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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 
                               following

                              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 
Establishment Act''.

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 
        Lily.
          (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 
        of plants.
          (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 
        Alabama.
          (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 
        the Interior.

SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF REFUGE.

  (a) Establishment.--
          (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 
        Service.
  (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 
section 4(a)(1).
  (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 
        seq.);
          (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 
protected.
    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.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    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 
Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               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.
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

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 
governments.
    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 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.