House passes bill to create wildlife refuge in Detroit River

Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Industrial property along an 18-mile stretch of the Detroit River will be transformed into a wildlife refuge under a bill approved by the House this week.

The bill passed the House on a voice vote and now goes to the Senate.

The bill was introduced by Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., who represents the communities south of Detroit where the refuge would be located. It would extend from Mud Island to Point Mouillee.

Much of the land is owned by private businesses, but no longer is in use. Private landowners could sell or donate their property to the reserve, put the land in the reserve while keeping ownership or keep the property and develop it.

If they turn over the land for the refuge, seawalls and structures would be torn down and it would return to its natural state.

Dingell, an avid duck hunter, included language in the bill to assure the refuge remains open for hunting and fishing.

The land and waterways in the reserve would be managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and corresponding Canadian authorities.

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The bill is H.R. 1230.

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