Cheyenne, WY – Governor Freudenthal Monday signed
a three-state agreement that helps guide the use of Platte River water while protecting endangered species.
Freudenthal says he signed the agreement reluctantly.
Wyoming was the last of the three states to sign the Platte River Cooperative Agreement. The governors of Nebraska and Colorado had signed earlier.
The plan is designed to help guide Platte River Basin entities in complying with the Endangered Species Act while retaining their access to federal water, land or funding. The goal is to improve
the river and protect habitat for native birds and fish.
Some irrigators along the river worry they will lose water for their crops as a result of the plan.
Under the agreement, some land will be set aside for wildlife habitat and the flow of water on the river would be manipulated to ensure adequate habitat.
Freudenthal noted that Wyoming could withdraw from the agreement if the other states and the federal government don't keep their promises.