1991 Scorecard Vote
The Niobrara River is recognized by scientists and conservationists alike as a nationally significant river; therefore, adding the Niobrara to the Wild and Scenic Rivers System is an issue of national importance.
The Niobrara Valley is referred to as "the biological crossroads of the nation." Here, typically western vegetation meets vegetation commonly found in the East. At the 100th Meridian, which cuts across the designated segment of the river, six separate types of habitat exist within a few miles of each other. This ecologically diverse area provides critical habitat for whooping cranes, terns, and piping plovers, as well as major wintering sites for bald eagles. Prior to designation, the Niobrara was carefully studied by government agencies at all levels, university scientists, and private conservation organizations; all were unified in their support for the protection of this valuable river.
The vote is on Representative Bill Barrett's (R NE-3) substitute amendment to eliminate the designation of the Niobrara River as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and instead require a three-year study for possible future designation of such segments of the river. These provisions would have delayed, and might have ultimately removed, protection for key areas of the river and would have seriously damaged the proposed river protection program.
The Barrett Amendment was rejected 109-293 on May 14, 1991. NO is the pro-environment vote.