March 31, 1988

I am pleased to sign into law S. 854, the ``Nevada-Florida Land Exchange Authorization Act of 1988.''

This law authorizes and directs the exchange of approximately 38,840 acres of public land in Nevada for some 4,650 acres of Florida wetlands of equal value owned by the Aerojet-General Corporation. Aerojet would be entitled to lease an additional 14,000 acres in Nevada for 99 years. The Nevada lands will be transferred with a variety of stipulations for the protection of wildlife.

These lands will be used for the construction of rocket manufacturing, assembly, and testing facilities. Placing them in private ownership not only will expand significantly the tax base of the affected counties, but will also provide major employment opportunities in these areas.

The lands acquired by the United States will be sold to the South Florida Water Management District, a State agency, and used to augment the water conservation activities of that agency. These include both the protection of drinking water for the millions of people living in the Miami area and the maintenance of proper water flows into Everglades National Park.

The funds resulting from that sale will be utilized for purchase of important wildlife habitat at two National Wildlife Refuges in Florida to aid in the effort to preserve the endangered Key Deer and the Manatee.

I particularly congratulate Senator Chic Hecht and Congresswoman Vucanovich, the primary sponsors, for their leadership role in seeing this project through to completion. The other members of the Nevada and Florida delegations also deserve considerable credit for the time and effort they have devoted to securing passage of this legislation. Florida, Nevada, and the Nation benefit from enactment of this bill. Everyone who has been involved should consider this a job ``well done.''

Ronald Reagan
The White House,

Note: S. 854, approved March 31, was assigned Public Law No. 100 - 275.