For the reasons outlined below, the President's senior advisors will
recommend that the President veto H.R. 4570 if the bill, either as
introduced or in the form of the proposed substitute amendment, is
presented to him.
H.R. 4570, an omnibus bill that would affect Federal lands and reclamation
projects, includes many provisions that the Administration strongly opposes
because they would cause grave harm to the Nation's natural resources.
These include provisions that would:
- Designate insufficient wilderness areas within the San Rafael Swell in
Utah; sanction uses within the proposed wilderness area that would
undermine wilderness values and management practices; establish confusing
and inappropriate layers of management; and limit the Bureau of Land
Management's ability to manage livestock.
- Undermine the President's authority under the Antiquities Act to act
quickly to protect significant natural, historical, and scientific
resources on Federal lands; and prohibit, under the Antiquities Act,
permanent designations of national monuments in excess of 50,000 acres
without further congressional action.
- Seek to accelerate timber harvesting on Federal lands through
inappropriate application of alternative arrangements for the
environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy
Act (NEPA), while at the same time requiring the issuance of
unnecessary, bureaucratic regulations which can hamper flexibility in
addressing emergency situations.
- Deny the public future access to lake-front lands around Canyon Ferry
Reservoir, Montana, by conveying these properties to non-federal
- Permit the sale and lease of valuable structures and lands at Channel
Island National Park, California, to private individuals.
- Exclude certain lands and roadways from the Cumberland Island
Wilderness, Georgia, thus undermining the ongoing collaborative effort
between the Federal Government, non-federal public entities, and
private individuals to prepare a wilderness management plan for both
the Cumberland Island National Seashore and the Cumberland Island
- Convey facilities and lands of eight Federal water resources projects
throughout the West (e.g. the Sly Park Unit of the Central Valley
Project, California) under terms and conditions that: (1) were not
developed in an open and public manner; (2) lack sufficient
environmental protections; and (3) fail to consider the financial
interests of the American taxpayer.
- Allow an airport to be constructed near Mojave Preserve, Nevada,
without any consideration of the possible harmful environmental impact
- Grant an irrevocable and perpetual easement over environmentally
sensitive lands in the Chugach National Forest, Alaska, to the Chugach
Alaska Corporation, thereby overriding the provisions of the 1982
Settlement Agreement with the Corporation's predecessor
Notwithstanding the Administration's strong opposition to these and other
provisions of the bill, as listed in the Attachment, the Administration has
expressed support for some provisions that are now included in H.R. 4570.
The Administration would fully support enactment of those particular bills,
especially the legislation that would ratify an exchange agreement between
the Department of the Interior and the State of Utah, if they are presented
individually to the President.
H.R. 4570 would affect direct spending; therefore, it is subject to the
pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) requirement of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
of 1990. OMB's PAYGO estimate for this bill is under development.