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Public Statements

Omnibus Public Land Management Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SALAZAR. I would like to thank Chairman Rahall and Chairman GRIJALVA for all their hard work on this Omnibus Public Lands Management Act. The public lands package includes five bills critical to my district in western and southern Colorado, and we have been working on this ever since day one that I got here to Congress.

The Jackson Gulch project supplies water to the town of Mancos, the Mancos Water Conservancy District, the Mancos Rural Water Company, and it is the sole supplier of municipal water for Mesa Verde National Park. The project provides irrigation water for over 13,000 areas.

The Baca Wildlife Refuge Management Act will amend the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preservation Act of 2000 to explain the purpose and provide for the administration of the Baca National Wildlife Refuge.

This legislation defines the purpose of the refuge ``to restore, enhance, and maintain wetlands, upland, riparian and other habitats for native wildlife, plant and fish species in the San Luis Valley.''

The Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area will designate a national heritage area in Conejos, Costilla and Alamosa Counties. It will bring deserved attention to the rich culture, heritage and landscape of the San Luis Valley.

The Arkansas Valley Conduit will establish a 65 percent Federal cost share for the construction of the conduit, a proposed 130-mile water delivery system from Pueblo Dam to communities throughout the Arkansas River Valley. Generations of people in southeast Colorado have waited long enough for clean and safe drinking water.

The Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area will conserve water and land resources in approximately 210,000 acres of federally owned land on the Uncompahgre Plateau in lands in Montrose, Delta and Mesa Counties.

Mr. Speaker, this is actually one of the proudest days of my legislative career. I worked side by side with my younger brother, the now Secretary of the Interior, when he was in the Senate, Ken Salazar, for the past 4 years to make these efforts a reality. This will help protect Colorado's land, water, and natural beauty for generations to come. I want to thank the chairman once again and thank you, Mr. Speaker.


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