US Forest Service Over Reaches it's Authority to Control Water Rights

The US Forest Service, an arm of the US Department of Agriculture has been attempting to control land and water in ways that over-reach legislative authority, this article explores the clear intent of the Forest Service to exert control over water in ways it is not authorized to do in spite of clear instruction from the Supreme Court to remain within the parameters of law. Systematic Efforts by the U.S. Forest Service to Take Control of Private Water Rights The article contains important links to FS documents, Task Force Studies, and Court Decisions, as well as attempts made by legislators to halt this abuse of authority. It is important that the individual private property owner, industry small and large, and others depending on water rights and uses pay attention to this and work with State Legislators. This abuse of power has harmed those with Ski Area Permits, and has affected Grazing and Mining Rights. The potential to secure control over adjacent Private Water Rights is real and obvious when reading the directive of the FS to manage groundwater resources as an integral component of watershed management. From the Federal Register: The Forest Service proposes to amend its internal Agency directives for Watershed and Air Management to establish direction for management of groundwater resources on National Forest System (NFS) lands as an integral component of watershed management. Specifically, the proposed amendment would provide direction on the consideration of groundwater resources in agency activities, approvals, and authorizations; encourage source water protection and water conservation; establish procedures for reviewing new proposals for groundwater withdrawals on NFS lands; require the evaluation of potential impacts from groundwater withdrawals on NFS resources; and provide for measurement and reporting for some larger groundwater withdrawals. This proposed amendment would supplement existing special uses and minerals and geology directives to address issues of groundwater resource management and would help ensure consistent and adequate analyses for evaluating potential uses of NFS lands that could affect groundwater resources. Public comment is invited and will be considered in development of the final directive. This proposed groundwater directive represents a change in the Forest Service's national policy on water management. The Forest Service wants to ensure that there is sufficient time for potentially affected parties, including States, to comment. Thus the Agency is providing an extended comment period for the proposed directive. In addition, the Forest Service will host a webinar on the proposed directive to present information and answer questions on the proposed policy and the comment process during the first half of the comment period. Additional meetings and/or webinars will be offered as needed. Specific information regarding the dates and times of the webinar will be announced by news release and at the following Web site: A recording of the webinar will also be posted on the Web site. Often Federal Agencies will propose rules and directives that require public comment, yet the public in general is not aware of these happenings. If it seems this directive has happened under the radar, the reader with concerns over water rights will certainly be interested in following the reactions of individuals and Western States that will certainly be impacted and harmed. Your support and action could save your rights, those of others, and ensure the prosperity and well being of citizens in your state.

August 18, 2014