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This week, and next, we will hear from State agencies, scientists, private citizens, and several organizations. Some favor continued channelization. Others join the growing cadre that seek a temporary halt to channelization.

Our witnesses today—and I would ask them all to sit at the witness table--are Mr. Robert A. Jantzen, director, Arizona Game and Fish Department; Mr. Jack Crockford, assistant director, Georgia Game and Fish Commission; Mr. Dean Murphy, superintendent of game management, Missouri Department of Conservation; Mr. Harold Warvel, assistant director, Tennessee Game and Fish Commission; Mr. George Gettinger, executive director, Wabash Valley Interstate Commission; and Mr. Richard Yancey, assistant director, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.

Gentlemen, you are all most welcome. We appreciate your coming here. In all cases your prepared statements are gratefully received and under the rule will be admitted in the record in full, without objection.

We now would like to ask you to proceed. I think I will start over at the right-hand side of your witness table. Mr. Richard Yancey, assistant director, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.

STATEMENT OF RICHARD K. YANCEY, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR,

LOUISIANA WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES COMMISSION

Mr. YANCEY. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee

Mr. Reuss. Would you, Mr. Yancey, and all of your colleagues, proceed in any way you wish. As I have said, your full statement will be included in the record. You may, therefore, wish to summarize portions. I mention this because the members of the committee will want to ask some questions. Therefore, it would be good if you would try not to exceed, say, 10 minutes. However, use such time as you

may need.

Mr. YANCEY. All right, sir.

I am Richard Yancey, assistant director of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, and I have a written statement. I will summarize this, if it meets with the approval of the committee.

I would first like to say that we do welcome the opportunity to present this statement here today. Channelization is a serious problem in our State insofar as fish and wildlife resources are concerned, and we feel that it does bear looking into and possibly working out a procedure whereby some of the damages that we are receiving from channelization can be eliminated. We are hopeful that these hearings will result in some additional protection being provided for fish and wildlife in federally financed channelization projects in the future.

In the past, Louisiana has experienced a great amount of channelization by private, State, and Federal interests. It dates back into the early 1800's. In two regions of our State, channelization is already somewhat of a moot question because all of the natural streams have been converted into drainage canals, and dredging in these areas is now associated largely with widening and deepening existing channels in somewhat of a never-ending process.

Because of the rapidity with which many of our streams have been lost and destroyed through channelization, our Louisiana Legislature acted in 1970 to provide statutory protection for 31 small rivers, creeks, and bayous in the State. This legislation prohibits channelization or alteration of the streams listed in this act. Federal channelization plans exist on some of these streams, but these are now being held in abeyance as a result of this legislation. We think that this legislation resulted from mounting public concern and a new awareness of stream and woodland and fish and wildlife values.

An effect of channelization is the accelerated loss of bottom-land hardwoods in the State, and the direct and indirect effects of these programs resulted in our Commission having to initiate a land purchase program in Louisiana in order to what we consider preserve a few remnant areas of bottom-land hardwoods and natural streams in the State.

This program was initiated back in 1960. Since that time, title to 116,000 acres of bottom-land hardwoods has been purchased, along with 56,000 acres of marshland. These individual tracts contain many miles of natural bayous which are now protected against channelization and most of these would have been lost through one of the Federal programs had not the State acquired title to this property.

And I want to also mention that we have been fortunate in recent years in having cost sharing by the U.S. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation at the 50-percent Federal level in the acquisition of some of these remnant tracts of this type of habitat.

We have found that in the past the value of Louisiana's fish and wildlife resources has not received adequate consideration in federally financed water projects.

I would like to cite the fact that we calculate the values of these resources at some $315 million annually from the standpoint of sport fishing, sport hunting, trapping, and commercial fishing. We have a population of about 3.6 million people in Louisiana, and over a million fish for sport, around 400,000 hunt. We have about 200,000 small boats that ply the State waters. The sport fishermen make some 23 million trips annually, and the hunters go afield about 672 million days. We have 50,000 people that derive all or a large part of their livelihood from commercial fishing. And we think these figures emphasize the value of fish and wildlife resources of Louisiana.

We have found through research over the last 20 or 30 years that the size of our fish and wildlife populations are geared to the amount and the quality of wildlife habitat that we have. And we have also found that when we lose a key wildlife area or a stream, then the State fish and wildlife resources are reduced proportionately. When we lose a stream through channelization, we normally find that fish population declines by about 90 percent; and as a side effect, we have an accelerated loss of adjacent bottom-land hardwoods.

The flood control, drainage and navigation program carried out by Federal agencies has been quite extensive in the State. There have been a total of 2,401 miles of channel work accomplished by Federal agencies, mainly the corps, and some by the SCS in Louisiana. Of this total some 1,605 miles has occurred in the river bottom flood plains, 318 miles in the marsh, and 107 miles in the upland stream areas. And the channelization of these main drainage arteries has resulted in the excavation of thousands of miles of new laterals, and on many occasions these lateral canals then drain permanent and semipermanent wetland areas that are adjacent to the main drainage arteries, which then makes it possible to clear these bottom-land hard

IV

Letters, statements, etc., submitted for the record by-Continued

Murphy, Dean A., 'superintendent of game management, Missouri Page Department of Conservation, statement..

1297 Turcotte, W. H., chief of Game and Fisheries Division, Mississippi

Game and Fish Commission: Sundry attachments (I-VII) re stream
channelization.---

1349–1353 Warvel, Harold, assistant director, Tennessee Game and Fish Commission: Channeled stream in Crow Creek watershed project, Alabama, illustration.

1290 Statement.-

1290 Unchanneled stream in Crow Creek watershed project, Tennessee, illustration,

1289 Yancey, Richard K., assistant director, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, statement.-

1279 APPENDIXES (Appendixes 1-9 appear in part 1 of these hearings)

(Appendixes 10–13 appear in part 2 of these hearings) Appendix 14.—Communications from State agencies.

1385 Appendix 15.- Watershed projects involving channelization work-approved and pending

1621 Appendix 16. - Additional communications relating to stream channelization..

1799 Appendix 17.-Correspondence relating to the Alcovy channelization project, Georgia..

1903 Appendix 18.-Statements of the Water Resources Council.

1937 Appendix 19.—U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Circular 39: “Wetlands of the United States,” 1956 ..

1987 Appendix 20.-Stream channelization: 1971 amendment to Agriculture Appropriations Act for fiscal year 1972.

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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE
OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS,

Washington, D.C.
The subcommittee met, at 10a.m., in room 2247, Rayburn House
Office Building, Hon. Henry S. Reuss (chairman of the subcommittee)
presiding.

Present: Representatives Henry S. Reuss, Gilbert Gude, Paul N. McCloskey, Jr., Sam Steiger, and John E. Moss.

Staff members present: Phineas Indritz, chief counsel; David B. Finnegan, assistant counsel; Michael B. Gross, legal assistant; and J. P. Carlson, minority counsel, Committee on Government Operations.

Mr. Reuss. The subcommittee will come to order.

Today we resume hearings concerning the dredging, modification, and channelization of waterways conducted or financed by the Soil Conservation Service, Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and other Federal agencies.

Last week Assistant Secretary of the Interior Nathaniel Reed testified that "a complete review of all river and stream channelization projects should be initiated.” In connection with this review, the Assistant Secretary said that he "would support” a moratorium on stream channelization projects of the Soil Conservation Service while such a study was going on, “because,” he said, “it would give us all time to come up with a reflective policy and not substantially damage any projects contemplated.”

Mr. Reed testified that the facts show that extensive channelization is not sound.

Earlier, a dozen national conservation organizations, which testified before our subcommittee, all recommended that the stream channelization programs of the Department of Agriculture be halted until they have been reviewed and their effects on the environment reevaluated.

The Executive Director of the Water Resources Council, Mr. W. Don Maughan, told us last week that channelization is such a controversial issue” that "a study should be made" and that his agency had the expertise to do such a study. He also told us that the Council staff had recommended a 2-year moratorium on channelization projects with some limited exceptions. Although the Department of Agriculture is a member of the Council

, its agency, the Soil Conservation Service, testified against such a moratorium.

This week, and next, we will hear from State agencies, scientists, private citizens, and several organizations. Some favor continued channelization. Others join the growing cadre that seek a temporary halt to channelization.

Our witnesses today—and I would ask them all to sit at the witness table--are Mr. Robert A. Jantzen, director, Arizona Game and Fish Department; Mr. Jack Crockford, assistant director, Georgia Game and Fish Commission; Mr. Dean Murphy, superintendent of game management, Missouri Department of Conservation; Mr. Harold Warvel, assistant director, Tennessee Game and Fish Commission; Mr. George Gettinger, executive director, Wabash Valley Interstate Commission; and Mr. Richard Yancey, assistant director, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.

Gentlemen, you are all most welcome. We appreciate your coming here. In all cases your prepared statements are gratefully received and under the rule will be admitted in the record in full, without objection.

We now would like to ask you to proceed. I think I will start over at the right-hand side of your witness table. Mr. Richard Yancey, assistant director, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.

STATEMENT OF RICHARD K. YANCEY, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR,

LOUISIANA WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES COMMISSION

may need.

Mr. YANCEY. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee

Mr. Reuss. Would you, Mr. Yancey, and all of your colleagues, proceed in any way you wish. As I have said, your full statement will be included in the record. You may, therefore, wish to summarize portions. I mention this because the members of the committee will want to ask some questions. Therefore, it would be good if you would try not to exceed, say, 10 minutes. However, use such time as you

Mr. YANCEY. All right, sir.

I am Richard Yancey, assistant director of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, and I have a written statement. I will summarize this, if it meets with the approval of the committee.

I would first like to say that we do welcome the opportunity to present this statement here today. Channelization is a serious problem in our State insofar as fish and wildlife resources are concerned, and we feel that it does bear looking into and possibly working out a procedure whereby some of the damages that we are receiving from channelization can be eliminated. We are hopeful that these hearings will result in some additional protection being provided for fish and wildlife in federally financed channelization projects in the future.

In the past, Louisiana has experienced a great amount of channelization by private, State, and Federal interests. It dates back into the early 1800's. In two regions of our State, channelization is already somewhat of a moot question because all of the natural streams have been converted into drainage canals, and dredging in these areas is now associated largely with widening and deepening existing channels in somewhat of a never-ending process.

Because of the rapidity with which many of our streams have been lost and destroyed through channelization, our Louisiana Legislature acted in 1970 to provide statutory protection for 31 small rivers,

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