Johanns, Fischer question federal land acquisitions and habitat construction
U.S. Sens. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today wrote to the Army Corps of Engineers and Fish and Wildlife Service pressing for answers about private land acquisitions and habitat construction along the Missouri River in Northeast Nebraska. The letter questions the federal government’s strategy to preserve fish and wildlife along the river in light of a scientific report suggesting that the habitat construction projects are not effective and concerns raised by citizens about the projects’ impacts to private property. Taxpayers have already spent millions of dollars on these projects, and the Army Corps is planning to spend millions more, with little or no evidence of effectiveness.
“We do not believe that the costs and scale of federal acquisitions along the Missouri River can be justified when the scientific evidence of their efficacy in preserving these species seems to be hypothetical,” the Senators wrote. “We urge you to cease burning through taxpayer dollars acquiring land and constructing habitat until evidence demonstrates that these projects are actually effective in species restoration.”
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The annual University of Nebraska-Lincoln High Plains Ag Lab Research Update and Advisory Board Meeting is scheduled for Feb. 9 at the Western Nebraska Community College campus in Sidney.