House approves bill to help threatened fish species

Measure meant to secure funding for upper Colorado, San Juan fish recovery programs

A measure that would extend efforts to recover four species of endangered fish in the Colorado River has passed the U.S. House.

The Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Improvement Act of 2010, H.R. 2288, is intended to authorize annual base funding for the upper Colorado and San Juan fish recovery programs through fiscal year 2023.

A Congressional Budget Office report estimated annual costs of the program will be about $3 million a year through 2015 and $3 million to $4 million a year from 2016 to 2023. The budget office based its estimates on reports from the Bureau of Reclamation and the Western Area Power Administration.

Passage of the bill “will help ensure that the vital restoration work these programs have started can be accomplished,” said the bill’s sponsor, U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo.

The program aimed at recovering the Colorado pikeminnow, humpback chub, bonytail and razorback sucker is scheduled for funding reduction in 2011.

The program was crafted to allow the continued development of Colorado River water and efforts to recover the species.

The bill now goes to the Senate.


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