[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[October 30, 1998]
[Page 1930]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Signing Wildlife and Wetlands Legislation
October 30, 1998

    Today I am signing into law H.R. 2807, an omnibus measure that 
includes many provisions I supported to enhance fish and wildlife 
    The Act reauthorizes the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act 
through FY 2002 and prohibits the sale, importation, and exportation of 
products labeled or advertised as derived from rhinoceroses or tigers. 
This will substantially eliminate the demand for products made from 
these endangered species. The Act also reauthorizes, through FY 2003, 
the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and the Partnerships for 
Wildlife Act, two of the most popular, cost-effective, and productive 
environmental conservation programs.
    I note that section 304 of the Act amends the criteria for 
appointing individuals to the North American Wetlands Conservation 
Council. Specifically, this provision purportedly designates an 
officeholder of a named private organization as a Council member. This 
raises two issues. First, the Council is involved in the implementation 
of Federal wetlands conservation programs and, therefore, its members 
are considered officers of the United States. Pursuant to the 
Appointments Clause of the Constitution, the Congress may not appoint 
Federal officers. Consequently, I will instruct the Secretary of the 
Interior merely to consider the designated individual along with other 
appropriate candidates for appointment to the Council.
    Second, if the Secretary ultimately selects the individual 
designated by the Act, that individual will be subject to executive 
branch standards of conduct and criminal conflict-of-interest statutes. 
The individual's ability to act fully as a Council member therefore may 
be somewhat curtailed by his or her affiliation with a private 
    On balance, the Act provides a considerable benefit to the 
conservation of fish and wildlife, and I am pleased to sign it into law.

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,

October 30, 1998.

Note: H.R. 2807, approved October 30, was assigned Public Law No. 105-