Jul 12 2001


Senate Passes Interior Appropriations Bill

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby today announced the passage of the Interior Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2002. Included in the bill are several initiatives Senator Shelby requested for Alabama.

Vulcan State Park, Statue Restoration Project - $2,000,000 - This funding will continue the process of restoring the Vulcan statue located in Birmingham, Alabama. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Senator Shelby said, "The Vulcan statue is an important part of Birmingham history and strongly supported by community leaders. Vulcan has long stood as the symbol of the city of Birmingham and the steel industry. I look forward to the completion of this restoration project." Senator Shelby added, "The participation of the Birmingham community has played a major role in its ongoing success. The financial assistance and commitments of time and energy by the citizens of Birmingham have exceeded everyone's expectations. The Vulcan restoration has been one of the most successful and productive partnerships between the federal government and a local community that I have ever witnessed."

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, $1,000,000 - This funding will allow the National Park Service to begin the rehabilitation and restoration work at Moton Field. In 1998, Congress designated historic Moton Field, the primary flight training facility for the airmen in Tuskegee, Alabama, as a new unit of the National Park System. The story of the Tuskegee Airmen, America's first African-American fighter pilots who were highly decorated for their combat record, will be told through the establishment of the facilities at this site. Senator Shelby said, "This funding will allow the Park Service to begin their restoration work at Moton Field, which was the training facility for the Tuskegee Airmen. The Tuskegee Airmen deserve this great honor."

Environmental Learning Center at the Eufuala National Wildlife Refuge, $100,000 - This funding is for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to begin construction of an environmental learning center. The 11,184 acre Refuge was established in 1965 concurrently with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' development of the Walter F. George Reservoir (Lake Eufuala). Senator Shelby said, "This is a great step forward for the Eufala Wildlife Refuge. This funding will assist the Wildlife Refuge in establishing an Environmental Learning Center to educate visitors in the protection of the wildlife habitat associated with the Chattahoochee River system and the numerous wildlife species. The funds will also allow the Learning Center to develop materials and opportunities for Alabama and Georgia students from schools and universities within a 100-mile radius."

Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge, $2,500,000 - The Refuge was established in the 106th Congress and land that it encompasses is home to 32 animals and plants protected under the Endangered Species Act. This funding will allow for the purchase of the land to make the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge a reality. Senator Shelby said, "The Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge is quickly becoming a reality. This year's funding will create the land base for this important refuge. These funds will be used to purchase three large tracts of land from individuals who also believe in the importance of protecting this area."

Ramgen Energy Production Technology, $3,000,000 - These funds will assist ongoing efforts to develop electric power generation capability using the ramjet technology. The Committee has supported the technology in the past by recommending that the Department of the Interior work with the industry to develop power generating applications. Senator Shelby said, "These funds will assist current efforts to develop electric power using cutting-edge technologies."