Forest Service Withdraws Proposed Water Rule

WATER CONSERVATIONThe U.S. Forest Service has officially withdrawn its proposed Groundwater Management Directive, an initiative highly criticized as an attempt by the federal government to control and regulate all bodies of water in the U.S. The directive would have caused major problems for farmers and ranchers, as it would have included ditches and other areas where water could accumulate temporarily. The Forest Service says their proposal did not adequately meet its needs. Representative Scott Tipton is praising the decision. He says, “this is a win for all private water rights users.” But he cautioned that “short of a legislative solution such as the Water Rights Protection Act to provide permanent protections, we will continue to see similar attempts by the Administration to exert control over private water rights.” That sentiment seems to be confirmed in the Forest Service’s Supplemental Information portion of their official withdrawal, which states that they “will engage in a public conversation to develop revised proposed directives.”

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