(Washington, D.C.) Today, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Senator Maria Cantwell praised a new permitting agreement for people who own cabins on Bureau of Reclamation land around Conconully. Those people own the cabins, but not the land those cabins sit on.
“I am grateful the Bureau of Reclamation agreed to extend the leases from five years, as originally proposed, to now 20 years,” McMorris Rodgers said. “I’ve heard from a lot of cabin owners concerned about losing their leases. This agreement gives them the security they need to continue enjoying the area like they’ve done for generations.”
"I am pleased we were able to work with the Bureau of Reclamation and the community to reach a solution that works for the people of Conconully and Okanogan County," Senator Maria Cantwell said.
This agreement reverses an earlier proposal by the Bureau of Reclamation to end the permitting process altogether within 10-15 years. McMorris Rodgers sent a letter to the Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, Robert Johnson, asking him to hold a public meeting on the proposed rule changes. Representatives from McMorris Rodgers’ and Senator Maria Cantwell’s office attended the meeting where the Bureau of Reclamation determined there wasn’t a competing interest for the land, and revised its proposed changes to the leasing process.
While the Bureau of Reclamation will now offer 20 year leases, they will be subject to review every five years. The Bureau of Reclamation will also review the annual cost of permits, which in some cases may increase from $700 to $3375 annually.