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President's Memorandum Regarding Antarctica

Memorandum 6646
February 5, 1982

THE WHITE HOUSE

WASHINGTON

MEMORANDUM FOR

THE SECRETARY OF STATE
THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION
THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY
THE DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE
CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF
DIRECTOR, ARMS CONTROL AND DISARMAMENT AGENCY
DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY
ADMINISTRATOR, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

SUBJECT: United States Antarctic Policy and Programs

I have reviewed the Antarctic Policy Group's study of United States interests in Antarctica and related policy and program considerations, as forwarded by the Department of State on November 13, 1981, and have decided that:

  • The United States Antarctic Program shall be main­tain­ed at a level providing an active and influential presence in Antarc­tica designed to support the range of U.S. antarctic interests.
  • This presence shall include the conduct of scientific activities in major disciplines; year-round occupation of the South Pole and two coastal stations; and availability of related necessary logistics support.
  • Every effort shall be made to manage the program in a man­ner that maximizes cost effectiveness and return on investment.

I have also decided that the National Science Foundation shall continue to:

  • budget for and manage the entire United States na­tion­al program in Antarctica, including logistic support activities so that the program may be managed as a single package;
  • fund university research and federal agency programs related to Antarctica;
  • draw upon logistic support capabilities of government agencies on a cost reimbursable basis; and
  • use commercial support and management facilities where these are determined to be cost effective and will not, in the view of the Group, be detrimental to the national interest.

Other agencies may, however, fund and undertake directed short-term programs of scientific activity related to Antarctica upon the recommendation of the Antarctic Policy Group and subject to the budgetary review process. Such activities shall be coordinated within the framework of the National Science Foundation logistics support.

The expenditures and commitment of resource necessary to maintain an active and influential presence in Antarctica, including the scientific activities and stations in the Antarctic, shall be reviewed and determined as p[art of the normal budget process. To ensure that the United States Antarctic Program is not funded at the expense of other National Science Foundation programs, the OMB will provide specific budgetary guidance for the antarctic program.

To ensure that the United States has the necessary flexibility and operational reach in the area, the Departments of Defense and Transportation shall continue to provide, on a reimbursable basis, the logistic support requested by the National Science Foundation and to develop, in collaboration with the Foundation, logistic arrangements and cost structure required for effective and responsive program support at minimum cost.

With respect to the upcoming negotiations on a regime covering antarctic mineral resources, the Antarctic Policy Group shall prepare a detailed U.S. position and instructions. These should be forwarded for my consideration by May 15, 1982.

Ronald Reagan

Office of Polar Programs Site Map

 

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A bust of Admiral Richard Byrd stands at McMurdo Station. (NSF/USAP photo by Peter West, NSF.)