Crawford introduces Hatchery Funding Bill in Heber Springs

National Mitigation Fisheries Coordination Act of 2012 will provide certainty for the mitigation funding process

Congressman Rick Crawford spoke to a crowd at Angler’s Depot in Heber Springs on Friday about legislation he is introducing to provide a reliable source of funding for Greers Ferry National Mitigation Hatchery

On Friday, Congressman Rick Crawford was in Heber Springs to announce legislation that will provide a reliable source of funding for mitigation fish hatcheries operations. Crawford’s First Congressional District is home to the Greers Ferry National Mitigation Hatchery in Heber Springs and the Norfork Lake National Mitigation Hatchery in Mountain Home.

“The Norfork and Greer’s Ferry Hatcheries are a huge economic boom to our rural economy. For too long, the Hatcheries have been funded on a year-to-year basis without certainty of funding every 12 months,” said Crawford.

Crawford’s bill, H.R. 5931 The National Mitigation Fisheries Coordination Act of 2012, addresses the uncertainty in the annual appropriations process by bringing the current Federal Fishery Mitigation program more in line with the successful mitigation programs in the American West. By requiring the Water Development Agencies that cause the need for mitigation to fund that mitigation, the hatcheries, and the multi-year process needed to raise fish from eggs to a releasable size, the Heber Springs and Mountain Home communities will no longer suffer the yearly uncertainty that comes with unsteady funding.

“The citizens and small business owners who rely on the Hatcheries have long sought a steady funding source for mitigation. H.R. 5931, The National Mitigation Fisheries Coordination Act of 2012 will require the agencies that cause the need for mitigation to actually pay the annual mitigation costs. This is a common sense solution to what has been an ongoing headache for the Heber Springs and Mountain Home communities.

H.R. 5931, The National Mitigation Fisheries Coordination Act of 2012 has two basic elements:

  1. 1. A requirement that the Water Development Agencies causing the need for mitigation pay for the mitigation.
  2. 2. Requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to work with the Water Development Agencies to develop long-term agreements that will satisfy the commitments for mitigation the Water Development Agencies made to the states where Water Development Projects were built.

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