Alexander, Frist Announce Senate Passage Of Interior Appropriations Bill

Posted on September 24, 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today announced Senate passage of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 Department of Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which includes more than $12 million for Tennessee forest and park priorities. "This legislation is vital to the continued preservation of Tennessee's natural resources and park services," said Frist. "Supporting the historic character of landmarks and environmental resources like the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Cherokee National Forest, our state's national wildlife refuges and Tennessee state parks is necessary to help preserve what makes Tennessee great. I applaud the Senate's support for these critical natural resources and park projects. Senator Alexander and I will continue to follow this legislation as it moves through the conference committee." "Tennessee is known for its natural beauty, and I am fortunate to live just two miles from one of the most beautiful places in our state, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park," said Alexander. "I am proud to join Senator Frist in announcing this funding to preserve and improve our natural treasures across Tennessee." The Tennessee projects included in the Senate version of the FY 2004 Department of Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill include:
  • $2.36 million for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to rehabilitate comfort stations and picnic and camping facilities throughout the park.
  • $1.5 million for the Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge to purchase two tracts of land containing 788 acres near Ripley, TN, in the western part of the state.
  • $1.8 million for the Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge to acquire 900 acres of bottomland,
  • hardwood forest in the lower Mississippi Valley near Henning, TN.
  • $1.56 million for the Obed Wild and Scenic River to acquire 700 acres of land near Wartburg, TN.
  • $3.8 million for the Cherokee National Forest to purchase approximately 2,649 acres of the 10,000-acre Rocky Fork Tract located in the Tri-Cities area. This represents the second of three proposed purchases.
  • $1 million for the acquisition of the Ray/Gettelfinger Tract, located in the northern Cumberland Plateau near Rugby, TN, between the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and the Pickett State Forest.
  • $838,000 for the acquisition of the Jim Creek Parcel, which is adjacent to Pickett State Forest and the Tally Wilderness Area, located just outside Jamestown, TN.
With Senate passage completed, the bill now goes to a conference committee to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.