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DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR, POTLATCH CORPORATION TO RECOGNIZE ARKANSAS-IDAHO LAND EXCHANGE

 ATLANTA, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Department of the Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Potlatch Corporation of San Francisco, will co-host a ceremony to recognize a land exchange that will add nearly 41,000 acres of valuable wildlife habitat to the National Wildlife Refuge System.
 The ceremony will take place in Little Rock, Ark.
 Under legislation signed into law on Nov. 2, 1992, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will receive from the Potlatch Corporation bottomland hardwood acreage located along the White River, between the existing Cache River National Wildlife Refuge and the White River National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Arkansas. The land will be added to the White River refuge, making it possible for the service to manage a total of more than 170,000 acres of river and adjoining wetlands for wildlife.
 The Potlatch Corporation, in return, will receive approximately 17,600 acres of federal land owned by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service in Idaho. These lands, which will be managed by Potlatch for sustained timber harvest, do not have significant wildlife or wetland values. Much of the land is in scattered pockets within larger blocks of federal and privately owned lands.
 The Arkansas land consists largely of undisturbed lakes, oxbows and riverine areas that flood early and consistently, even in dry years, providing excellent waterfowl habitat. An estimated 10 percent of the entire mallard population in the nation's Mississippi Flyway winters on these lands.
 The area is surrounded by federal and state wetlands that have already been designated as Wetlands of International Importance under the RAMSAR Convention, an international agreement to protect wetlands of global importance. It is anticipated that the newly acquired lands will also receive this designation.
 The ceremonial exchange of documents for the land swap will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, in the auditorium of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Building, Two Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock.
 Attending the ceremony will be Sen. Dale Bumpers of Arkansas; Assistant Secretary of the Interior Mike Hayden; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director John F. Turner; Potlatch Corporation President and Chief Operating Officer John Richards; Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Director Steve N. Wilson; and The Nature Conservancy State Director for Arkansas Nancy DeLamar.
 The legislation authorizing the exchange was introduced by Sen. Bumpers and co-sponsored by Sen. David Pryor of Arkansas and Sens. Larry Craig and Steven Symms of Idaho. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and The Nature Conservancy, Arkansas Field Office strongly endorsed the land exchange.
 -0- 1/7/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Mike Hayden and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director John F. Turner will be available for media interviews at the reception following the ceremony, beginning at about 12:30 p.m.
 Interviews may be scheduled by contacting:
 Vicki M. Boatwright
 Assistant Regional Director, Public Affairs
 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
 Atlanta, GA
 404-331-3594
 or
 Joe Mosby
 General News Editor
 Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
 Little Rock, AR
 501-223-6342
 B-roll of the Arkansas lands involved in the exchange will be made available in BETA SP upon request at the ceremony./
 /CONTACT: Vicki M. Boatwright of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 404-331-3594/


CO: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Department of the Interior;
 Potlatch Corporation ST: Arkansas IN: PAP SU: EXE


BN-RA -- AT009 -- 2755 01/07/93 15:40 EST
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Date:Jan 7, 1993
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