A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
House Floor Action on Interior 2001 Budget Request
The House of Representatives passed the 2001 Interior and Related Agencies bill early in the morning of June 16. The vote on final passage was 204 to 172. The bill provides $7.4 billion for Department programs $1,030 million below the President's request.
During consideration of the bill, funding for Interior programs was increased by $112.5 million above the level provided by the Appropriations Committee. In additon $2 million more was appropriated to the Forest Service to be transferred to the National Park Service for acquisition of Cat Island, Mississippi.
The House voted to nullify a limitation provision limiting funding for management of newly designated national monuments.
The House also voted to nullify a limitation on completion of the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Plan. However, it later voted to reinstate the limitation.
Other highlights of House action include the following:
Park Service maintenance was increased by $76.5 million.
Park Service land acquisition was increased by $41 million.
The BLM wild horse and burro program was reduced by $4 million.
The prohibition on creation of the North Delta NWR was dropped.
An amendment prohibiting the Secretary from issuing Indian gaming procedures was defeated.
The rule under which the bill was considered protected all provisions of the bill from points of order, with the exception of a provision requiring that the Secretary of the Interior concur in decisions of the Corp of Engineers concerning water for the Everglades ecosystem. During consideration of the bill, Mr. Hansen of Utah raised a point of order against the Everglades provision as legislation in an appropriations bill. The point of order was sustained. The House later adopted a Hinchey amendment eliminating funding for the Everglades Modified Water Delivery Project.
Details of action of Interior Department-related amendments follow:
Sununu. Reduce DoE partnership for new generation of vehicles by $126 million, increase by $10 million each PILT, NPS park maintenance, LWCF stateside grants. Adopted 214 to 211.
Hefley/Udall. Reduce BLM wild horse and burro program by $4 million, increase USFS wildland fire by $4 million. Adopted 364 to 55.
Regula. Delete $3 million in BLM land acquisition for Upper Missouri WSR, add $2 million for Lower Snake River and $1 million for West Eugene Wetlands. All three amounts were requested in the PresidentÕs budget. Adopted by voice vote.
Kucinich. Provide $500,000 within FWS Resource Management for report on the scientific impacts of genetically engineered fish. Withdrawn after colloquy in which Mr. Regula committed to work with USGS and FWS to address this issue.
Regula. Increase NPS maintenance by $66.5 million. Approved by voice vote.
Maloney. Perfect MMS provision on RIK pilot. Approved by voice vote.
Regula. Increase NPS land acquisition by $20 million for high priority inholdings. Adopted by voice vote.
Regula. Decrease funding for Escalante Science Center in BLM construction by $1 million, provide $1 million for National Trails Center in Casper, Wyoming. Adopted by voice vote.
Inslee/Regula. Revise section 116 grazing renewal section to make clear that temporary renewal of permits undergoing environmental compliance is discretionary with the Secretary. Adopted by voice vote.
Ose. Strike section 122 prohibiting establishment of North Delta NWR. Adopted by voice vote.
Hinchey. Delete $9 million for Everglades Mod Water Project in NPS construction, increase NPS land acquisition by $9 million. Adopted by a voice vote.
Stupak. Prohibit change in snowmobile rule for Picture Rocks National Lakeshore. Withdrawn. Mr. Stupak engaged in a colloquy with Mr. Dicks, in which Mr. Dicks pointed out that changing the current rule requires APA compliance.
Taylor. Increase Forest Service land acquisition by $2 million to be available to the Department of the Interior for acquisition of Cat Island, Mississippi, decrease Energy Information Administration by $2 million. Adopted by voice vote. The Department understands that this property is proposed to be added to Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Dicks. Any limitation imposed by the bill on planning and management of national monuments or activities related to the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Plan shall not apply to any activity that is otherwise authorized by law. Adopted 243 to 177.
[Before adopting the Dicks amendment, the House defeated, 206 to 221, a Nethercutt second order amendment to strike the reference to ICBEMP. The House also defeated, by 188 to 233, a Hansen second order amendment to strike the reference to planning and management of national monuments.]
Nethercutt. Prohibit funds in the Act from being used to implement the Dicks amendment (above), except for activities related to planning and management of national monuments. Adopted 197 to 180. This amendment has the effect of reinstating the limitation imposed by the bill on activities related to the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Plan.
Weldon. Prohibit the Secretary of the Interior from publishing class III gaming procedures under 25 CFR Part 291. Defeated by a vote of 167 to 205.
Wilson/Udall. Prohibit the land management agencies and BIA from conducting a prescribed burn on Federal land for which the agency has not implemented the December 1995 Wildland Fire Policy.