Congressman Jason Smith: Blueways Designation Rescinded
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Congressman Jason Smith announced the Department of the Interior has rescinded the National Blueways Designation for the White River watershed in Missouri and Arkansas. The decision was made after citizens in Missouri and Arkansas voiced opposition, and, after lawmakers like Smith pressured the Interior Department to rescind the designation.
In a June 13, 2013 letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Smith expressed concern over the lack of local input for the Blueways Designation and asked for Secretarial Order 3321, that designated the National Blueways System in the White River watershed, be rescinded.
“The National Blueways System is gone from Missouri and I will fight to ensure it does not return. This is an incredible victory for my constituents who were rightly concerned the designation would lead to new regulations and land grabs in the future,” said Smith. “Fighting the National Blueways designation was a top priority of mine once I was sworn into Congress, and I could not be happier that common sense prevailed and local concerns outweighed mandates from Washington bureaucrats. Moving forward I will continue efforts to protect the rights of private property owners and be a check on the Obama Interior Department that does not understand or appreciate rural Missouri.”
Although the National Blueways Designation has been rescinded, Smith says he will continue to push for congressional oversight to learn how the designation came to be and how future designations can be avoided.
“Congress must hold the Obama Interior Department’s feet to the fire. This Interior Department seems intent on dismissing local concerns and pushing a radical environmental agenda. In the coming days and weeks I will continuing asking Interior why the Blueways designation was imposed on my constituents and I will be working to take away the authority to do so in the future,” said Smith. “The families who have lived in the White River watershed for generations should not be forced to live in fear of the government trying to regulate their land or way of life. The rights of private property owners must be protected.”
Jason Smith represents Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. In the 113th Congress, Smith sits on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee. Smith resides in Salem, Missouri where he owns his family’s fourth-generation cattle farm.