|Published Friday, July 6,
appropriations for land
Senate panel OKs $3 million to expand
forestPisgah Forest would grow surrounding Lake
The U.S. Senate
Appropriations Committee has approved $3 million to expand Pisgah
National Forest near Lake James, Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., said
The U.S. Forest Service had ranked Lake James as its
third-highest priority for land acquisition in the South for fiscal
2002, and sought $5 million to buy about 2,000 acres. The land is
north and west of the lake in McDowell and Burke counties.
Money approved by the Appropriations Committee is
normally approved by the full Senate, Edwards' office said.
The House has budgeted $2.5 million for the purchases next year.
A conference committee is expected to set a final figure.
Congress last year appropriated $4 million for the Forest Service
to buy about 1,600 acres in the same areas near Lake James.
Negotiations continue with the companies that own the property,
Champion International and Crescent Resources, a Forest Service
Meanwhile, the Senate committee OK'd $4.3 million for land in the
Chattooga watershed in the mountains of the Carolinas, Tennessee and
Georgia. The House budgeted $975,000.