WASHINGTON — Newly-elected Congressman John Curtis, who won the bid to replace Jason Chaffetz, introduced his first piece of legislation Tuesday.
Curtis’ bill, the Endangered Fish Recover Program Extensions Act of 2017, is a bipartisan bill intended to extend recovery programs for endangered fish species in the Upper Colorado and San Juan Rivers and ensure access to those water sources “for everything from irrigation to recreation,” a statement from Curtis’ office said.
The bill, first introduced identifies four fish species considered endangered: the pikeminnow, the humpback chub, the razorback sucker, and the bonytail.
“Simply put, while this bill continues to protect these fish, it is also vitally important to the economy of many of the rural parts of the 3rdCongressional District,” the statement said.
The legislation would extend the authorization to use upper Colorado River Basin Fund revenues for annual base funding of fish recovery programs through 2023. The current programs, which were last reauthorized in a bill sponsored by Rep. Bishop in 2012, are set to expire in 2019.
“The bill also requires the Interior Secretary to submit a report, in consultation with the participants in the Recovery Implementation Programs, to Congress describing the accomplishments and costs of the programs,” the statement said. “The bill will not add any additional burdens to taxpayers since the programs are entirely user funded.”