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106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     106-809

======================================================================



 
                 RED RIVER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE ACT

                                _______
                                

 September 6, 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. 4318]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 4318) to establish the Red River National Wildlife 
Refuge, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommends that the bill as amended do 
pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Red River National Wildlife 
Refuge Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  The Congress finds the following:
          (1) The area of Louisiana known as the Red River 
        Valley, located along the Red River Waterway in Caddo, 
        Bossier, Red River, Natchitoches, and DeSoto Parishes, 
        is of critical importance to over 350 species of birds 
        (including migratory and resident waterfowl, shore 
        birds, and neotropical migratory birds), aquatic life, 
        and a wide array of other species associated with river 
        basin ecosystems.
          (2) The bottomland hardwood forests of the Red River 
        Valley have been almost totally cleared. Reforestation 
        and restoration of native habitat will benefit a host 
        of species.
          (3) The Red River Valley is part of a major 
        continental migration corridor for migratory birds 
        funneling through the mid continent from as far north 
        as the Arctic Circle and as far south as South America.

          (4) There are no significant public sanctuaries for 
        over 300 river miles on this important migration 
        corridor, and no significant Federal, State, or private 
        wildlife sanctuaries along the Red River north of 
        Alexandria, Louisiana.
          (5) Completion of the lock and dam system associated 
        with the Red River Waterway project up to Shreveport, 
        Louisiana, has enhanced opportunities for management of 
        fish and wildlife.
          (6) The Red River Valley offers extraordinary 
        recreational, research, and educational opportunities 
        for students, scientists, bird watchers, wildlife 
        observers, hunters, anglers, trappers, hikers, and 
        nature photographers.
          (7) The Red River Valley is an internationally 
        significant environmental resource that has been 
        neglected and requires active restoration and 
        management to protect and enhance the value of the 
        region as a habitat for fish and wildlife.

SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT AND PURPOSES OF REFUGE.

  (a) Establishment.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall establish the 
        Red River National Wildlife Refuge, consisting of 
        approximately 50,000 acres of Federal lands, waters, 
        and interests therein within the boundaries depicted 
        upon the map entitled ``Red River National Wildlife 
        Refuge--Proposed'', dated July 20, 2000.
          (2) Boundary revisions.--The Secretary shall 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) Purposes.--The purposes of the Refuge are the following:
          (1) To restore and preserve native Red River 
        ecosystems.
          (2) To provide habitat for migratory birds.
          (3) To maximize fisheries on the Red River and its 
        tributaries, natural lakes, and man-made reservoirs.
          (4) To provide habitat for and population management 
        of native plants and resident animals (including 
        restoration of extirpated species).
          (5) To provide technical assistance to private land 
        owners in the restoration of their lands for the 
        benefit of fish and wildlife.
  (c) 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. 4. ADMINISTRATION OF REFUGE.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary shall administer all lands, 
waters, and interests therein acquired under section 5 in 
accordance with--
          (1) the National Wildlife Refuge System 
        Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd et seq.) 
        and the Act of September 28, 1962 (76 Stat. 653; 16 
        U.S.C. 460k et seq.; commonly known as the Refuge 
        Recreation Act);
          (2) the purposes of the Refuge set forth in section 
        3(b); and
          (3) the management plan issued under subsection (b).
  (b) Management Plan.--
          (1) In general.--Not later than 18 months after the 
        date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall 
        issue a management plan for the Refuge.
          (2) Contents.--The management plan shall include 
        provisions that provide for the following:
                  (A) Planning and design of trails and access 
                points.
                  (B) Planning of wildlife and habitat 
                restoration, including reforestation.
                  (C) Permanent exhibits and facilities and 
                regular educational programs throughout the 
                Refuge.
                  (D) Provision of opportunities for compatible 
                fish- and wildlife-oriented recreation, to 
                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)).
          (3) Public participation.--
                  (A) In general.--The Secretary shall provide 
                an opportunity for public participation in 
                developing the management plan.
                  (B) Local views.--The Secretary shall give 
                special consideration to views by local public 
                and private entities and individuals in 
                developing the management plan.
  (c) Wildlife Interpretation and Education Center.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall construct, 
        administer, and maintain, at an appropriate site within 
        the Refuge, a wildlife interpretation and education 
        center.
          (2) Purposes.--The center shall be designed and 
        operated--
                  (A) to promote environmental education; and
                  (B) to provide an opportunity for the study 
                and enjoyment of wildlife in its natural 
                habitat.

SEC. 5. ACQUISITION OF LANDS, WATERS, AND INTERESTS THEREIN.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary may acquire up to 50,000 acres 
of lands, waters, or interests therein within the boundaries of 
the Refuge described in section 3(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. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary such 
sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act.

SEC. 7. DEFINITIONS.

  For purposes of this Act:
          (1) Refuge.--The term ``Refuge'' means the Red River 
        National Wildlife Refuge established under section 3.
          (2) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the 
        Secretary of the Interior.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 4318 is to establish the Red River 
National Wildlife Refuge.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The National Wildlife Refuge System is comprised of federal 
lands that have been acquired or reserved for the conservation 
of fish and wildlife. Totaling about 93 million acres, the 
System provides habitat for hundreds of fish and wildlife 
species, including more than 258 species listed as threatened 
or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The System is 
also designed to offer priority public wildlife-dependent uses 
for compatible hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and 
photography, and environmental education and interpretation. 
Currently, 290 refuges are open for hunting and 260 units are 
open for fishing. This represents more than 90 percent of all 
the refuge acreage.
    The first wildlife refuge was created at Pelican Island, 
Florida, in 1903, by President Theodore Roosevelt. Today the 
System has 525 refuges and 38 wetland management districts, 
which are located in all 50 States and the nine U.S. insular 
areas. These units range in size from less than one acre at the 
Mille Lacs National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota to the 
largest, the 19.3 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 
in Alaska. Funding for refuge land acquisition comes from two 
primary sources: (1) annual appropriations from the Land and 
Water Conservation Fund; and (2) the Migratory Bird 
Conservation Fund, which is funded from the purchase of federal 
duck stamps, import duties collected on arms and ammunition, 
and wildlife refuge entrance fees.
    The National Wildlife Refuge System is managed primarily in 
accordance with three federal statutes: the Refuge Recreation 
Act of 1962, the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration 
Act of 1966, and the landmark National Wildlife Refuge System 
Improvement Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-57), which created for 
the first time an organic law for our nation's National 
Wildlife Refuge System.
    The Red River Valley is located along the Red River 
waterway in Caddo, Bossier, Red River, Natchitoches, and DeSoto 
Parishes, Louisiana. It is the most degraded watershed in the 
region. The Valley was almost totally cleared of its forest 
cover beginning in the 1820s, primarily for cotton production. 
The Red River is a disjunct tributary of the Mississippi River, 
which was heavily degraded in the 1800s and continuing on 
through a soybean farming boom of the late 1960s.
    Despite this degradation, the Red River Valley is part of 
an historic migratory corridor for over 350 species of birds. 
These include migratory waterfowl, shorebirds (including the 
endangered least tern), and neotropical migratory birds. It is 
part of the Mid-Continent Flyway region that stretches as far 
north as the Arctic Circle to as far south as Tierra del Fuego 
in South America.
    At this time, there are no significant public sanctuaries 
for over 300 river miles in this important migratory corridor, 
and no National Wildlife Refuge along the Red River north of 
Alexandria, Louisiana, to Texarkana, Arkansas. By creating the 
Red River National Wildlife Refuge, the sponsors believe that 
the Red River ecosystem will be restored and that the 
recreational, research, and educational opportunities of this 
Valley can be enhanced in the future by students, scientists, 
birdwatchers, wildlife observers, hunters, anglers, trappers, 
hikers, and nature photographers.
    The bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to acquire 
approximately 50,000 acres of land and adjacent waters for 
inclusion within the proposed refuge. The purpose of the refuge 
would be to restore and preserve native Red River ecosystems; 
provide habitat for migratory birds; maximize the fisheries on 
the Red River; provide habitat for native plants and resident 
animals; and provide technical assistance for the restoration 
of private lands for the benefit of fish and wildlife 
populations. H.R. 4318 authorizes such sums as are necessary to 
carry out this bill.
    Furthermore, in administrating the refuge, the Secretary 
shall issue a management plan that provides opportunities for 
compatible fish and wildlife-oriented recreation, to ensure 
that hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, 
and environmental education interpretations are the priority 
general public uses of the refuge. Finally, the Committee 
expects that land acquisition for the Red River Refuge would be 
from willing sellers. The Service has not utilized hostile 
condemnation for over 11 years, and has acquired less than two-
tenths of one percent of Refuge System land by condemnation. In 
the unlikely event that the Service would initiate 
condemnation, the agency should consult with the members of 
Congress representing the area, the House Committee on 
Resources, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works 
and the House and Senate Committee on Appropriations prior to 
initiating such actions.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 4318 was introduced on April 13, 2000, by Congressman 
Jim McCrery (R-LA). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on 
Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans. On May 11, 2000, 
the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On July 20, 2000, 
the Subcommittee met to consider H.R. 4318. Congressman Jim 
Saxton (R-NJ) offered an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute that clarified the purposes of the refuge, how it 
would be administer in the future and deleted a section of the 
bill which required continued public service on a range of 
public infrastructure projects. The amendment was adopted by 
unanimous consent. The bill, as amended, was reported favorably 
to the full Resource Committee by unanimous consent. On July 
26, 2000, the Full Resources Committee met to consider H.R. 
4318. There were no further amendments and the bill as amended 
was favorably reported to the House of Representatives 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, August 9, 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. 4318, the Red 
River National Wildlife Refuge 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. 4318--Red River National Wildlife Refuge Act

    H.R. 4318 would direct the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(USFWS) to establish the Red River National Wildlife Refuge in 
Louisiana, effective on the date that the agency determines 
that it has acquired enough land within the boundaries of the 
proposed refuge to be managed efficiently. The bill would 
authorize the agency to acquire land, water, and related 
interests within the proposed 50,000-acre refuge. In addition 
to managing this acreage, the agency would restore native 
species and ecosystems and provide opportunities for 
environmental education and for recreational uses such as 
hunting and fishing. The bill would require the agency to 
construct and operate a wildlife interpretation and education 
center at the new refuge. For the purposes of acquiring, 
developing, and operating the refuge, the bill would authorize 
the appropriation of whatever sums are necessary.
    The cost of implementing H.R. 4318 would depend on the 
outcome of formal property appraisals and on the degree of 
restoration and development undertaken at the proposed refuge. 
Based on information provided by the USFWS, CBO estimates that 
it would cost between $70 million and $100 million over the 
next 10 years to implement this legislation, assuming 
appropriation of the necessary amounts. We estimate that about 
60 percent of the funds would be needed to acquire about 50,000 
acres. The agency would use between $20 million and $30 million 
to restore habitat and species within the new lands and to 
construct a wildlife interpretation and education center. 
During the acquisition and development period, managing the new 
acreage and related construction projects would cost $8 million 
over the 10 years. After this period, when all land has been 
acquired and developed, we estimate that the agency would spend 
between $3 million and $5 million annually to operate it and to 
make payments to local governments under the Refuge Revenue 
Sharing Act, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.
    H.R. 4318 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. 
The estimate was approved by Robert A. Sunshine, 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.