[House Report 109-587]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]





109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     109-587

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          CAHABA RIVER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE EXPANSION ACT

                                _______
                                

 July 20, 2006.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Pombo, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4947]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 4947) to expand the boundaries of the Cahaba River 
National Wildlife Refuge, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Cahaba River National Wildlife 
Refuge Expansion Act''.

SEC 2 DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
          (1) Refuge.--The term ``Refuge'' means the Cahaba River 
        National Wildlife Refuge and the lands and waters in such 
        refuge in Bibb County, Alabama, as established by the Cahaba 
        River National Wildlife Refuge Establishment Act (Public Law 
        106-331).
          (2) Secretry.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior.

SEC. 3. EXPANSION OF BOUNDARIES.

    (a) Expansion.--The boundaries of the Refuge are expanded to 
include land and water in Bibb County, Alabama, depicted as ``Proposed 
National Wildlife Refuge Expansion Boundary'' on the map entitled 
``Cahaba River NWR Expansion'' and dated March 14, 2006.
    (b) Availability of Map.--The Secretary shall make the map referred 
to in subsection (a) available for inspection in appropriate offices of 
the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

SEC. 4. ACQUISITION OF LAND AND WATER IN EXPANDED BOUNDARIES.

    (a) In General.--Subject to subsection (b), the Secretary may 
acquire by donation, purchase with donated or appropriated funds, or 
exchange the land and water, and interests in land and water (including 
conservation easements), with the boundaries of the Refuge as expanded 
by this Act.
    (b) Manner of Acquisition.--All acquisitions of land or waters 
under this section shall be made in a voluntary manner and shall not be 
the result of forced takings.
    (c) Inclusion in Refuge; Administration.--Any land, water, or 
interest acquired by the Secretary under this section--
          (1) shall be part of the Refuge; and
          (2) shall be administered by the Secretary in accordance 
        with--
                  (A) the National Wildlife Refuge System 
                Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd et seq.);
                  (B) the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge 
                Establishment Act; and
                  (C) this Act.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 4947 is to expand the boundaries of the 
Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge, and for other purposes.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The National Wildlife Refuge System is comprised of federal 
lands that have been acquired or reserved for the conservation 
of fish and wildlife. Totaling about 95 million acres, the 
System provides habitat for hundreds of fish and wildlife 
species. The System is also designed to offer priority public 
wildlife-dependent uses for compatible hunting, fishing, 
wildlife observation and photography, and environmental 
education and interpretation.
    The Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge was legislatively 
created with the enactment of Public Law 106-331. The Secretary 
of the Interior was directed to acquire by purchase or donation 
approximately 3,800 acres of land and adjacent waters for 
inclusion within the Refuge which was officially established on 
September 25, 2002. To date, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
has acquired title to 3,414 acres of land at a cost of 
$5,680,418. In each case, the property was acquired from a 
willing seller and the money to finance the purchase was 
obtained from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
    The Cahaba River watershed is located between the cities of 
Birmingham and Tuscaloosa in Alabama and affects five counties 
in central Alabama. The River is the longest free-flowing river 
in Alabama and it may have the greatest concentration of fish 
biodiversity per mile for any river in the United States. The 
Cahaba River, which has no dams in its final 151 miles south of 
Birmingham, is one of the few rivers that has sustained much of 
its plant and aquatic life. The Cahaba River has been 
recognized as an Outstanding Alabama Waterway by the Alabama 
Department of Environmental Management. This watershed is home 
to 12 aquatic animal species listed as endangered or threatened 
under the Endangered Species Act and the largest population of 
the imperiled Cahaba Lily. It also provides habitat for 64 rare 
and threatened species and 131 species of fish--more than any 
river of its size in North America.
    Under the terms of H.R. 4947, the Secretary of the Interior 
would be authorized to acquire up to 3,600 acres of additional 
lands and waters, or interests therein, for inclusion within 
the boundaries of the Refuge. The Secretary would manage the 
expanded Refuge to conserve, enhance and restore the native 
aquatic and terrestrial community characteristics of the Cahaba 
River. In addition, the bill stipulates that all acquisitions 
of land or water shall be made in a voluntary manner and shall 
not be the result of forced takings.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 4947 was introduced on March 14, 2006, by Congressman 
Spencer Baucus (R-AL). The bill was referred to the Committee 
on Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on 
Fisheries and Oceans. On May 10, 2006, the Subcommittee held a 
hearing on the bill. On June 21, 2006, the Full Resources 
Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee on 
Fisheries and Oceans was discharged from further consideration 
of the bill by unanimous consent. Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-
CA) offered an amendment in the nature of a substitute that 
clarified that the map entitled ``Cahaba River NWR Expansion'' 
is dated March 14, 2006. It was adopted by unanimous consent. 
The bill, as amended, was then ordered favorably reported to 
the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations 
are reflected in the body of this report.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8, clause 3 and Article IV, section 3, 
clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States grant 
Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. This bill does 
not authorize funding and therefore, clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives does not 
apply.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

H.R. 4947--Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge Expansion Act

    H.R. 4947 would expand the boundary of the Cahaba River 
National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama to include an additional 
3,600 acres. The bill would authorize the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (USFWS) to acquire the added acreage by 
donation, purchase, or exchange. Based on information obtained 
from the USFWS and assuming appropriation of the necessary 
amounts, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 4947 would cost 
about $6 million. Most of this amount would be used by the 
agency to purchase land from private property owners and 
nonprofit organizations over the next five to seven years. 
Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    The legislation contains no intergovernmental or private-
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
and would have no significant impact on the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis. This 
estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.