Protecting America's Natural And Cultural Heritage


Friday, June 9, 2000


"These lands are among America’s great natural treasures, and we owe it to future generations to preserve them. We act today so that years from now, Americans will still be able to paddle free-flowing waters and hike pristine peaks, enjoying these extraordinary stretches of our natural heritage."

Vice President Al Gore
Friday, June 9, 2000

Today, at the White House, President Clinton and Vice President Gore announced the creation of four new national monuments in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona. Today's action will protect federal lands which represent unique, irreplaceable pieces of America's natural and cultural heritage. The Clinton-Gore Administration is calling on Congress to stop loading up budget bills with legislative riders that would jeopardize any national monuments created this year and threaten important environmental and public health protections.

Preserving our Heritage through Land Stewardship. In 1906, Congress passed the Antiquities Act, authorizing the President to create national monuments on federally owned lands to protect "objects of historic and scientific interest." Since then, over 100 monuments have been designated in 24 states and the Virgin Islands, protecting some 70 million acres. Last year, President Clinton directed Interior Secretary Babbitt to report to him on unique and fragile federal lands in need of protection. Based on the Secretary's recommendation, the President today protected the following lands as monuments:

Each monument includes only lands already owned and managed by the federal government. Private property rights are not affected, and valid existing rights on the federal lands are preserved.

Calling on Congress to Drop Anti-Environmental “Riders.” With today's action, President Clinton has protected more land as national monuments in the lower 48 states than any president in history. But once again, the Republicans are loading up budget bills with legislative “riders” that threaten important environmental and public health protections. The current wave of anti-environmental riders, which the President and Vice President are calling on Congress to drop, include:

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