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First Gov  

November 7, 1997

H.R. 1842 - To Terminate Further Development and Implementation
of the American Heritage Rivers Initiative
(Chenoweth (R) ID and 46 others)

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 1842 and, if it were presented to the President, the President's senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill. H.R. 1842 would terminate the American Heritage Rivers Initiative (AHRI) by prohibiting Federal agencies from using any funds to carry out the initiative.

The AHRI is an important Presidential initiative that supports community-led efforts to revitalize local economies, protect natural resources, and preserve historic and cultural resources. The initiative would identify ten community-nominated rivers to be designated as American Heritage Rivers in 1998. Those rivers would receive focused Federal support to facilitate access to Executive branch agencies and existing programs. The designated rivers would serve as models of the most innovative, successful, and sustainable approaches to river restoration and community revitalization across the United States. The AHRI seeks to create a government that works better and costs less by focusing on customer service, developing partnerships, and delegating power to State and local governments. The AHRI is voluntary and locally driven. It will create no new regulatory requirements nor will it affect the decision making processes of State, tribal, or local governments.

Rivers are an integral part of our Nation's history and provide avenues for trade, recreation, habitat for wildlife, routes for exploration, and opportunities for commerce, agriculture, and forestry. The AHRI will use existing Federal resources more effectively to assist community revitalization of waterfronts by enhancing the historic, cultural, recreational, touristic, agricultural, economic, public health, and environmental values of our Nation's rivers.