Public Papers - 1992 - October
Memorandum of Disapproval for Legislation Requiring an Historical and Cultural Resources Study in Lynn, Massachusetts
I am withholding my approval of H.R. 2859, which would require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to identify historic sites in the vicinity of Lynn, Massachusetts, and provide alternatives on the appropriate Federal role in preserving and interpreting these sites.
The National Park Service (NPS) studies many sites to determine if they are nationally significant and therefore suitable for inclusion in the National Park System. A site is nationally significant if it is an outstanding example of a unique natural, historic, or cultural resource with demonstrated importance to the entire Nation.
In many instances, the Congress has used the findings of a congressionally mandated NPS study, regardless of the study's conclusion, to justify authorization of a new unit of the National Park System. To restore credibility and a national focus to its study process, the NPS re-established in 1991 a program to evaluate sites and prioritize candidates for future study. The most promising candidates identified by the NPS experts would be proposed for formal study.
For my fiscal year 1993 Budget request, NPS professionals rated and ranked 41 candidates from criteria established by the Department of the Interior. The fiscal year 1993 Budget proposed .2 million to study the seven highest-rated candidates from the list of 41 originally reviewed. The Congress appropriated 8,000 to conduct four of the studies proposed by the NPS.
The NPS experts have not identified the Lynn, Massachusetts, study as a high priority. The effect of this legislation would be to place completion of this study before the completion of other studies that the experts agree are much more important to the Nation.
H.R. 2859 would ignore professional analysis and budget constraints. It would also undermine the critical objective of identifying and evaluating the Nation's most promising natural, historic, and cultural assets for protection as units of the National Park System. I am therefore withholding my approval of H.R. 2859.
The White House,
October 26, 1992.
Note: This memorandum was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on October 27.