Jun 27 2002


Subcommittee Passes Interior Appropriations Bill

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby today announced the passage of the Interior Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2003. Included in the bill are several initiatives Senator Shelby requested for Alabama.

Perdido River Protection Plan, $2,000,000 - This major conservation effort will protect both the Alabama and Florida sides of the river from development through the use of funding from private, county, state and federal funds.

Senator Shelby said, "This year's funding will provide the resources for the purchase of land along the Alabama side of the Perdido River and will assist local conservation efforts in the area."

Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge, $3,000,000 - 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, "This year's funding will allow for further acquisition of land for this important refuge."

Talladega National Forest, $700,000 -
This funding will assist in the acquisition of a portion of land in the Choccolocco connector parcel between Fort McClellan and Talladega National Forest, in Calhoun, Talladega, Cleburne and Clay counties.

Senator Shelby said, "This year's funding will aid in the continued protection and preservation of our wildlife and natural resources in this area."

Pinhoti Trail Construction, $360,000 -
The funding is for the construction of 31 miles of the Pinhoti trail through the southern portion of the Talladega National Forest between Alabama Highway 77 and U.S. Highway 280. The Alabama portion of the Pinhoti Trail has reached the Alabama-Georgia state line on the north, thus completing the northern portion of the trail. This proposal intends to construct the southern portion of the Pinhoti Trail.

Senator Shelby said, "Our ultimate goal is to link the Pinhoti Trail to the Florida Trail at the Florida-Alabama state line in the Conecuh National Forest. Such a link would make the Pinhoti part of a trail system stretching from the Everglades in the southern end of Florida to Main and Cape Gaspe in the Quebec Province of Canada."

GW Andrews Forestry Sciences Laboratory at Auburn University -
The Forestry Sciences Laboratory at Auburn University is a collaborative research partnership that was first established more than 40 years ago. The laboratory conducts research into southern forest productivity and sustainability, longleaf pine restoration, improved technology to increase the economic viability of southern forest operations, and the National Fire Plan. The President's budget completely eliminated funding for these important activities. This legislation fully restores the funding to ensure the continued efficacy of Auburn's research.

Senator Shelby said, "The research conducted at Andrews Forestry Sciences Laboratory is critically important to the economic well being of the state where our forests and forest products are the leading economic contributors to Alabama."

Ramgen Energy Production Technology, $525,000 -
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."