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Rodger Schlickeisen President, Defenders of Wildlife

(12/14/1999) - President Clinton’s two announcements today of additional lands to be protected and of Interior Secretary Babbitt’s new monument proposals represent news that can rightfully be called historic. The Clinton-Gore Administration is often cited for its importance to the economy and education, but future historians may emphasize its land legacy even more.

This is the quintessential American legacy that we can leave to future generations – decisive actions that preserve the winter range for bison in Yellowstone, the spectacular landscape on the rim of the Grand Canyon, the rocky wildlife shelters off the California coastline, the flocks of birds at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, and other treasures. There is no greater legacy.

President Teddy Roosevelt initiated conservation in the twentieth century when he set aside Pelican Island refuge. Today, in the Roosevelt Room, President Bill Clinton has ushered us into the twenty-first century of conservation.

The conservation community supports his Lands Legacy initiative and is glad that the Interior Department won a number of victories in the budget battle to obtain funds that will be so wisely spent to protect natural and historic resources. In addition, we hope President Clinton’s actions today point out the need for Congress to provide a permanent source of funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund so that it will not be necessary to wage the same battles every year to ensure protection of America’s greatest treasures.

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Contact(s):

Cat Lazaroff, (202) 772-3270

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