Clinton plan would circumvent Congress
Gibbons Seeks to Spike
Federal Rivers Proposal
|Nevada Congressman Jim Gibbons this week co-sponsored legislation to block a Clinton Administration attempt to facilitate federal takeovers of America's rivers.|
| Entitled the American Heritage
Rivers Initiative, the administration program was first
announced by President Clinton in his February State of
the Union address and then published May 19 in the
"I will designate 10 American Heritage Rivers to help communities along side them revitalize their waterfronts and clean up pollution in the rivers," said Clinton in his address.
However, Congress had already rejected a more grandiose version of the plan, the American Heritage Areas Act, in the final day's of last year's session, as a threat to property rights and as a not-so- disguised push for national land-use planning.
The rejected bill asked Congress to designate vast stretches of the country as "heritage zones" based on historical, cultural or natural characteristics. Included as targets for designation were a number of river systems.
Unlike its predecessor, the American Rivers program is projected by the administration to operate only within the Executive Branch, without Congressional approval or oversight. Funds and personnel would be reassigned away from Congressionally
area and federal
control down onto private land. Once the boundaries of an
area are drawn -- let's say 20 miles wide each side of a
river, whatever the mandates are for that area -- they'll
apply to everyone in it in some way."
American Heritage Rivers
the American Heritage Rivers Initiative, as described in the proposal of the Council on Environmental Quality published in the Federal Register on May 19, 1997 (62 Fed. Reg. 27253), or any similar initiative."
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