July 29, 2005

Wyden, Smith Secure Federal Funds for Oregon Natural Resource Projects

Dollars will be used for forest management, land acquisition,wildlife refuge improvement and other projects

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced Congressional appropriations of more than $13 million for Oregon natural resource projects in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2006, and an additional $5.6 million for projects in which Oregon will participate. The funding is included in the FY 2006 Interior appropriations conference report, approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives this week. The bill now goes to the President for his signature. "This Federal support will help Oregon not only protect its natural resources, but also increase public enjoyment of our lands while expanding economic opportunity around our state," said Wyden. "So many people are working to bring worthy projects to fruition across the state - not least among them Oregon's outstanding First Lady, Mary Oberst, whose tireless advocacy helped bring the Kam Wah Chung project to our attention." "These commitments enhance the quality of life in Oregon's small towns and rural communities," said Smith. "We've focused on protecting Oregon's storied natural beauty, while creating new opportunities for hardworking Oregonians." Following is a list of Oregon projects funded by the bill: • $3.9 million will be provided for the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge for the construction of a visitor center and an administrative building. • $3.35 million will be provided for expansion of the Clark R. Bavin National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory. • The Fish and Wildlife Service will receive $2 million toward the acquisition of the Barnes Ranch property as part of the Upper Klamath Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The property will be managed in conjunction with the adjacent Agency Ranch property, owned by the Bureau of Reclamation, to provide additional water storage and juvenile sucker habitat in the Upper Klamath Basin. • $1.6 million will be provided for land acquisition by the Bureau of Land Management on the Sandy River. This will assist in the creation of a free-flowing river from Mt. Hood to the Columbia River Gorge. • $750,000 will be provided for facility upgrades of the Winchester Bay Sanitary District. • $650,000 will be provided to the Bureau of Land Management to acquire the 640-acre Mendieta tract, which straddles 2.8 miles of the North Fork Owyhee National Wild and Scenic River. • The Forest Service will receive $500,000 for the Hinkle Creek Paired Watershed study to investigate the effects of contemporary forestry practices on water quality, fisheries and aquatic habitat at the scale of a complete watershed. • $400,000 will available as a National Park Service Save America's Treasures grant for building restoration of the Kam Wah Chung and Co. Museum in John Day, Ore. • $250,000 will be provided for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality site assessment program. The bill also provides additional funds that Oregon will share with other states: • $1.6 million for the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park. Oregon will share in these funds with the state of Washington. • $1.5 million for land acquisition in the Columbia River Gorge. The Columbia Gorge is the second-most recognized Lewis and Clark attraction in the country. Oregon will share in these funds with the state of Washington. • $1 million for Forest Service Region 6 facility disposal projects. Oregon will share in these funds with the state of Washington. • $1 million will be provided for trail improvements along the Pacific Crest Trail through Oregon, Washington and California. $500,000 is also provided for the acquisition of private property from willing sellers along the trail in the three states.