U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife, applauded steps taken this week by the Interior Department to provide clarity for North Dakota landowners with Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) wetland easements. His remarks came during a floor speech today on reining in the bureaucracy.

“The Interior Department has begun issuing updated guidance to give our landowners clarity and a right to appeal overzealous bureaucrat action,” said Senator Cramer. “I appreciate the Secretary’s timely action and his emphasis on being a better neighbor, but this will only be successful if FWS employees follow the spirit of the Secretary’s actions to actually work with landowners versus ruling over them.”

In his remarks, Senator Cramer highlighted the bureaucratic overreach and abuse that led to these reforms. The Senator told the story of Mike Johansen, a landowner in North Dakota who – because of an unaccountable, unchecked bureaucracy – was forced into bankruptcy for merely defending himself in court against charges brought by federal bureaucrats over the management of his land.

The guidance issued this week follows the Director's Order FWS issued earlier this year. Both actions are the direct result of the landowners round table Senator Cramer convened with Interior Secretary Bernhardt and private property owners who have experienced FWS mismanagement and overreach of these wetland easements. Click here to learn more.