Idaho Will Enter Lawsuit On Water

Published online: Mar 08, 2004
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Holding true to its promise, the State of Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden filed a motion last week to intervene as defendants in American Rivers vs. NOAA Fisheries.

Governor Dirk Kempthorne and Wasden seek to intervene in the case in order to protect Idaho's sovereignty and control of Idaho's water. The case is pending in the U.S. District Court in Portland, OR.

"This suit challenges the adequacy of our state water law to afford voluntary contributions by willing buyers and willing sellers for salmon flow augmentation. Our interests in this regard must be rigorously defended," said Kempthorne.

Kempthorne added that the state's intervention will protect Idaho's citizens from unfounded allegations that water use in the Upper Snake River Basin in Idaho is contributing to the decline of salmon and steelhead," Wasden said.

"Idaho is a key partner in negotiating creative solutions to salmon and steelhead recovery. We will continute to support scientifically sound solutions, but we will fight any efforts to override state water law and impose unwise and ultimately futile flow augmentaton on Idaho water users."