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S. 1898 (107th): Green River National Wildlife Refuge Act of 2002


The text of the bill below is as of Jan 25, 2002 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


S 1898 IS

107th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 1898

To establish the Green River National Wildlife Refuge in the State of Kentucky.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 25, 2002

Mr. MCCONNELL introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works


A BILL

To establish the Green River National Wildlife Refuge in the State of Kentucky.

    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 ‘Green River National Wildlife Refuge Act of 2002’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--

      (1) the Green River bottoms area, Kentucky, was once part of a large bottomland hardwood forest;

      (2) most of the bottoms area has been converted to agricultural use through--

        (A) draining of wetland;

        (B) altering of interior drainage systems; and

        (C) clearing of bottomland hardwood forest;

      (3) as of the date of enactment of this Act, the bottoms area is predominantly ridge and swale farmland, with river-scar oxbows, several sloughs, wet depression areas, and a small quantity of bottomland hardwood forest;

      (4) approximately 1,200 acres of bottomland hardwood forest remain, consisting mostly of cypress, willow, hackberry, silver maple, ash, and buttonbush;

      (5) many of the interior drainage systems on the land offer excellent opportunities to restore, with minor modifications, the historical hydrology, wetland, and bottomland hardwood forest of the bottoms area to high-quality wildlife habitats;

      (6) in the bottoms area, waterfowl occur in large numbers when sufficient water levels occur, primarily when flood conditions from the Ohio River and the Green River negate the extensive drainages and alterations made by man;

      (7) the wooded and shrub tracts of the bottoms area are used by many species of nongame neotropical migratory birds;

      (8) migratory shorebirds use the bottoms area during spring migrations;

      (9) wading birds such as snipe, great blue heron, green heron, common egret, and great egret frequent the bottoms area;

      (10) bald eagles and myriad other raptors frequent the bottoms area;

      (11) several species listed as endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) have been found near the bottoms area, including Indiana bat maternity colonies, fanshell, pink mucket pearly mussel, and fat pocketbook;

      (12) several species of mussel listed as endangered or threatened species under that Act historically occurred near the bottoms area, including purple cat’s paw pearly mussel, tubercled-blossom pearly mussel, ring pink, and white wartyback pearly mussel;

      (13) the copperbelly water snake, covered by the Copperbelly Water Snake Conservation Plan, is found in the wetland complex and buttonbush shrub in the Scuffletown area;

      (14) significant populations of resident game species, including white-tailed deer, swamp rabbit, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, mink, muskrat, beaver, fox, and coyote, occur in the bottoms area;

      (15) the Ohio River and the Green River are important habitat for big river species such as paddlefish, sturgeon, catfish, carp, buffalo, and gar;

      (16) conservation, enhancement, and ecological restoration of the bottoms area through inclusion in the National Wildlife Refuge System would help meet the habitat conservation goals of--

        (A) the North American Waterfowl Management Plan;

        (B) the Lower Mississippi Joint Venture;

        (C) the Interior Low Plateaus Bird Conservation Plan; and

        (D) the Copperbelly Water Snake Conservation Plan;

      (17) the valuable complex of wetland habitats comprising the bottoms area, with its many forms of wildlife, has extremely high recreational value for

hunters, anglers, birdwatchers, nature photographers, and others; and

      (18) the Green River bottoms area is deserving of inclusion in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

SEC. 3. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to establish the Green River National Wildlife Refuge in the Green River bottoms area, Henderson County, Kentucky, to provide--

      (1) habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl;

      (2) habitat for nongame land birds;

      (3) habitats for a natural diversity of fish and wildlife;

      (4) nesting habitat for wood ducks and other locally nesting migratory waterfowl;

      (5) high-quality hunting and sportfishing opportunities; and

      (6) opportunities for environmental education, interpretation, and wildlife-oriented recreation.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) REFUGE- The term ‘Refuge’ means the Green River National Wildlife Refuge established under section 5.

      (2) SECRETARY- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of the Interior.

SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall establish the Green River National Wildlife Refuge, consisting of approximately 23,000 acres of Federal land, water, and interests in land or water within the boundaries depicted on the map entitled ‘Green River National Wildlife Refuge’, dated September 10, 2001.

      (2) BOUNDARY REVISIONS- The Secretary shall make such minor revisions of the boundaries of the Refuge as are appropriate to carry out the purposes of the Refuge or to facilitate the acquisition of land, water, and interests in land or water within the Refuge.

      (3) AVAILABILITY OF MAP- The map referred to in paragraph (1) shall be available for inspection in appropriate offices of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

    (b) EFFECTIVE DATE- The establishment of the Refuge shall take effect on the date on which the Secretary publishes, in the Federal Register and publications of local circulation in the vicinity of the Refuge, a notice that sufficient property has been acquired by the United States within the Refuge to constitute an area that can be efficiently managed as a national wildlife refuge.

SEC. 6. ACQUISITION OF LAND, WATER, AND INTERESTS IN LAND OR WATER.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary may obtain by purchase from willing sellers, donation, or exchange up to 23,000 acres of land and water, or interests in land or water, within the boundaries of the Refuge described in section 5(a)(1).

    (b) INCLUSION IN REFUGE- Any land, water, or interest acquired by the Secretary under this section shall be part of the Refuge.

SEC. 7. ADMINISTRATION.

    In administering the Refuge, the Secretary shall--

      (1) conserve, enhance, and restore the native aquatic and terrestrial community characteristics of the Green River (including associated fish, wildlife, and plant species);

      (2) conserve, enhance, and restore habitat to maintain and assist in the recovery of species of animals and plants that are listed as endangered species or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.);

      (3) in providing opportunities for compatible fish- and wildlife-oriented recreation, 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 paragraphs (3) and (4) of section 4(a) of the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd(a)); and

      (4) 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--

        (A) public awareness of the resources of the Refuge and the National Wildlife Refuge System; and

        (B) public participation in the conservation of those resources.

SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary for--

      (1) the acquisition of land and water within the boundaries of the Refuge; and

      (2) the development, operation, and maintenance of the Refuge.