Defenders Supports Permanent Funding for America's Land Legacy

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Statement by Defenders President Rodger Schlickeisen

(03/04/1999) -
As part of his balanced budget for FY 2000, President Clinton today proposed a guaranteed funding stream of at least $1 billion per year for conservation of America's land and coastal resources. This Lands Legacy Initiative will include $413 million for federal protection of natural and historic sites across the country; $434 million to help local, state, and tribal governments preserve farms, urban parks, and other local green spaces; and $183 million to protect coastal and ocean resources.

Washington, DC-- "Today, President Clinton has once again demonstrated his commitment to protecting and preserving that which is wild and natural about America. His pledge to provide permanent and significantly increased funding for America's lands legacy is both far-reaching and far-sighted."

"We are very pleased to see that various members of Congress, of both parties, are supporting similar proposals. After six years of fighting efforts by Congress to undermine environmental protections, environmental groups finally have a positive initiative to promote."

"For the past 18 years, presidents and congresses of both parties have essentially robbed the Land and Water Conservation Fund of revenues earmarked for conservation. Instead, they have used such funds to help eliminate the budget deficit. Now, it's time to eliminate the conservation deficit that has accumulated during this time. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations of Americans."

"In addition, we hope that the President's call today for Congress to stop its attack on the environment through anti-environmental riders does not go unheeded. Defenders vigorously endorses an end to the recent trend of adding countless anti-environmental riders to otherwise good legislation. Congress should avoid these sneak tactics, which cause undue battles, and get on with the work of ensuring the long-term preservation of all of America's wonderful natural resources."

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Contact(s):

Cat Lazaroff, (202) 772-3270