I have today signed H.R. 3757, a bill which establishes the Channel Islands National Park in California, designates the 3,200-mile North Country National Scenic Trail, and includes many other additional improvements to this Nation's park and recreational heritage. Many of the provisions contained in this bill amend and strengthen the National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978, which I had the pleasure to approve a little more than a year ago.
The creation of Channel Islands National Park completes what President Franklin Roosevelt began in 1938. He created the Channel Islands National Monument, consisting of Anacapa and Santa Barbara Islands off the coast of California, to preserve the outstanding scenic and unique wildlife values found there. This legislation expands the monument to protect Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel Islands and establishes the Channel Islands as this Nation's 40th national park.
H.R. 3757 contains numerous authorities for the acquisition of additional lands within units of our National Park System. The bill also directs the Secretary of the Interior to identify and establish suitable sites to commemorate United States Presidents, designates the Birch River in West Virginia for study as a potential addition to the Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and establishes the Yaguina Head Outstanding Natural Area in the State of Oregon.
The Nation owes a special thanks to all those who have contributed to the passage of this legislation. I would like to particularly recognize the authors of this bill-Representatives Phillip Burton, Anthony Beilenson, and Robert Lagomarsino and Senator Alan Cranston—for their diligence in pursuing this conservation goal.
In signing this bill, however, I must note my concerns over the constitutionality of section 120, which would purport to give the committees of the Congress power to disapprove decisions made by the Secretary of the Interior to establish sites to commemorate former Presidents. I fully informed the Congress on June 21, 1978, of my views regarding the use of such legislative veto devices. Further, the Department of Justice on August 7, 1978, informed the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of its conclusion that a virtually identical legislative veto provision in a bill then pending before that committee was unconstitutional.
Although I am signing this bill because of its importance, I am also instructing Secretary Andrus to regard the exercise of committee power granted to it under section 120 as advisory only. The Secretary will, of course, give the views of the committees and other Members of the Congress, as well as the general public, his fullest consideration in the selection of sites pursuant to this bill.