Collins Protects Northeast Georgia Economy from Obama Administration Proposal
WASHINGTON– Today, the House of Representatives passed the Department of Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017, which funds the Department of the Interior and its related projects and agencies for the coming year. Congressman Collins worked to have language included in the bill that prohibits any funds from being used to close any United States Fish and Wildlife Service fish hatchery, or to reduce production at those hatcheries.
The following statement was issued by Congressman Collins on the victory for fish hatchery programs that draw economic activity to rural places around the country, especially Northeast Georgia:
“Under the Obama Administration, hatchery programs—including the Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery, have been among the lowest funding priorities. The Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery is a major economic driver in the mountain town of Suches, Georgia and the surrounding area. Because of its critical importance to Northeast Georgia, I fought for the inclusion of this language to ensure the continued viability of the Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery and other hatcheries across the country. The language in the bill rejects the Administration’s proposal to close certain hatcheries, and prohibits production from being slowed or stopped. I know what an important investment these hatcheries are – the hatchery in Fannin County has generated millions in economic output for the area, and has a $40 dollar return on investment for every dollar spent. In addition to drawing anglers from all over the country to bring economic activity to a rural place, the hatchery keeps the river responsibly stocked with enough trout to keep the habitat in order and maintain ecological balance. I thank my colleagues who have been supportive of this measure, and I am glad to see that the bill will preserve the economic, educational, and recreational benefits that come along with them.”