Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2012


Great Plains Research, Volume 22, Number 2, Fall 2012, pp 209-210


C 2012 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


David M. Freeman has written a landmark treatise on a landmark event-the development of the Platte River Habitat Recovery Program. The program's goal. is to integrate provisions of the Endangered Species Act and the· habitat needs of four imperiled species (interior least tern, piping plover, whooping crane, and pallid sturgeon) into river basin-wide water management policy. The process was formally initiated 209 in 1997 with the signing of a cooperative agreement between the states of Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming and the U.S. Department of the Interior, but discussions had been under way since the 1970s. The process was completed in 2006 when the program agreement was signed by the governors of the three states and the U.S. secretary of the interior and is now nearly halfway through the first l3-year implementation increment. In addition to the signatories to the agreement, critical participants in program negotiations included state and federal agencies (e.g., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, and Nebraska's Natural Resources Districts), environmental groups (e.g., Platte River Whooping Crane Maintenance Trust, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation), irrigation organizations (e.g., Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District), electric power generating companies (e.g., Nebraska Public Power District), and municipal water providers (e.g., Denver Board of Water Commissioners).