Friday, May 4, 2012

Neches River Bill

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate, S. 2324, the Upper Neches Wild and Scenic River Study Act. If passed, the bill would authorize a formal study of the eligibility of a specific section of East Texas’ Neches River for designation as a National Wild and Scenic River. The National Park Service or the U.S. Forest Service would study this 225-mile section of the Neches River from the Lake Palestine dam in Anderson and Cherokee Counties to B.A.Steinhagen Lake in Jasper and Tyler Counties.

"The Neches River is one of Texas' most beautiful, free-flowing rivers and provides a vital habitat for fish and other aquatic animals," said Sen. Hutchison. "Its location in the heart of the Central Flyway makes it a crucial path for migrating ducks, geese, and songbirds. A Wild and Scenic River designation would help preserve all these attributes."

“The Neches River is a tremendous asset for Texans,” said Richard Donovan, author of Paddling the Wild Neches (Texas A&M University Press, 2006). “Senator Hutchison’s bill is the first step toward protecting its value for our children and our children’s children.” The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act allows for the identification of certain rivers in the United States which have outstanding qualities. There are about 200 rivers in the U.S. with wild and scenic status. Texas has one national river of this type, a section of the Rio Grande River bordering Big Bend National Park.

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