September 15, 2004

Senate Passes Smith-Wyden Wallowa Dam Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, the Senate passed the Wallowa Lake Dam Rehabilitation and Water Management Act introduced by Senators Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden. The Senate passed similar legislation, also sponsored by Smith and Wyden, in 2002.The projects authorized by this bill represent a positive approach to resolving the water issues facing the Wallowa River Basin, said Smith. The hard work put into these projects by federal, state, and local interests is one step closer to being rewarded."The Senate has done the right thing by listening to folks in eastern Oregon and approving this home-grown, creative solution to water management," said Wyden. "Its my hope to see this bill move to the Presidents desk so rehabilitation work can start at Wallowa Dam."The act would authorize the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Commissioner of Reclamation, to participate in, and provide funding for, the rehabilitation of the Wallowa Lake Dam and the Wallowa Valley Water Management Plan. Local entities have developed these two projects with the participation of numerous state and federal agencies and the support of local tribal leaders.