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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 1, 2002
Presidential Memo on Klamath River Basin Working Group
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE
THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
SUBJECT: Klamath River Basin Federal Working Group
The 2001 drought in the Klamath River Basin in Oregon and California, along with Federal legal requirements regarding water use, resulted in a scarcity of water available both for agricultural use and for maintenance of water levels necessary to sustain threatened and endangered fish populations in the Klamath River Basin. Last year, the reduction in water available for irrigation caused severe economic consequences in the Basin. Ensuring that the farming community has access to sufficient water supply while complying with Federal environmental laws and respecting Tribal trust obligations will involve complex economic and legal issues that call for the immediate attention of Cabinet-level officials and others. Accordingly, I direct as follows:
1. Establishment. There is hereby established the Klamath River Basin Federal Working Group, which shall consist of the following officers of the Federal Government or other such officers designated by them: the Secretary of the Interior, who shall serve as Chair; the Secretary of Agriculture; the Secretary of Commerce; and the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality. Any designee named by a member of the group shall be a full-time or permanent part-time officer or employee of the Federal Government. The Secretary of the Interior may invite the participation of other Federal officials as appropriate and shall preside at meetings of the Klamath River Basin Federal Working Group and shall direct its work.
2. Mission. The Klamath River Basin Federal Working Group shall advise the President on immediate steps and long-term solutions to enhance water quality and quantity and to address other complex issues in the Klamath River Basin. In formulating this advice, the Klamath River Basin Federal Working Group or its members are encouraged to seek input from stakeholders, including members of the farming and fishing communities; residents of the Basin; representatives of conservation, environmental, and water use organizations, and existing coordinating entities; the States of Oregon and California; local governments; and representatives of Klamath River Basin Tribal governments.
3. Funding. The Department of the Interior shall, to the extent permitted by law and consistent with the need for funding as determined by the Secretary of the Interior, make funds appropriated to the Department of the Interior available to support the administrative costs of the Klamath River Basin Federal Working Group.
4. Authority. Advice is requested from the Klamath River Basin Federal Working Group pursuant to the Opinions Clause of Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution and other applicable constitutional authorities of the President.
5. Termination. The Klamath River Basin Federal Working Group shall terminate 18 months from the date of this memorandum, or at my direction, whichever occurs earlier.
GEORGE W. BUSH
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