The Corps and the Cumberland . . . an Update

For those who have been following the sage of the Corps of Engineers’ effort to restrict boating access below its 10 dams on the Cumberland River system in Kentucky and Tennessee and what has become a massive effort to halt the Corps at the grass root, state and Congressional level . . . an update:

This morning (May 17) the senate passed by unanimous voice vote a two-year moratorium (Senate Bill 987) introduced by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that would halt the Corps plan to keep anglers from some of the most productive fishing waters on the river. I have a report on this at http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/field-notes/2013/05/special-report-cumberland-river-boating-restrictions-halted-2-years and at http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20130515/SPORTS09/305150140/Mitch-McConnell-aims-halt-Corps-dam-fishing-ban?nclick_check=1.

This came in the wake of Senate passage of the Water Resources Development Act (Senate Bill 601), which contains wording from the Freedom to Fish Act that will permanently prevent around-the-clock restriction of tailwater access.

The moratorium passed today now goes to the House, where quick action is expected next week, according to Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) Whitfield spearheaded Congressional action to stop the Corps when he introduced the Freedom to Fish Act in February.

“I thank Senators  (Mitch) McConnell, (Rand) Paul and (Lamar) Alexander for their work getting this legislation passed in the Senate,” Whitfield said through a statement released by his office. “I will work to get the temporary delay bill passed in the House of Representatives next week. This is great news for boating and fishing enthusiasts in Kentucky.”

I’m glad Congress is moving on this but wouldn’t a bit of compromise by Corps paved the way to an easier and more simple solution?

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