Recent Press Releases

Senator John Thune testified today before the Senate Energy Subcommittee on Water and Power concerning (S.2205) the "Blunt Reservoir and Pierre Canal Land Conveyance Act of 2006." This legislation would officially decommission the Blunt Reservoir and Pierre Canal features of the Oahe Irrigation Project that was planned by the federal government under the Flood Control Act of 1944. The 190,000 acre Oahe Irrigation Project in central South Dakota never happened and the proposed legislation would allow the original landowners the option to purchase the land they lost and would transfer some parcels of land for wildlife habitat to the State of South Dakota.

"There are a number of original landowners who would like their land back," said Thune. "It has been roughly 30 years since landowners either sold their land to the federal government or had it taken through condemnation. This bill I am sponsoring addresses the roughly 20,000 acres of land that are currently owned by the federal government and managed by the Bureau of Reclamation." Thune noted that this legislative solution is long overdue and it is time for Congress to provide a solution to all involved.

In addition to Senator Thune's comments, Darla Pollman Rogers, an attorney from Pierre also provided testimony. Ms. Pollman Rogers spoke on behalf of the landowners who have been impacted by the federal government's failed project and urged Congress to pass the "Blunt Reservoir and Pierre Canal Land Conveyance Act of 2006.