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                        Office of the Press Secretary
                    (San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina)

For Immediate Release October 17, 1997




America's forests are a precious resource, making numerous rich contributions not only to the natural splendor of our Nation, but also to the well-being of our people. Whether part of the vast acreages that make up our industrial, State, and National forests or rural woodlots and urban forests, they offer us clean water and air, priceless wildlife habitat and fisheries, welcome settings for recreation, and breathtaking beauty. Our forests also provide us with more tangible products essential to everyday living: wood and paper products for our homes, schools, and offices, and even medicines and food.

While the wood products we harvest from our forests can be so durable that they last for centuries, forest ecosystems themselves are very fragile. America's growing population and urban expansion are putting ever-increasing demands on forest lands and resources. We must work together to devise imaginative forest management approaches that will allow us to preserve and cultivate healthy forest ecosystems, meet the need for forest products, provide jobs for those who depend on forests for their livelihood, and continue to offer Americans enjoyable recreational opportunities.

Fortunately, forest research is equipping us with vital knowledge that can help us to balance the many and varied demands on our woodlands. Thanks to such research, we are now using new products and innovative technologies and employing new recycling methods that not only extend the available supply of raw materials, but also help us to process those materials more efficiently and with fewer harmful by-products. This use of science to balance the needs of our people both for forest products and a healthy environment will help us to achieve our goal of sustainable forest management.

All of us are indebted to past generations of Americans whose vision and generosity preserved so many of our Nation's great forests for our use and pleasure. Now it falls to us to continue their wise stewardship so that we may pass on to future generations this priceless natural legacy.

In recognition of the central role our forests play in the long-term welfare of our Nation, the Congress, by Public Law 86-753 (36 U.S.C. 163), has designated the week beginning on the third Sunday in October of each year as "National Forest Products Week" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 19 through October 25, 1997, as National Forest Products Week. I call upon all Americans to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-second.


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