Lake Cumberland Update: McConnell, Paul, Alexander, Rogers and Whitfield Meet with U.S. Fish and Wildlife; Urge Agency to Restore Lake Cumberland Water Levels
WASHINGTON, D.C. – At the request of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul, Daniel M. Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, met with Senators McConnell and Paul, Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Congressmen Hal Rogers (KY-05) and Ed Whitfield (KY-01) to discuss the water levels at Lake Cumberland. During the meeting in Senator McConnell’s leadership office, the members urged the agency to complete its study on the duskytail darter, a 2.5 inch minnow on the federal endangered species list, in a timely manner that would allow for restoring the pre-2007 water levels on which the local community relies.
“This is an issue of great importance to our state and we appreciate Dan Ashe coming to the Capitol today to hear our concerns regarding the water level of Lake Cumberland and its impact on the Kentucky economy and jobs,” the members said following the meeting. “The past seven years of reduced water levels have not only hurt small businesses that rely on tourism, but have also strained local governments as local towns have had to lower their water intake. We urge the U.S. Fish & Wildlife to move quickly and ensure the water levels of Lake Cumberland are raised adequately to support tourism prior to the peak season in 2014.”
Top L-R: Sen. McConnell, Director Ashe, Rep. Rogers, and Rep. Whitfield
Bottom L-R: Sen. Alexander, Sen. Paul, Sen. McConnell, and Director Ashe
Last Monday, Senators McConnell and Paul and Congressmen Rogers and Whitfield contacted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the issue. A copy of their letter is available HERE.