CAHABA RIVER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE EXPANSION ACT -- (House of Representatives - July 24, 2006)
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Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I am pleased to support H.R. 4947, introduced by our colleague, Congressman SPENCER BACHUS, to expand the boundaries of the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge in Bibb County, Alabama. This refuge was legislatively created in 2000, and it has done a remarkable job of conserving 64 rare and imperiled species and 131 species of fish. The Cahaba River is the longest free-flowing river in the State, and it may have the greatest fish biodiversity per mile of any river in the United States.
Under Congressman SPENCER BACHUS's legislation, an additional 3,600 acres would become eligible for acquisition. This would help to maximize the benefits of this refuge and ensure that unique plants like the beautiful Cahaba lily and the more than 60 other rare species survive in the future.
Mr. Speaker, H.R. 4947 proposes a modest increase in the size of the Cahaba River Refuge. It is enthusiastically supported by the local communities and the two major land owners. U.S. Steel and Forest Investment Associates have indicated that they are interested in being willing sellers in this expansion effort.
I want to compliment Congressman SPENCER BACHUS for his tireless effort and effective leadership on behalf of the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge, which is a very special place in rural Alabama; and I would urge an ``aye'' vote on this legislation.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.