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Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
 

May 11, 2005

Press R e l e a s e

DAN KEPPEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Family Farm Alliance

followed by Interior Secretary Gail Norton press release


Former Family Farm Alliance President Limbaugh

In Line To Be Assistant Interior Secretary

Former Family Farm Alliance President Mark Limbaugh is about to get a big promotion within President Bushís administration. The President has announced his intention to nominate Limbaugh as Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Water and Science). Limbaugh is currently Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, an Interior Department agency.

"All of us in the Family Farm Alliance are tremendously proud and gratified to learn that Mark Limbaugh will now be serving Western water users in the highest levels of government," said Alliance Executive Director Dan Keppen from the organizationís offices in Klamath Falls, Oregon. "We know what an outstanding job he will do as Deputy Secretary because thatís what he has done with Reclamation and what he did in leading the Family Farm Alliance."

Alliance President Pat OíToole of Savery, Wyoming, said that Limbaughís pending nomination "is a great honor for our organization and Western water users. We are very pleased to have one of our own named to such a leadership position. Markís expertise in Western water issues and knowledge of irrigated agriculture will be a tremendous benefit to Interior. He has always taken a big-picture view of water needs and questions, and has always been willing to develop innovative and creative ideas and possible solutions. The Alliance is thrilled that the President has recognized Markís talent and abilities. It is a proud day for our organization."

With the Bureau, Limbaugh helped shape and promote Interior Secretary Gale Nortonís Water 2025 initiative, as well as revising and implementing agency policies to reflect principles of cooperation, consultation and communication.

"While in his current position at the Bureau of Reclamation, Mark has become an important member of the Interior team working on water issues," Norton said. "His collaborative style is consistent with my commitment to cooperative conservation in resolving tough natural resource issues. With Markís continued leadership, I have extreme confidence that Americans will continue to be well served by Interiorís work on both water and science issues."

Limbaugh became the Family Farm Allianceís President in March 2000 and served until joining the Bush administration in January 2002. During his tenure, the Alliance formulated its "New Vision for Federal Water Policy," a highly regarded set of recommendations that urged the federal government and water agencies and users to embrace innovative approaches to issues. During the Allianceís 2001 Annual Meeting, Limbaugh said the organizationís New Vision "mandates strong leadership and a spirit of mutual respect at the local, state, and federal levels. We must see solutions instead of problems and reject divisiveness for creativity, building on the successes of the past in addressing the realities of today."

Limbaugh is unique in Interior because his roots are those of a water user and water provider. For 13 years, he was an Idaho family farmer, managing an 800-acre ranch. He later became Watermaster of Idaho's Payette River and Executive Director of the Payette River Water Users Association, an organization active in protecting the region's water rights. As Watermaster, Limbaugh managed the delivery of natural flow and storage water from two U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reservoirs and one private reservoir system to more than 150,000 acres of irrigated farmland and several industrial and municipal water users. He has managed a water bank, accounting for the lease and rental of some 160,000 acre-feet of storage water annually to farms in the basin and for water deliveries downstream for salmon protected under the Endangered Species Act. He was involved in the design, financing, installation and implementation of automated computer technology used in delivering and managing Payette River water.

Limbaugh was co-founder and facilitator for the Payette River Watershed Council, a highly successful grassroots organization involved in building consensus among the many diverse water user interests in the Payette River basin. Limbaugh was involved in the Idaho Water Users Association and the United States Committee on Irrigation and Drainage. He has chaired the Lower Payette River TMDL Watershed Advisory Group. A native of southwestern Idaho, Limbaugh graduated from the University of Idaho in 1978 and earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting. He then joined the accounting firm of Deloitte and Touche in Boise as a certified public accountant.

The position of assistant secretary for water and science is currently vacant, with Tom Weimer filling the position on an acting basis. The vacancy was created by the resignation of Bennett Raley.

Limbaugh and his wife, Cindy, have four children and four grandchildren.

The Family Farm Alliance is a grassroots organization of irrigation farmers, ranchers, irrigation districts and related interests in the 17 Western states served by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. For the past 16 years, The Alliance has had but one mission: to ensure an adequate and reliable supply of water for irrigated agriculture in the West.

For more on about the Alliance, please visit www.familyfarmalliance.org

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Secretary Norton Praises Presidentís Intention to Nominate Mark A. Limbaugh as Assistant Secretary of the Interior

Office of the Secretary
 
       
WASHINGTON, D.C. Ė Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton today praised President Bush's intention to nominate Mark A. Limbaugh to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science.  The announcement is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate, once the official nomination is made by the President.

Limbaugh currently serves as Deputy Commissioner at the Bureau of Reclamation, a position he assumed in 2002.  In this role, Limbaugh has helped to shape and promote Nortonís Water 2025 initiative, as well as revise and implement agency policies to reflect the principles of cooperation, consultation and communication.

"While in his current position at the Bureau of Reclamation, Mark has become an important member of the Interior team working on water issues," Norton said.  "His collaborative style is consistent with my commitment to cooperative conservation in resolving tough natural resource issues.  With Markís continued leadership, I have extreme confidence that Americans will continue to be well served by Interiorís work on both water and science issues."

Limbaughís experience includes work as executive director of the Payette River Water Users Association and as watermaster of Water District 65, both in Payette, Idaho.  He has served as a board member of the U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, which fosters sustainable, socially acceptable and environmentally responsible irrigation, drainage, and flood control systems and practices for providing food, clothing, and shelter to the people of the United States and the World.

Additionally, he served as president and director of the Family Farm Alliance, a national, grass-roots water resources association representing water users in the West on national water issues.  Limbaugh also spent 13 years operating an 800-acre irrigated commercial family farm in Fruitland, Idaho.  He has also worked as a certified public accountant at Deloitte and Touche in Boise, Idaho.

Limbaugh received his bachelorís degree in accounting from the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, graduating cum laude.  Limbaugh and his wife, Cindy, have four children and four grandchildren.

The position of assistant secretary for water and science is currently vacant, with Tom Weimer filling the position on an acting basis.  The vacancy was created by the resignation of Bennett Raley.  President Bush last week announced his intention to nominate Weimer to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy, Management and Budget.

 

 

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