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Congressman Defends Arkansas Fish Hatcheries

16 September 2013

US - Congressman Rick Crawford has issued a statement after leading on a letter cosigned by the entire Arkansas delegation, as well as colleagues from Tennessee and Georgia, to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell defending mitigation hatchery facilities across the country.

There are two mitigation hatchery facilities in Arkansas’ First District, at Norfork and Greers Ferry, which provide a combined $150 million in annual economic output and 1,600 jobs for the region.

The letter asks the Secretary to delay the implementation and provide a lengthy open review period of a US Fish & Wildlife Service reorganization study that places funding for mitigation hatcheries across the country in jeopardy.

"The federal government has a clear responsibility to replace the sporting fish that its dams have removed from our rivers and streams – an important mission that mitigation hatcheries at Norfork and Greers Ferry carry out. These facilities return almost a dollar for every penny spent and directly provide hundreds of jobs for Arkansans, while keeping our state one of the best places in the country for sportsmen to fish and enjoy The Natural State.

“I am deeply concerned with the emergence of this US Fish & Wildlife reorganization study that funding for these critical facilities may be threatened. My colleagues and I have asked the Secretary to ensure that Congress and the general public is consulted before the implementation of any such plan by allowing at least a 60-day delay to allow for Congress, states, communities, businesses and everyday citizens to review and provide comments and recommendations. I look forward to the Secretary’s speedy response to my letter and will continue fighting to save Arkansas’ mitigation hatchery facilities.”

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