WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oregon Congressman Bob Smith, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, today announced that he has requested that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers extend the comment period on it's proposal to breach southern Oregon's Elk Creek Dam three months beyond the current November 17 deadline.
Smith, who has scheduled a hearing of the House of Representatives' Committee on Agriculture for this Thursday, November 13 in Medford, Oregon to consider the Corps' proposal, said the general public simply needed more time to study the $8 million plan, in a letter to the Corps' District Engineer, Colonel Robert Slusar.
"As you know, there is much controversy surrounding the Corps' plan to breach Elk Creek Dam. To address the many concerns of my constituents and those affected by such an action I have scheduled a hearing in Medford, Oregon on Thursday, November 13. It is my hope that this public airing of information and concerns will give affected parties in Oregon a chance to learn more about the Corps' plan to effectively dismantle a dam in which the federal government has already invested 108 million of their hard-earned tax dollars," Smith wrote Slusar.
"I believe the complexity of the question of whether or not to breach the dam necessitates that more time be allowed for my constituents and the local government agencies to consider for themselves whether the Corps' proposed action is the best alternative for Elk Creek Dam and the surrounding communities," Smith wrote.
The entire text of Smith's letter to Slusar follows this release.
Smith represents Oregon's Second Congressional District, which includes most of eastern, central, and southern Oregon - including Jackson County -- in the U.S. House of Representatives