Murray Announces Over $57 Million for Washington State Priorities in Senate Interior Committee Spending Bill

Jun 27 2002

Funds for land acquisition, restoration, conservation will protect national treasures, preserve quality of life

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced $57.3 million for land acquisition and restoration projects in Washington state has been included in the Senate Interior Committee's spending bill which the Committee approved today.

As a member of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murray leveraged her position to secure a total of $24.2 million for land acquisition projects ranging from the Columbia Gorge to the Central Cascades to the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.

Murray also secured funding for environmental priorities such as fighting invasive species in Willapa Bay and helping landowners maximize harvests while protecting endangered habitats.

"I am very pleased that so many of Washington state's land acquisition and restoration projects will be funded under this bill," Murray said. "Not only will these funds support the preservation of our state's national treasures, but they will help protect our wildlife, stimulate our economy and preserve the way of life that those of us in Washington hold so dear."

The $24.2 million secured by Murray for land acquisition projects in Washington state includes:

Columbia Gorge
$10 million for Forest Service acquisition of lands in the Columbia Gorge.

I-90/Plum Creek land exchange
$6 million for Forest Service acquisition of lands in the left out of the original I-90/Plum Creek land exchange. This will help address the checkerboard pattern of ownership that creates ecological holes and management problems.

Salmon Habitat
$4 million for Forest Service acquisition of stream side lands important to salmon habitat and recovery efforts, including acquisitions in Okanogan County.

River Protection
$2.5 million for Forest Service acquisition of lands along wild and scenic rivers including the Skagit River.

Moses Coulee Lands
$2 million for Bureau of Land Management acquisition of lands in the Moses Coulee area.

Ebey's Landing
$1.1 million for National Park service acquisition of lands for Ebey's Landing.

Yakima River Forest
$1 million for Yakima River Forest Legacy Land Acquisition.

Willapa Refuge
$750,000 for Fish and Wildlife Service acquisition of land near the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.

"I am particularly proud of the continued funding that this bill provides for Ebey's Landing. Protection of this historic reserve is crucial to the well-being of the surrounding community. I am pleased that more of this area will now be preserved to help teach our children about the area's history and to protect our wildlife," Murray said.

Other Washington state projects receiving funding under the Senate Interior Spending Bill:

Mt. Rainier National Park
$7.3 million for construction and restoration at Mt. Rainier National Park.

Salmon Recovery
$1.4 million for the Regional Fisheries Enhancement Groups for volunteer salmon enhancement programs.

Invasive Species
$1.2 million for the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge to help fight Spartina infestations in Willapa Bay.

Rural Technology
$900,000 for the Rural Technology Transfer Initiative to continue to help small landowners use up-to-date technology to maximize timber harvest while protecting important habitiat.