| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 3292 (rh) To provide for the establishment of the Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. [Reported in House] ...
H.R. 3292 (rh) To provide for the establishment of the Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. [Reported in House] ...
106th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 3292 _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES June 20, 2000 Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works _______________________________________________________________________ AN ACT To provide for the establishment of the Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge Establishment Act''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. The Congress finds that-- (1) as the southernmost unleveed portion of the Mississippi River, Cat Island, Louisiana, is one of the last remaining tracts in the lower Mississippi Valley that is still influenced by the natural dynamics of the river; (2) Cat Island supports one of the highest densities of virgin bald cypress trees in the entire Mississippi River Valley, including the Nation's champion cypress tree which is 17 feet wide and has a circumference of 53 feet; (3) Cat Island is important habitat for several declining species of forest songbirds and supports thousands of wintering waterfowl; (4) Cat Island supports high populations of deer, turkey, and furbearers, such as mink and bobcats; (5) conservation and enhancement of this area through inclusion in the National Wildlife Refuge System would help meet the habitat conservation goals of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan; (6) these forested wetlands represent one of the most valuable and productive wildlife habitat types in the United States, and have extremely high recreational value for hunters, anglers, birdwatchers, nature photographers, and others; and (7) the Cat Island area is deserving of inclusion in the National Wildlife Refuge System. SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. For purposes of this Act-- (1) the term ``Refuge'' means the Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge; and (2) the term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of the Interior. SEC. 4. PURPOSES. The purposes for which the Refuge is established and shall be managed are-- (1) to conserve, restore, and manage habitats as necessary to contribute to the migratory bird population goals and habitat objective as established through the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture; (2) to conserve, restore, and manage the significant aquatic resource values associated with the area's forested wetlands and to achieve the habitat objectives of the ``Mississippi River Aquatic Resources Management Plan''; (3) to conserve, enhance, and restore the historic native bottomland community characteristics of the lower Mississippi alluvial valley and its associated fish, wildlife, and plant species; (4) to conserve, enhance, and restore habitat to maintain and assist in the recovery of endangered, and threatened plants and animals; (5) to provide opportunities for priority public wildlife dependent uses for compatible hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife observation and photography, and environmental education and interpretation; and (6) to encourage the use of volunteers and 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 Refuge and the National Wildlife Refuge System and public participation in the conservation of those resources. SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF REFUGE. (a) Acquisition Boundary.--The Secretary is authorized to establish the Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge, consisting of approximately 36,500 acres of land and water, as depicted upon a map entitled ``Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge-Proposed'', dated February 8, 2000, and available for inspection in appropriate offices of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. (b) Boundary Revisions.--The Secretary may make such minor revisions of the boundary designated under this section as may be appropriate to carry out the purposes of the Refuge or to facilitate the acquisition of property within the Refuge. (c) Acquisition.--The Secretary is authorized to acquire the lands and waters, or interests therein, within the acquisition boundary described in subsection (a) of this section. (d) Establishment.--The Secretary shall establish the Refuge by publication of a notice to that effect in the Federal Register and publications of local circulation whenever sufficient property has been acquired to constitute an area that can be efficiently managed as a National Wildlife Refuge. SEC. 6. ADMINISTRATION. The Secretary shall administer all lands, waters, and interests therein acquired under this Act in accordance with the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act (16 U.S.C. 668dd et seq.). The Secretary may use such additional statutory authority as may be available for the conservation of fish and wildlife, and the provision of fish- and wildlife-oriented recreational opportunities as the Secretary considers appropriate to carry out the purposes of this Act. SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. There are authorized to be appropriated to the Department of the Interior-- (1) such funds as may be necessary for the acquisition of lands and waters designated in section 5(c); and (2) such funds as may be necessary for the development, operation, and maintenance of the Refuge. Passed the House of Representatives June 19, 2000. Attest: JEFF TRANDAHL, Clerk.
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