Washington D-C – The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today approved a bill designating 387 miles of the Snake
River as "wild and scenic."
The "wild and scenic" designation affords protection to parts
of the river and its immediate environment.
Idaho Sen. Larry Craig says the bill raises concern that the
flow of the river would be affected once it gets to his state.
Committee members defeated two Craig amendments intended to
ensure that Idaho water rights are protected after the designation.
The Idaho Republican says the river, quote, "starts in Wyoming,
but its water belongs to Idaho and is Idaho's most significant
Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso says the legislation would
not affect water rights at any part of the river.
He says the rivers generate millions of dollars annually for the
state of Wyoming and contribute to local economies.
The bill is now pending consideration by the full Senate.