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] ...


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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.

Pages: 1

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