Reaction to State of the Union Address By Environmental Community

Rodger Schlickeisen, President Defenders of Wildlife

(01/19/1999) - "The Lands Legacy Initiative highlighted in the President's State of the Union address has been welcomed wholeheartedly by the environmental community. We hope the public will understand that this initiative is not just a budget increase or a publicity package. It represents a substantive commitment to conservation programs sought for many years by conservationists concerned about threatened national parklands, wildlife refuges, and marine sanctuaries as well as disappearing green space in our communities. For several years, the White House and Department of Interior have met with us about these concerns; the plans they have outlined are a creative initiative to address these longstanding needs. This is the first time any Administration has requested the level of funding intended by Congress when it created the Land & Water Conservation Fund, which derives funds primarily from offshore oil leases. Tonight the President confirmed his intention to promote the largest one-year investment ever in America's land and oceans legacy. Tomorrow Interior Secretary Babbitt will accept the title to the first 10,000 acres of this land legacy in California's Mojave Desert, so the program is already underway." --Rodger Schlickeisen, President Defenders of Wildlife



Cat Lazaroff, (202) 772-3270