Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee Highlights Importance of Watershed Maintenance in Rural America

Dan Forestry, Industry News Release

The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry held a hearing to examine efforts to address small watershed infrastructure. Subcommittee Chairman Frank Lucas (OK-3) and members heard from two panels of witnesses who underscored the importance of technical and financial assistance to maintain these watershed structures.

“For nearly 70 years, rural communities have benefited from federal investments in watershed projects – preventing damage and destruction in communities across the country,” said Subcommittee Chairman Lucas. “But as these investments rapidly age so too does the protection and certainty they provide to the communities they serve. We must continue making modest investments in watersheds now so it pays off for all of rural America in the future. Thank you to our witnesses for highlighting the value of these programs, and I look forward to working together to address the current watershed project backlog.”

“In times of excess rain and flooding, communities across rural America depend on watershed structures to protect their homes and livelihoods,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway. “Watershed structures are vital to the communities they serve, and as we look to maintain and update our rural infrastructure, these projects are prime examples of investments that pay off in the long run. I thank Mr. Lucas for spearheading this effort and calling attention to this important issue.”

Written testimony provided by the witnesses from today’s hearing is linked below. Click here for more information, including Subcommittee Chairman Lucas’ opening statement and the archived webcast.

Witness List:
Panel I
Mr. Jimmy Bramblett, Deputy Chief, Programs, NRCS, USDA, Washington, DC

Panel II
Mr. Jimmy Emmons, President, Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, Leedey, OK

Mr. Kevin Burns, Wise County Commissioner, Decatur, TX

Mr. John Peterson, Director of Government Relations, Land Improvement Contractors of America, Burke, VA

Mr. John Finney, Chairman, Red River Management Board, Humboldt, MN