FACT SHEET: President Clinton Calls on Congress to act Now on Permanent Conservation Funding
                            September 21, 2000

President Clinton today will call on Congress to act now on historic
bipartisan legislation to ensure permanent conservation funding to protect
critical lands across America.  Joined by state and local officials, and
representatives of recreation and conservation organizations, the President
will urge the Senate to pass the bipartisan Conservation and Reinvestment
Act, which would provide guaranteed funding to support federal protection
of natural treasures and to help states and communities protect urban
parks, farmland, forests, battlefields, coastland, and other green spaces.
He will also call on Congress to fully fund his fiscal year 2001 land
conservation budget and send him budget bills free of anti-environmental

Protecting America?s Critical Lands.  Over the past seven years, President
Clinton has secured stronger protection for tens of millions of acres of
precious land across America ? protecting Yellowstone National Park from
mining, forging an historic agreement to protect ancient California
redwoods, permanently protecting the Baca Ranch in New Mexico, and
restoring the Florida Everglades.  Last year, the President secured $652
million -- a 42 percent increase ? to support federal, state, and local
efforts to protect America?s land and coastal resources in FY 2000.  So
far, Congress has approved less than half of the President?s request for
these priorities in FY 2001. Today, the President will call upon Congress
to fully fund his FY 2001 land conservation budget.

Broad Bipartisan Support for Permanent Conservation Funding.  To ensure
strong conservation efforts in the years ahead, the President has called
for the creation of a permanent endowment to protect America?s critical
lands.  His fiscal year 2001 budget proposes a new category to ensure
permanent funding of at least $1.4 billion per year, with at least half
going to support state and local conservation efforts.  Permanent funding
would ensure that the federal government, states, and local communities
have a consistent and reliable funding source to protect open spaces,
farmland, forests, ocean and coastal resources, and urban and suburban
parks. It would mean that citizens could enjoy more open spaces, and that
future generations of Americans can appreciate the incomparable natural
treasures that are among this nation?s greatest riches.

The call for permanent conservation funding has received broad bipartisan
support this year. The Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) passed the
House with more than 300 votes, and the Senate Energy Committee reported a
bipartisan bill that close to two-thirds of the Senate has said must be
considered this year.  In a demonstration of the broad national support
this legislation enjoys, President Clinton will be joined at the White
House today by education, municipal, sports, conservation, outdoor
recreation and wildlife protection leaders.  With them, he will call on the
Senate to pass this important legislation before Congress adjourns.

Fighting Anti-Environmental Riders. The President will also call upon
Congress to send him budget bills free of anti-environmental riders. Bills
now before Congress contain riders that aim to: block cleanup of
contaminated sediments at Superfund sites; undermine efforts to improve air
quality; weaken protections for our drinking water; prevent hard- rock
mining reforms on public lands; promote overcutting of timber on national
forests; block common sense efforts to improve energy conservation and
combat climate change; and undermine efforts to protect endangered species.

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