Marshall, Moran, Estes & Mann Respond to Agreement to Resolve Water Needs in Rattlesnake Creek Watershed

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), along with U.S. Representatives Ron Estes (KS-04) and Tracey Mann (KS-01), responded to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS)  new agreement to resolve the water needs in Rattlesnake Creek Watershed.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to conditionally pause its request to secure its senior water right in 2024 and calls on the Kansas Department of Agriculture-Division of Water Resources and local stakeholders to find a practicable and permanent solution to the current impairment.

“As a property owner along Rattlesnake Creek for three decades, protecting our local agricultural communities and the environment is something I take very seriously. Our farmers are already dealing with drought conditions and would be substantially impacted by a curtailment in water allocations,” Sen. Marshall said. “We applaud our federal partners for agreeing to continue to work together to implement conservation practices and avoid a call for water. This is a win for our producers and the communities in Stafford and surrounding counties.” 

“I appreciate the effort from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to listen to Kansans and hear their concerns with the Rattlesnake Creek Watershed,” Sen. Moran said. “It is important we establish long-term solutions that support the refuge and the regional economy, and I am pleased that all parties are working together towards a sustainable future for the watershed and our Kansas producers.”

“Families, small businesses and communities in rural Kansas depend on the reliable source of water that comes from the Rattlesnake Creek Watershed,” Rep. Estes said. “The Biden administration and D.C. bureaucrats have threatened to upend the livelihood of Kansans who rely on the water from Rattlesnake Creek for themselves and for ag production that feeds and fuels the world. While I’m pleased that the Fish and Wildlife Service has paused its water rights grab, it’s imperative that FWS works collaboratively and in good faith with Kansas stakeholders to develop a long-term solution that ensures our residents have access to water for years to come.”

“When it comes to decisions regarding water rights and regulation, landowners and local stakeholders know best,” Rep. Mann said. “I am glad to see that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has acknowledged that. This decision recognizes the importance of locally led, long-term solutions that won’t hamstring our agricultural producers and local economies. We need stakeholder consent and voluntary action, not big government.”