Memorandum of Disapproval on a Bill Concerning Federal Lands in Montana


November 2, 1988


I am withholding my approval of S. 2751, a bill ``to designate certain lands in Montana as wilderness, to release other forest lands for multiple use management, and for other purposes.'' My Administration's National Forest System Land and Resource Management Plans for Montana already strike the appropriate balance among competing economic, environmental, and cultural interests in the National Forests of Montana. The provisions of S. 2751 would have severely disrupted that balance.


Enactment of the bill would injure the economy of Montana. It could cost jobs and eliminate vast mineral development opportunities. It also would reduce the flexibility the Federal Government needs in managing the Nation's natural heritage.


The legislation would constrain the ability of the Federal Government to obtain strategic and critical minerals. These minerals are necessary to supply military, industrial, and essential civilian needs during national defense emergencies and are not now found or produced in the United States in sufficient quantities to meet those needs.


Finally, the legislation would have provided for the Federal Government to exchange revenue-producing Federal land for nonrevenue-producing land. The resulting loss in revenue to the Treasury would have increased the Federal deficit and imposed an unwanted and unneeded burden on the American taxpayer.


Ronald Reagan


The White House,


November 2, 1988.