Wyden, Smith Secure Funds for Oregon Natural Resource Projects
More than $9 million will support forest management,wildlife refuge improvement and other projects
Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced that Oregon could soon receive more than $9 million, and share in an additional $2.5 million, for natural resource projects across the state. Wyden and Smith secured this funding as part of the Senate's FY2006 Interior funding bill, now approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Included in the bill is funding for land acquisitions at the Columbia River Gorge and the Upper Klamath Lake National Wildlife Refuge. "Oregon's environmental and natural resources are some of the most precious in the United States, and investing in them now will ensure years of enjoyment and economic growth in the future," said Wyden. "The projects funded in this bill will help fishers, farmers and many rural communities throughout the state." "Oregonians appreciate our state's natural beauty and believe in a balanced approach to managing its sustainability," said Smith. "In that spirit we've prioritized projects that improve resource management and are sound investments in Oregon's rural communities." Following is a list of Oregon projects funded by the bill: • The Fish and Wildlife Service would receive $6 million for the acquisition of the Barnes tract property as part of the Upper Klamath Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The funding would also be used for the restoration of both the Barnes tract and the Bureau of Reclamation Agency Lake Ranch, in addition to the construction of a connection between the parcel of land and the lake, to aid in the water storage for the Klamath Basin agriculture and wildlife. • $1.6 million would be provided for land acquisition by the Bureau of Land Management on the Sandy River. This would assist in the creation of a free-flowing river from Mt. Hood to the Columbia River Gorge. • The Forest Service would receive $1 million 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. • $650,000 would be provided to the Forest Service to acquire the 640 acre Mendieta tract, which straddles one mile of the North Fork Owyhee National Wild and Scenic River. The tract is the only parcel of privately owned riverfront property within the Owyhee Canyon lands Conservation area. The bill also provides additional funds that Oregon will share with other states: • $2 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. • $500,000 for land acquisition for the Pacific Crest Trail. Oregon will share in these funds with the California and Washington. The bill must now be considered by the full Senate for approval.