Feds disband Trinity River project watchdog group

Times Standard –

A recent decision by President Donald Trump’s administration to effectively disband a watchdog group tasked with overseeing a multi-million dollar, publicly funded habitat restoration project for the Trinity River surprised and concerned group members, tribes and government agencies.

“We now have a very controversial $15 million a year program with virtually no public oversight whatsoever,” the group’s Chairman Tom Stokely said to the Times-Standard on Wednesday.

The Interior Department’s reasoning behind the group’s disbanding has also come under question.

Interior Department Press Secretary Heather Swift said the department’s decision to deactivate the Trinity River Adaptive Management Working Group was made because the group did not file paperwork justifying why it should continue operating. The group was one of several federal advisory bodies the Interior Department froze earlier this year to allow the department to assess their purpose.

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