September 15, 2004

Wyden, Smith Secure More Than $17 Million For Oregon Natural Resource Projects

Funds would be used for land acquisitions, national park improvements

Washington, DC U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced that Oregon could soon receive more than $17 million, and share in an additional $3 million, for natural resource projects across the state. Wyden and Smith secured this funding as part of the Senates FY2005 Interior funding bill which passed the Appropriations Committee this week. Included in the bill is funding for land acquisitions at the Columbia River Gorge and the Fort Clatsop National Monument.These federal funds will help Oregon farmers and fishers, and will restore and preserve some of our most treasured natural resources, said Wyden. Maintaining the beautiful areas that draw people to Oregon also brings tourism dollars home and helps our economy grow.An investment in Oregons environmental and natural resources ensures that they will be there for the recreational and economic needs of generations to come, said Smith. The projects funded by this bill will support farmers and rural communities while promoting the values of our state.Following is a list of Oregon projects funded by the bill:" Clackamas County would receive $1 million through the U.S. Forest Service for fish passage improvement projects." One million dollars are provided for land acquisition by the Bureau of Land Managements on the Sandy River. This would assist in the creation of a free-flowing river from Mt. Hood to the Columbia River Gorge." Crater Lake National Park would receive $8,741,000 to remodel the park cafeteria and relocate the rim parking facilities." Fort Clatsop National Monument would receive $5 million for land and water conservation and land acquisition." Hinkle Creek would receive $675,000 for a watershed study conducted by the U.S. Forest Service." The bill provides $500,000 for land and water conservation and land acquisition by the Bureau of Land Management at the Grande Ronde National Wild and Scenic River." $150,000 is provided for improvements to the Bureau of Land Management at Swedes Landing at the Hells Canyon Complex. The funds would be used to develop a deep-water boat launch and parking areas. The funding would also be used to purchase a total of 716 additional acres to enhance and protect the threatened vegetation and natural habitat in the area.The bill also provides additional funds that Oregon will share with other states:" $1,500,000 for land acquisition for Pacific Northwest Streams. Oregon will share in these funds with the state of Washington." $1 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 is expected to be considered by the full Senate soon.