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Tennessee - Tombigbee Wildlife Mitigation Project

 

Lake: Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway, MS

Partners: USACE; Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks; Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; US Fish & Wildlife Service

Partnership Type: Public Law

Corps POC: Danny Hartley

Story: WRDA 1986, Section 601, authorized the TTW Mitigation Project in accordance with the Chief of Engineers report, with some legislative adjustments. The authorized plan called for intensive wildlife management on about 72,500 acres of lands already purchased for construction and operation of the waterway and 20,000 acres at Okatibbee Lake, Black Warrior and Tombigbee River Lakes, and Alabama River Lakes. Administration mitigation policy at that time required that management of project lands be maximized for mitigation credits to minimize the requirements for separable mitigation lands. Section 601 also authorized acquisition and management of 88,000 acres of separable mitigation lands from "willing sellers." Separable lands were to be identified and purchased with the consent of the states and the USFWS. Project lands and separable lands were to be managed for mitigation by the two states, subject to reimbursement by the Corps. Management of project lands for mitigation began within about two years of the authorization. Appropriations for acquisition of separable land began around 1990. USACE, USFWS, and the states agreed on an equitable distribution for the separable lands between the two states. Because the states would not accept all the designated project lands for management, USACE continues to manage a portion of the project lands to ensure that the mitigation commitment is fulfilled, while the states manage the balance of the project lands and all the separable lands.

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