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                                                       Calendar No. 908
106th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     106-461

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



 
        CAHABA RIVER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE ESTABLISHMENT ACT

                                _______
                                

October 2 (legislative day, September 22), 2000.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Smith of New Hampshire, from the Committee on Environment and 
                 Public Works, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        to accompany H.R. 4286]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred a bill to provide for the establishment of the Cahaba 
River National Wildlife Refuge in Bibb County, Alabama, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon and recommends 
that the bill do pass.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    On March 14, 1903, by Executive Order, President Theodore 
Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge on 
Pelican Island. Pelican Island is a small island in Florida's 
Indian River; the refuge was established specifically to 
protect the brown pelican. At the turn of the century, brown 
pelicans were being hunted for their feathers for hats and 
quills, causing a significant decline in the population.
    Today, the National Wildlife Refuge System (Refuge System) 
has evolved into the most comprehensive system of lands devoted 
to wildlife protection and management in the world. Currently, 
there are 526 refuges in the United States and its territories, 
providing important habitat for 700 bird species, 220 mammal 
species, 250 species of amphibians and reptiles, and over 200 
fish species. The refuges range in size from less than one acre 
at the Mille Lac National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota, to 19.2 
million in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Each 
year, the Refuge System attracts more than 34 million visitors 
who participate in a variety of recreational activities 
including observing and photographing wildlife, fishing, 
hunting and taking part in system-sponsored educational 
programs.
    The operation and management of the Refuge System is 
governed by numerous laws, treaties and executive orders 
pertaining to the conservation and protection of natural and 
cultural resources. The most important orders and laws 
affecting the Refuge System are the Fish and Wildlife Act of 
1956, the Refuge Recreation Act of 1962, the National Wildlife 
Refuge System Administration Act of 1966, the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, and the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Improvement Act of 1997. The management of individual refuges 
is determined by the legislation, executive order or 
legislative action that creates the refuge.
    H.R. 4286 would authorize the establishment of an 
approximately 3,500 acres National Wildlife Refuge along a 3.5 
mile stretch of the Cahaba River in Bibb County, Alabama. The 
Cahaba River is the longest free-flowing river in Alabama and 
one of the most biologically rich. One of the reasons that this 
area is unique is its evolutionary history. During the 
Pleistocene era, ice sheets did not advance into this area, 
enabling a variety of organisms to evolve into new species.
    Today, the Cahaba River basin supports a significant amount 
of diverse habitat and wildlife including 69 rare and imperiled 
species. The Cahaba River is also home to 131 species of fish; 
more than any other river in North America. The river basin 
also supports a considerable amount of botanical life, 
including the largest known population of shoals lily (locally 
known as the Cahoba Lily) in the world.
    Although the bill authorizes such sums as are necessary for 
the purchase of the refuge land, the United States Fish and 
Wildlife Service has indicated that the estimated cost is $4.2 
million.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact of the reported bill. The 
reported bill will have no regulatory impact. This bill will 
not have any adverse impact on the personal privacy of 
individuals.

                          Mandates Assessment

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Public Law 104-4), the committee finds that H.R. 4286 would 
impose no Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on State, 
local, or tribal governments. All of the bills directives are 
imposed on Federal agencies. The bill does not directly impose 
any private sector mandates.

                          Legislative History

    On July 11, 2000, H.R. 4286 was referred to the Senate 
Committee on Environment and Public Works. No hearings were 
held on this bill. The Committee on Environment and Public 
Works held a business meeting to consider this bill on 
September 21; the business meeting was continued on September 
28, 2000. On September 28, 2000, H.R. 4286 was favorably 
reported by the committee on a voice vote.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Section 403 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act requires that a statement of the cost of the 
reported bill, prepared by the Congressional Budget Office, be 
included in the report. That statement follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 29, 2000.

Hon. Robert C. Smith, Chairman,
Committee on Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has prepared 
the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4286, the Cahaba River 
National Wildlife Refuge Establishment Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis, 
who can be reached at 226-2860.
            Sincerely,
                                            Dan L. Crippen.
                              ----------                              


               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

H.R. 4286, Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge Establishment Act, as 
        ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Environment and 
        Public Works on September 28, 2000
    H.R. 4286 would establish the Cahaba River National 
Wildlife Refuge in Alabama, effective on the date that the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determines that it has 
acquired enough land within the proposed refuge boundary to be 
managed efficiently. The Act would authorize the agency to 
acquire land, water, and related interests within the proposed 
3,500-acre refuge. In addition to managing this acreage, the 
agency would restore native species and habitat and provide 
opportunities for recreational uses such as hunting and 
fishing. For the purposes of acquiring, developing, and 
operating the refuge the Act would authorize the appropriation 
of whatever sums are necessary.
    Assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, and based 
on information provided by the USFWS, CBO estimates that it 
would cost about $7 million over the next 3 or 4 years to 
acquire and restore all of the acreage for the new refuge. 
After the refuge has been established, we estimate that the 
agency would spend about $600,000 annually to operate it and to 
make payments to local governments under the Refuge Revenue 
Sharing Act, assuming availability of the necessary amounts.
    H.R. 4286 would not affect direct spending or receipts, 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply. The 
legislation 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.
    On July 6, 2000, CBO submitted a cost estimate for H.R. 
4286, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Resources 
on June 28, 2000. The two versions of the legislation are 
identical, as are the CBO cost estimates.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis, 
who can be reached at 226-2860.
    This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    Section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate, provides that reports to the Senate should show changes 
in existing law made by the bill as reported. Passage of this 
bill will make no changes to existing law.