[Congressional Record Volume 151, Number 6 (Wednesday, January 26, 2005)]
[Page S606]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

      By Mr. CHAMBLISS (for himself and Mr. Isakson):
  S. 200. A bill to establish the Arabia Mountain National Heritage 
Area in the State of Georgia, and for other purposes; to the Committee 
on Energy and Natural Resources.
  Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President a mere 20 minutes away from the hustle 
and bustle of the booming city of Atlanta, GA, lies a quiet refuge that 
cradles historical remnants and nature's beauty. This area around 
Arabia Mountain houses the ecosystems of endangered species, historic 
structures, and archeological sites--a treasure deserving of our 
protection and our admiration.
  Arabia Mountain's proximity to Atlanta makes it accessible to 
millions of Americans, but it also puts this national treasure in 
danger of urban sprawl. No condominium development should destroy the 
ancient soapstone quarry which attracted Native Americans over 
thousands of years ago. Nor should a strip mall tarnish the pristine 
land which contains farms from the days when the area was the heart of 
Georgia's dairy industry and which contains remnants of Georgia's Gold 
Rush in the 1820s.
  I, along with my colleague Senator Isakson, have introduced 
legislation to designate Arabia Mountain, which encompasses land in 
DeKalb County, Rockdale County, and Henry County, as a National 
Heritage Area. This designation will help preserve the rare and 
endangered species that inhabit the land, and it will save historic 
buildings from the wrecking ball that often comes with modernization.
  Arabia Mountain and its surrounding area is the product of 
significant geological changes. Starting several thousand years ago 
with the quarrying and trading of soapstone, the history of human 
settlement in the area is closely connected to its geological 
resources. It would be a shame to allow a decade of uncontrolled growth 
to deny future generations from enjoying the history and natural beauty 
of this land.
  The quest to obtain National Heritage designation for Arabia Mountain 
began as a concept between conservationists, neighborhood activists, 
landowners, and concerned citizens, and support has grown ever since. 
Local Georgians even voted to tax themselves to support the project. 
Support has come from both sides of the aisle in both houses of 
  I would like to thank all of those who have worked so hard for this 
designation--Kelly Jordan, Chair of the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area 
Alliance; Mayor Marcia Glenn, of Lithonia; Vernon Jones, CEO of DeKalb 
County; Mark Towe and Glen Culpepper; and Senator Zell Miller and 
Congresswoman Denise Majette for their efforts in the 108th Congress on 
this issue. I ask my colleagues to support the preservation of this 
truly deserving area.