Crowell & Moring's Michael Bogert Testified Before Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
WASHINGTON, March 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Crowell & Moring LLP senior counsel Michael Bogert testified today before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. The Committee conducted an oversight hearing on, "Indian Water Rights: Promoting the Negotiation and Implementation of Water Settlements in Indian Country." The Committee called the hearing to receive testimony from administrative officials, tribal and state organizations, and academics regarding the benefits of settling Indian water rights claims.
During the testimony Bogert, the former counselor to U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, addressed issues including, the importance of water settlements and what is at stake in negotiations over Indian water rights; the benefits of collaboration and negotiation in crafting these settlements; and thoughts on improving the process of reaching agreements and securing Congressional approval of Indian water rights settlements.
According to Bogert, "The issues in Indian water settlements are too complex to be resolved by any other process than negotiation. It is essential that the process itself, and resulting Indian water rights settlements, be supported on Capitol Hill."
Bogert held the position of counselor to DOI's Secretary Dirk Kempthorne for two and a half years following his appointment by President George W. Bush on July 10, 2006. He is also the former Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 10 office in Seattle, a position he was appointed to by President Bush in 2005. As Counselor to the Secretary under Dirk Kempthorne, he advised the Secretary on various policy issues in the areas of endangered species and served as the Secretary's lead policy negotiator on Tribal water rights settlements, including the landmark Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, among others. He also worked as Counsel to the Office of Governor-Elect Arnold Schwarzenegger of California (2003), and was Chief Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary to Governor Pete Wilson of California (1995-1998). As an attorney in Crowell & Moring's Environment & Natural Resources Group, Bogert provides counseling, regulatory, and legislative representation for clients on issues arising under the Endangered Species Act, Superfund, and other Federal environmental law.
Additional testimonies were heard from: David Hayes, deputy secretary of U.S. Department of Interior; Mike Connor, commissioner of U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation; Del Laverdure, principal deputy assistant-secretary-Indian Affairs of U.S. Department of Interior; John Echohawk, executive director of the Native American Rights Fund; Maria O'Brien, chair of the Western States Water Council Legal Committee; and Judith Royster, professor and chapman chair in law and co-director of the Native American Law Center, University of Tulsa College of Law.
Bogert's testimony is available online here: http://www.crowell.com/files/Bogert-Testimony-March-15-2012.pdf.
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