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Legislation & Policy Committee Meeting Summary April 26, 2019 Conference Call

  1. Call to Order—Chair Kirsten Wallace; UMRBA
  2. Introductions of Participants on the call:  Kirsten Wallace, UMRBA, Chair; Tom Littlepage, Alabama OWR; Katherine Zitsch, Atlanta Regional Comm.; Gail Melgren, Tri-State Water Resources. 
  3. Dept. of Interior Reorganization —
    1. State of Missouri received response—Letter will be distributed to the full committee
    1. Kirsten updated the committee with her latest understanding of the status of the reorg:

We’re now learning that USFWS and USGS in Iowa and Missouri will need to report to the South Atlantic-Gulf Region located in Atlanta, Georgia.  And, there will be one regional director for the new Great Lakes and Missouri River Regions (Mid Continent Region), Scott Morlock.  Holly Weyers will be the regional director for the Mississippi Basin, South Atlantic-Gulf, and Arkansas-Rio Grande-Texas-Gulf.  The reason is that USGS had seven regions pre-reorg and now would have 11 regions and elected not to hire additional executive positions.  Questions also remain about whether and how DOI will actually unify its agencies – will there be a new bureaucratic DOI layer or intra-regional agreements among the agencies – and coordinate across regions.

  • USGS Streamgaging Support multi-signature letter
    • 50 Organizations signed on
    • Final letter delivered to House and Senate Interior Approps Sub-Committee during Roundtable
  • Priorities for Washington DC Roundtable—Debrief on Presentations at RT
  • Other items for the Committee’s consideration
    • Discussion on getting priorities/topics feedback from full ICWP membership—A potential survey was discussed and will be added to the agenda for the next call to discuss timing and best way to get feedback from the ICWP state and interstate members. 
  • Set next call or webinar—May 31—9 a.m. Central