Assistant, and Jody Woirhaye, Legislative Aide, for Senator Craig Thomas (109 Hart -- 224-6441); and Paul Burgess, Legislative Assistant for Senator Mike Enzi (290 Russell -- 224-3424). This meeting was held in Room 109 of the Hart Senate Office Building. We left feeling that these staff members will recommend to their bosses that they sign the joint delegation funding support letters.
2:00 p.m. Met with Jason Patlis, Counsel (415 Hart -- 224-8216), and briefly with Jimmie Powell, Staff Director, for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. This meeting was held in the Committee Library. Patlis indicated that Senator Chafee would look favorably upon our legislation were it to be referred to the EPW Committee, and that it might be appropriate for the bill to be referred to EPW.
3:00 p.m. Met with David Hoskins, Minority Staff Member (410 Dirksen -- 224-6176) for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. This meeting was held in 410 Dirksen. Hoskins expressed the view that because the funding authorization bill was referred to the Senate EPW Committee last year that it is probable that the bill, when introduced in a few weeks, will be referred to the same Committee by the Senate Parliamentarian.
3:30 p.m. Met with Anne-Kathryn Claassen, Legislative Assistant for Sen. Pete Domenici (328 Hart Senate Office Building -- 224-6621) and with Mark Edwards, Legislative Assistant for Sen. Jeff Bingaman (703 Hart Senate Office Building -- 224-5521). The meeting was held in 328 Hart. It appears that both of New Mexico's Senators will support the Programs' authorization legislation.
5:30 p.m. Met with Valerie West, Legislative Assistant for Senator Gordon Smith, (404 Russell -- 224-3753). Ms. West provided our group with excellent input regarding improvements in the wording of the authorization bill that we should make and had some excellent procedural advice relative to shepherding the bill through the legislative process. Those comments and suggestions were subsequently shared with Allen Freemyer and others on the Management Committee via e-mail.
Thursday, April 22
10:00 a.m. Met with Lorraine Howerton, Director of Policy, for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (1120 Connecticut, 857-0166). The meeting was held in the NFWF's offices. Howerton is new to her position and was most pleased to hear about our Program's efforts and the NFWF's involvement in handling Program funds. She committed to try to get verbiage about the Recovery Program in the NFWF's annual report next year.
11:00 a.m. Met with Nick Karamanos, Legislative Assistant for Rep. Diana DeGette (1404 Longworth -- 225-4431); Kris Larson, Legislative Assistant for Rep. Scott McInnis (215 Cannon -- 225-4761) and Matt Knoedler, Legislative Assistant for Rep. Tancredo (1123 Longworth -- 225-7882). The meeting was held in Room 1116A of the Longworth House Office Building. Larson agreed to take the lead on circulating the joint delegation funding support letters among the House delegation members for Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Matt Knoedler is interested in a briefing on ESA issues in Colorado. Tom Pitts offered to arrange a briefing the next time Matt is in Colorado.
1:45 p.m. Met with Allen Freemyer, Staff Member for Fish, Wildlife and Parks Subcommittee of the House Resources Committee (814 O'Neil -- 226-7736. A subgroup of our briefing group met with Allen Freemyer. He stated that Rep. Hansen will sign the joint delegation funding support letters.
1:45 p.m. Met with Rep. Merrill Cook and with Mike Garrity, Legislative Assistant for Rep. Merrill Cook (1431 Longworth -- Phone 225-3011). Rep. Cook was non-committal but indicated that he would carefully consider co-sponsoring the bill. We noted he had signed the last year and would certainly appreciate his continuing support.
2:00 p.m. Met with Bryan Tesh, Legislative Intern for Rep. Joel Hefley (2230 Rayburn -- 225-4422); Stan Sloss, Legislative Director for Rep. Mark Udall (128 Cannon -- 225-2161) and Doug Mesecar, Legislative Assistant for Rep. Bob Schaffer (212 Cannon -- 225-4676). The meeting was held in Room 1332 of the Longworth House Office Building. We were received very well in this meeting and it was indicated that Rep. Udall and Rep. Schaffer will sign the joint delegation letters and join on as co-sponsors of the funding authorization legislation.
2:30 p.m. Met with Windsor Freemyer, Deputy Chief of Staff for Rep. Chris Cannon (118 Cannon House Office Building -- 225-7751). Rep. Cannon was figuring on attending this meeting but was prevented from doing so by a bankruptcy law hearing that was going way over its allotted time, and asked Freemyer to advise us of his regrets. Freemyer stated that she believed that Rep. Cannon would sign the joint delegation letters and co-sponsor the Program authorization bill.
3:00 p.m. Meeting with Luke Rose, Legislative Assistant for Rep. Heather Wilson (226 Cannon House Office Building -- Phone 225-6316). He indicated that Rep. Wilson would probably support a delegation letter on FY 2000 funding and the authorizing legislation.
3:30 p.m. Met with Jim Richards, Legislative Assistant for Rep. Joe Skeen (2302 Rayburn -- Phone 225-2365). He indicated that Rep. Skeen would support the FY 2000 funding with a separate letter, and will consider co-sponsorship of the authorization bill.
4:30 p.m. Met with Patty McDonald, Chief of Staff for Rep. Barbara Cubin (1114 Longworth -- Phone 225-2311). M.J. Marshall, Legislative Director, was unable to attend due to illness.
5:15 p.m. Met with Bob Scruggs, Congressional Fellow for Rep. Tom Udall (502 Cannon -- Phone 225-6190). Scruggs indicated that Rep. Udall would probably send a separate letter on the FY 2000 appropriations, and would consider co-sponsorship of the authorizing bill.
Friday, April 23
Although a full day of meetings had been scheduled to take place on this day, we ended up with no meetings this date on account of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This celebration resulted in a day off work for most of Capitol Hill and the Capitol on account of a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda and the closing of streets and buildings for security reasons. All meetings were rescheduled for Monday and Tuesday. Fortunately, Committee staff were willing to meet with their counterparts in the other chamber and we were thus able to hold all planned meetings within the remaining available time.
Monday, April 26
9:00 a.m. Met with Jim Ogsbury, Majority Prof. Staff Member (225-3421) and Jim Sherman of the House Energy & Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee and Dave Gwaltney, Majority Prof. Staff Member (224-0332) and Greg Daines, Minority Clerk (224-0335), Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee. The meeting was held in 2362B Rayburn House Office Building.
10:15 a.m. Met with Norman Starler of the Water and Power Management Branch of the Office of Management and Budget. The meeting was held in Room 8002 of the New Executive Office Building, 1725 17th Street, NW (Phone 202-395-4590, fax: 395-4817). We were scheduled to meet with Rick Mertins, Chief of the Water and Power Management Branch of OMB but he was called away to a meeting on Capitol Hill.
11:15 a.m. Met with Charlie Scott, Chief of the Recovery and Delisting Branch of the Division of Endangered Species with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and with Christine Eustis, Legislative Specialist with the Congressional and Legislative Affairs Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The meeting was held in Room 3241 of the Main Interior Building. (3rd Floor, Main Interior Building, 1849 C Street, NW).
1:00 p.m. Wayne Cook and Kathleen Clarke participated in a panel discussion at the Western Water Caucus Federal Water Issues Briefing meeting sponsored by the Family Farm Alliance. Wayne Cook made a 20-minute presentation concerning the Recovery Program and the proposed authorization legislation. Shields and Pitts attended the meeting. The meeting was held in Room HC-6 of the U.S. Capitol. Those in attendance (about 25) included legislative staff for western states, including Seth Voyles of Senator Campbell's staff. The FFA had printed a well-done two-sided document concerning our Program and the proposed authorization legislation that is very favorable.
2:00 p.m. Met with Liz Megginson, Counsel, House Resources Committee (1324 Longworth 225-7800) and Harry Borroughs, Majority Staff Member, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans of the House Resources Committee (805 O'Neill, 226-0200). The meeting was held in 1324 Longworth.
3:00 p.m. Met with Loretta Beaumont, Prof. Majority Staff, House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee (B308 Rayburn, 225-3081) and Kurt Dodd, Minority Staff, Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, (123 Hart, 224-5271). The meeting was held in Room 308 Rayburn House Office Building. Copies of the briefing materials were left with those attending to be passed along to Del Davis, Prof. Minority Staff, House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee and to Ann McInerney, Prof. Staff Member of the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee.
4:00 p.m. Met with Alan Freemyer to discuss legislative strategy and the process of getting the bill introduced. Those attending were: Stan Sloss (Udall), Bob Scruggs (Udall), Rose (Wilson), Garrity (Cook), Knoedler (Tancredo). Freemyer stated that we need to get the bill introduced within the next couple of weeks and he would appreciate any comments or corrections to the bill being provided to him as soon as conveniently could be done. These comments will be incorporated into a redraft of the bill that will be worked through the House Legislative Counsel's office. Freemyer noted that he had received the e-mail from Shields providing the comments, ideas and suggestions made by Valerie West of Senator Gordon Smith's office (West was previously with the House Resources Committee staff).
5:00 p.m. Met with Colleen Deegan, Majority Counsel Senate Water & Power Subcommittee of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee (308 Dirksen, 225-2564). The meeting was held in the Committee's hearing room. She stated that it would be helpful to receive copies of letters, resolutions, etc. in support of the enactment of the authorization legislation. We provided an extra set of briefing materials and the letters and other materials that we had been distributing for Colleen to provide to David Brooks, the Minority Counsel for the Subcommittee.
Tuesday, April 27
9:00 p.m. Met with Rich Bechtel, Western Governors' Association; Gary Taylor, International Assoc. of Fish and Wildlife Agencies; and Shelby Darby of the American Sportfisheries Association. The meeting was held in Suite 388 in the Hall of States, 400 North Capitol Street, N.W (Bechtel's phone: 624-5402; Taylor's phone: 624-7890).
10:00 a.m. Met with Josh Johnson, Majority Staff Member (1522 Longworth, 225-8331), and Steve Lanich, Minority Prof. Staff Member (H1-509 OHOB, 226-2311) of the Water and Power Subcommittee of the House Resources Committee. Bob Faber, Republican Staff Director and Counsel for the Subcommittee attended a few minutes of the meeting. Johnson expressed gratitude for Wayne Cook providing an explicit explanation of the present and contemplated use of CRSP power revenues by the Program at present and as contemplated in the authorization legislation. The meeting was held in 1522 Longworth House Office Building.
11:30 a.m. Met with Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Patty Beneke, Bill Burleigh (Regional Liaison Officer, UCR), Paul Quinn and Jack Garner. The meeting was held in Room 6641 6th Floor Water and Science Conference Room, Main Interior Building, 1849 C Street, NW. Asst. Secretary Beneke was particularly focused on the amount of cost-sharing being provided and how the amounts had been determined. Tom Pitts pointed out that in the early years Reclamation money would be needed up-front, as all of the cost-sharing money would not be immediately available from the States. She said there is precedent for this. Pitts requested her help on this matter.
2:00 p.m. At about 2:30 p.m. we sat down briefly with Doug Benevento of Senator Allard's staff to discuss legislative strategy, next steps relative to getting the bill in form (coordinating with Freemyer to work with the redraft that will be prepared by the House Legislative Counsel's office) and other related matters. The meeting was held in 513 Hart Senate Office Building.