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106th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2d Session 106-713
CAHABA RIVER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE ESTABLISHMENT ACT
July 10, 2000.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 4286]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill
(H.R. 4286) to provide for the establishment of the Cahaba
River National Wildlife Refuge in Bibb County, Alabama, having
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
The amendment is as follows:
Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu
thereof the following:
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
The Congress finds the following:
(1) The Cahaba River in Alabama is recognized nationally for
its unique biological diversity which includes providing
habitat for 131 species of fish (more than any other river its
size in North America).
(2) The Cahaba River is home to 64 rare and imperiled species
of aquatic plants and animals, including fishes, freshwater
turtles, mussels, and snails.
(3) The Cahaba River is home to 12 species of fish, mussels,
and snails listed as endangered or threatened species.
(4) The Cahaba River is home to 6 terrestrial species of
plants and animals listed as endangered or threatened species.
(5) The Cahaba River harbors the largest population in the
world of the imperiled shoals lily, known locally as the Cahaba
(6) The Cahaba River watershed contains extremely rare plant
communities that are home to 8 species of plants previously
unknown to science and a total of 69 rare and imperiled species
(7) The Cahaba River is home to at least a dozen endemic
aquatic animals that are found nowhere else in the world.
(8) The Cahaba River is the longest remaining free-flowing
river in Alabama, flowing through 5 counties in central
(9) The Cahaba River is recognized as an Outstanding Alabama
Water by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.
(10) The Cahaba River has high recreational value for
hunters, anglers, birdwatchers, canoeists, nature
photographers, and others.
(11) The Cahaba River Watershed supports large populations of
certain game species, including deer, turkey, and various
species of ducks.
(12) The Cahaba River area is deserving of inclusion in the
National Wildlife Refuge System.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) Refuge.--The term ``Refuge'' means the Cahaba River
National Wildlife Refuge established by section 4(a).
(2) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of
SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF REFUGE.
(1) In general.--There is established in Bibb County,
Alabama, the Cahaba National Wildlife Refuge, consisting of
approximately 3,500 acres of Federal lands and waters, and
interests in lands and waters, within the boundaries depicted
upon the map entitled ``Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge-
Proposed'', dated April 10, 2000.
(2) Boundary revisions.--The Secretary may make such minor
revisions of the boundaries of the Refuge as may be appropriate
to carry out the purposes of the Refuge or to facilitate the
acquisition of property within the Refuge.
(3) Availability of map.--The Secretary shall keep the map
referred to in paragraph (1) available for inspection in
appropriate offices of the United States Fish and Wildlife
(b) Effective Date.--The establishment of the Refuge under paragraph
(1) of subsection (a) shall take effect on the date the Secretary
publishes, in the Federal Register and publications of local
circulation in the vicinity of the area within the boundaries referred
to in that paragraph, a notice that sufficient property has been
acquired by the United States within those boundaries to constitute an
area that can be efficiently managed as a National Wildlife Refuge.
SEC. 5. ACQUISITION OF LANDS AND WATERS.
(a) In General.--The Secretary, subject to the availability of
appropriations, may acquire up to 3,500 acres of lands and waters, or
interests therein, within the boundaries of the Refuge described in
(b) Inclusion in Refuge.--Any lands, waters, or interests acquired by
the Secretary under this section shall be part of the Refuge.
SEC. 6. ADMINISTRATION.
In administering the Refuge, the Secretary shall--
(1) conserve, enhance, and restore the native aquatic and
terrestrial community characteristics of the Cahaba River
(including associated fish, wildlife, and plant species);
(2) conserve, enhance, and restore habitat to maintain and
assist in the recovery of animals and plants that are listed
under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1331 et
(3) in providing opportunities for compatible fish- and
wildlife-oriented recreation, ensure that hunting, fishing,
wildlife observation and photography, and environmental
education and interpretation are the priority general public
uses of the Refuge, in accordance with section 4(a)(3) and (4)
of the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of
1966 (16 U.S.C. 668ee(a)(3), (4)); and
(4) encourage the use of volunteers and to facilitate
partnerships among the United States Fish and Wildlife Service,
local communities, conservation organizations, and other non-
Federal entities to promote public awareness of the resources
of the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge and the National
Wildlife Refuge System and public participation in the
conservation of those resources.
SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary--
(1) such funds as may be necessary for the acquisition of
lands and waters within the boundaries of the Refuge; and
(2) such funds as may be necessary for the development,
operation, and maintenance of the Refuge.
PURPOSE OF THE BILL
The purpose of H.R. 4286 is to provide for the
establishment of the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge in
Bibb County, Alabama.
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION
The Cahaba River watershed is located between the cities of
Birmingham and Tuscaloosa in Alabama. It affects five counties
in central Alabama including Bibb, Dallas, Jefferson, Perry and
Shelby. The Cahaba is the longest free-flowing river in Alabama
and it may have the greatest concentration of fish biodiversity
per mile for any river in the United States. The Cahaba River,
which has no dams in its final 151 miles south of Birmingham,
is one of the few rivers that has sustained much of its plant
and aquatic life.
This watershed provides essential habitat for 69 rare and
imperiled species and 131 species of fish, which is more than
any river of its size in North America. There are 13 species
found nowhere else in the world but the Cahaba River. Of these,
11 are snails and two are fish, including the endangered Cahaba
Shiner. Furthermore, there are 32 aquatic animal and plant
species that are protected under the Endangered Species Act.
Those listed species include 17 mussels, 10 fish, two turtles,
two plants and one snail. Specifically, the Alabama Sturgeon,
the Tulotoma Snail and the Aster Georgiannus are federally
Within the 1,870 square mile watershed, there are 12 major
tributaries and more species of fresh water fish that are found
in the entire state of California. This region also supports
healthy populations of certain game species such as white-
tailed deer, wild turkeys and wood ducks. Bald eagles, ospreys
and many species of neotropical migratory songbirds are
frequently seen along the river, and the adjacent woodland
tracts provides essentially nesting habitat for these birds.
H.R. 4286 will establish the Cahaba River National Wildlife
Refuge. Under the terms of the legislation, the Secretary of
the Interior shall administer the refuge to: conserve, enhance
and restore the native aquatic and terrestrial community
characteristics of the Cahaba River; conserve, enhance and
restore habitat to maintain and assist in the recovery of
animals and plants listed under the Endangered Species Act of
1973; provide opportunities for compatible fish and wildlife
oriented recreation that ensures that hunting, fishing,
wildlife observation and photography and environmental
education and interpretation are the priority general public
users of the refuge; and encourage the use of volunteers and
partnerships to promote the public awareness of the Cahaba
River National Wildlife Refuge.
The bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to acquire,
by purchase or donation, property that will form the basis of
the proposed Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge. Prior to
the introduction of the bill, an agreement was reached between
the Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Alliance Coosa Pines, private
property owners, county, state and federal officials that only
those landowners who were willing to sell their property were
to be included within the geographical boundaries of the
proposed refuge. The bill authorizes such sums as are necessary
to acquire the appropriate land and water, and for the
development, operation and maintenance of the refuge.
H.R. 4286 was introduced on April 13, 2000, by Congressman
Spencer Bachus (R-AL). The bill was referred to the Committee
on Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on
Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans.
On June 20, 2000, the Subcommittee held a hearing on H.R.
4286. On June 20, 2000, after the hearing, the Subcommittee met
to mark up the bill. Subcommittee Chairman Jim Saxton (R-NJ)
offered an amendment in the nature of a substitute that made a
number of technical and clarifying changes. The amendment was
adopted by voice vote. The bill, as amended, was reported
favorably to the full Resource Committee by voice vote.
On June 28, 2000, the full Resource Committee met to
consider the bill. No further amendments were offered and the
bill as amended was then ordered favorably reported to the
House of Representative by voice vote.
COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations
are reflected in the body of this report.
CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT
Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.
COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII
1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B)
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2)
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in
revenues or tax expenditures.
3. Government Reform Oversight Findings. Under clause
3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives, the Committee has received no report of
oversight findings and recommendations from the Committee on
Government Reform on this bill.
4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, July 6, 2000.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4286, the Cahaba
River National Wildlife Refuge Establishment Act.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
Barry B. Anderson
(For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
H.R. 4286--Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge Establishment Act
H.R. 4286 would establish the Cahaba River National
Wildlife Refuge in Alabama, effective on the date that the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determines that it has
acquired enough land within the proposed refuge boundary to be
managed efficiently. The bill would authorize the agency to
acquire land, water, and related interests within the proposed
3,500-acre refuge. In addition to managing this acreage, the
agency would restore native species and habitat and provide
opportunities for recreational uses such as hunting and
fishing. For the purposes of acquiring, developing, and
operating the refuge, the bill would authorize the
appropriation of whatever sums are necessary.
Assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, and based
on information provided by the USFWS, CBO estimates that it
would cost about $7 million over the next three or four years
to acquire and restore all of the acreage for the new refuge.
After the refuge has been established, we estimate that the
agency would spend about $600,000 annually to operate it and to
make payments to local governments under the Refuge Revenue
Sharing Act, assuming availability of the necessary amounts.
H.R. 4286 would not affect direct spending or receipts;
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply. The bill
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as
defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would have no
significant impact on the budgets of state, local, or tribal
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis.
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4
This bill contains no unfunded mandates.
PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL, OR TRIBAL LAW
This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local, or
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing