June 2, 1997
The Administration supports H.R. 1420, which would create a strong and singular
conservation mission for the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) and require
that public uses of a refuge be compatible with this mission and with the
purposes for which the refuge was established.
In addition, H.R. 1420 would establish as the policy of the United States that compatible wildlife-dependent recreation is a legitimate and appropriate public use of the NWRS, and that such recreation is a priority general public use of the System. This policy would secure an appropriate role for fish- and wildlife-dependent recreation in the NWRS, while ensuring that NWRS biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health are maintained for present and future generations of Americans. This approach is consistent with President Clinton's Executive Order 12996 of March 1996 regarding the management of the NWRS. The Administration appreciates the bipartisan efforts that produced H.R. 1420.