January 12, 1999


We will honor the core principle Theodore Roosevelt set out for us a hundred years ago; we will leave this magnificent country 'even a better land for our descendants than it is for us'.

President Bill Clinton
January 12, 1999

Today, President Clinton and Vice President Gore visit the National Arboretum, to announce a landmark initiative to protect America's land resources. This $1 billion Lands Legacy Initiative expands efforts to save America's natural treasures, and provides significant new resources to states and communities to protect local green spaces. The President will work with Congress to create a permanent funding stream beginning in fiscal year 2001. In addition, the President will call on Congress to extend permanent wilderness protection to more than 5 million acres within 17 national parks and monuments.

Preserving America's Natural Treasures. President Clinton and Vice President Gore are committed to the preservation of our natural treasures and resources. The Clinton-Gore Administration has protected Yellowstone Park from mining, created a 1.7 million-acre national monument in Utah's spectacular red-rock country, and forged a historic agreement to save ancient California redwoods. The Lands Legacy Initiative expands these efforts with $442 million for federal land acquisitions, including:

In addition, the President is calling on Congress to grant permanent wilderness protection to over 5 million acres within the backcountry of Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, Great Smoky Mountain, Cumberland Gap and 12 other national parks and monuments, giving these lands the highest level of federal protection available.

A Cleaner Environment For The 21st Century. A new century poses new conservation challenges. We must work to preserve natural wonders in our own backyards that grow scarcer every day. The Lands Legacy Initiative, to be coordinated with the Livability Agenda announced yesterday by Vice President Gore, provides $588 million to state and local governments, private land trusts, and other nonprofit groups for:

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