OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR WAYNE ALLARD
ON THE REFUGE IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 1997
JULY 30TH 1997

Thank you Mr. Chairman. I'm glad we're having a hearing over the very important subject of reform of National Wildlife Refuges.

This subject is very close to me because one of the first pieces of legislation that I passed in the House of Representatives was the creation of a wildlife refuge at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. Today this area is protected and is teeming with wildlife, including bald eagles. What is particularly unique about this refuge is that it is located just outside of Denver, allowing easy access to everyone in the metropolitan area.

While I think today's legislation is overdue and necessary I do have a couple of concerns that I will address with Secretary Babbitt. They should be easily resolved, and hopefully we can move this piece of legislation soon after we return from our August break.

Once again, I want to commend both Mr. Chafee and Mr. Kempthorne for their hard work and diligence on this issue.