GOP senators blast Army Corps for ‘burning through taxpayer dollars’

Sens. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) demanded that the administration justify the acquisition of private land along the Missouri River.

The senators sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers and Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday, saying there is “little or no evidence” that the habitat protection programs have worked. They said instead the programs steal private land and waste taxpayer dollars.

{mosads}“We do not believe that the costs and scale of federal acquisitions along the Missouri River can be justified when the scientific evidence of their efficacy in preserving these species seems to be hypothetical,” the senators wrote. “We urge you to cease burning through taxpayer dollars acquiring land and constructing habitat until evidence demonstrates that these projects are actually effective in species restoration.”

Under the Endangered Species Act, the administration can acquire land and construct protective habitats to save species. Several species of fish have been compromised along the river, which winds through Nebraska and several other states. 

The senators said independent reviews of efforts made by the administration haven’t shown a reverse in the decline of these fish populations.  

“The projects may not be contributing to species recovery,” the letter stated. “If that is the case, why is the Corps forging ahead with land purchases and habitat construction?”

The senators asked the agencies to provide evidence of the effectiveness of their projects by Nov. 1, and that land acquisitions halt in the meantime. 

Tags Deb Fischer Endangered Species Act Mike Johanns United States Army Corps of Engineers United States Fish and Wildlife Service

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