[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[November 13, 1998]
[Pages 2032-2033]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Signing the National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998
November 13, 1998

    Today I am pleased to sign into law S. 1693, the ``National Parks 
Omnibus Management Act of 1998.''
    The Act, which passed with bipartisan support in both Houses of 
Congress, is a major victory for all Americans who treasure and want to 
preserve the cultural and natural resources our parks have to offer. The 
Act contains a number of measures to assist National Park Service 
operations. This legislation is the first major overhaul of the way that 
the National Park Service awards concessions contracts in more than 3 
decades. It ensures that all major contracts will be awarded through 
competitive bidding and makes concessions franchise fees available 
directly to the Park Service to improve the parks. These changes will 
result in better service to visitors and a better return to the 
    The Act requires the development of a training program that will 
allow Park Service employees the opportunity to gain the skills and 
experience they will need to protect parks. It also allows the Secretary 
of the Interior to lease park buildings consistent with other park 
legislation, and it lays out a clear process for the Park

[[Page 2033]]

Service to recommend areas to be studied for possible inclusion into the 
National Park System.
    Finally, the Act establishes a park ``passport,'' which includes a 
collectible stamp that provides an innovative way for the public to 
directly support parks. My Administration will work to minimize any 
confusion that may result between the introduction of this new parks-
only passport and the continued use of the Golden Eagle Passport, which 
provides access to all public lands.
    I commend retiring Senator Dale Bumpers, Senator Craig Thomas, and 
Representatives Don Young and George Miller for their outstanding work 
in forging a consensus to bring about the passage of S. 1693.

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,

November 13, 1998.

Note: S. 1693, approved November 13, was assigned Public Law No. 105-