Suing Clinton Over Rivers Initiative
Reps. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID), Don Young (R-AK), Bob Schaffer (R-CO) and Richard Pombo (R-CA) filed suit through Mountain States Legal Foundation over the American Heritage Rivers Initiative (AHRI).
The complaint was filed in US District Court for Washington DC on December 10. It seeks a declaration that the initiative is unconstitutional and that the President has no authority to implement it. On the same day, the Clinton Administration announced that 125 rivers nationwide have been nominated for consideration.
Congressional critics said the initiative violates the 10th Amendment, which gives states and local governments authority to engage in land-use planning and zoning.
Although no new regulatory authority is created as a result of AHRI, it will ban together 13 federal agencies to make decisions over designated river areas. The President has final approval and is expected to appoint a council to make the land-use decisions.
Mrs. Chenoweth stated that AHRI violated many federal laws and "is an example of the Presidents continued abuse of the Executive Order privilege." The entire Idaho delegation sent official word to the lead agency, the Center for Environmental Quality, that they do not want Idaho included in the process. Many times during the summer and fall, Administration officials stated that an area could be excluded with a request from the Congressional representative. Both the Clearwater and Snake rivers are on the nomination list.
Request your representatives support both this law suit and HR 1842, legislation to terminate and refuse appropriations to AHRI.
Sources: Associated Press (12/12/97) and press release from Rep. Chenoweths office