Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017

Battle brewing

Wash. lawmakers warned water fight will spur lawsuits

Washington lawmakers convene under the Capitol dome Jan. 9 for a session scheduled to end April 23. DON JENKINS

Capital Press

Capital Press

The Senate Agriculture and Water committee was cautioned by a tribal attorney and a Washington Department of Ecology official that reclaiming control of water policy from the state Supreme Court will probably lead to a court fight. The committee held the first of what likely will be many hearings this session on how to respond to high court rulings that have blocked Ecology from taking water from rivers and streams for new uses.

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20-year mining ban protects Southern Oregon

Statesman Journal

A long-running effort to block mining in the watersheds of several iconic rivers in Oregon scored a big win. A 20-year ban on new projects across 100,000 acres of the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains was signed by the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. The withdrawal has been pushed for years by groups and officials worried about potential threats to water quality.

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Bill would codify major Idaho water rights victory

Capital Press

A bill that codifies into Idaho law the results of a landmark water rights battle over who owns in-stream stock watering rights on federally administered land is expected to be introduced during the 2017 legislative session. Rep. Judy Boyle, a Republican rancher from Midvale who tried unsuccessfully to introduce the bill last year, said she will introduce a similar bill this year.

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