Statement on Signing the
Today I am signing H.R. 5705, which would establish the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. This legislation is designed to protect and enhance the scenic, cultural, recreational, and natural resources of the Columbia River Gorge.
signing this bill, I have grave doubts as to the constitutionality of the
provision in section 10 which would authorize the Governors of Washington and
In addition, I am concerned that H.R. 5705 could lead to undue Federal intervention in local land use decisions. I believe that the regulation of private land use is generally not a responsibility of the Federal Government. While I am strongly opposed to Federal regulation of private land use planning, I am signing this bill because of the far-reaching support in both States for a solution to the longstanding problems related to management of the Columbia River Gorge. Because of that strong support, I urge the States to establish the Commission at the earliest possible date so that the Commission can make the land use decisions that are properly the function of State and local governments. In that spirit, I am also directing the Secretary of Agriculture to implement this legislation in a manner that will minimize, to the extent permitted by law, Federal intervention in such decisions.
Note: H.R. 5705, approved November 17, was assigned Public Law No. 99 - 663.