STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY: The Designation of Five New National Monuments
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
December 22, 2000


     President Clinton has received recommendations from Interior Secretary
Babbitt for the designation of five new national monuments in California,
Montana, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and intends to make decisions on
those recommendations in the coming weeks.

     The Antiquities Act authorizes the President to ensure protection of
federal lands of particular historic or scientific significance by
designating them as national monuments.  Over the past several years,
President Clinton has used this authority to protect historic treasures
such as Soldiers? Home in Washington, D.C., and extraordinary natural
treasures such as California?s ancient sequoias, the red-rock canyons of
Utah, and the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  To date, the President has
created eleven new monuments, and expanded two others, protecting nearly
4.6 million acres in all.

     At the President?s request, Secretary Babbitt has surveyed federal
lands in need of additional protection, and has consulted with state and
local representatives on how best to preserve them.  The President looks
forward to reviewing the Secretary?s latest recommendations.


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