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On April 29 1999 the Fish and Wildlife service held a public comment meeting concerning the possible designation of Critical Habitat for the Rio Grande Silver Minnow Comments both written and oral were presented by both the environmental side and those in opposition Lt Governor Walter Bradley presented the State administrations position Other state agencies such as the Interstate Streams Commission the State Engineer Office and the Department of Game and Fish presented comments Delegations from the City of Albuquerque the City of Santa Fe the City of Socorro the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District as well as approximately thirty private citizens also voiced their opinions all with the exception of eight individuals concurred that it would be a serious error to designate Critical Habitat based on the misinformation presented by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and their contractors Expert testimony by attorneys hydrologists biologists economists water administrators and others in the field including many irrigators rebutted the pitifully inaccurate and unscientific foundation of the entire movement relative to the recovery of the Silvery Minnow It is obvious that the program of the Fish and Wildlife Service concocted by Ms Jennifer-Fowler Probst and Mr Jeff Whitney is likely not to benefit the minnow and will certainly devastate the economy of New Mexico Lt Governor Bradley State Representative Don Tripp the Interstate Streams Commission and the Mayor of Socorro Ravi Bhasker all pointed out that the USFWS has not complied with the NEPA law Norm Gaume of the Interstate Streams Commission reported that for the State of New Mexico to comply with the wishes of Ms Probst Mr Whitney and the USFWS all current water use in the Middle Rio Grande Valley would have to cease Not just irrigation but municipal deliveries as well Lee Brown economist from the University of New Mexico estimated that based of the current value of an acre-foot of water rights 4000 it would take
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