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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 2, 1998
                   President Clinton Acts to Protect 
                        America's Great Places

Continuing his efforts to protect America's great places, President Clinton today announced plans to acquire 100 natural and historical sites for permanent protection. They include the final links in the Appalachian Trail, critical winter range for Yellowstone's elk and bison herds, and initial funding for the removal of two dams blocking salmon migration on the Elwha River near Olympic National Park.

These acquisitions are made possible by the Balanced Budget Agreement negotiated last year by the President. The Agreement provided $699 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund for priority acquisitions. Portions of this money were earmarked for the protection of Yellowstone National Park from mining, and preservation of ancient redwoods in California's Headwaters Forest. The list transmitted to Congress today from Secretaries Babbitt and Glickman details the President's plans for the remaining $329 million. It includes 100 sites of local and national significance in 35 states.

All the acquisitions will be made from willing sellers. The lands will be managed by the Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, or the Bureau of Land Management.

Highlights include:

Completion of the Appalachian Trail: The Appalachian National Scenic Trail extends 2,114 miles from Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia. A total of $15.1 million will be provided to buy the last remaining private parcels on the trail, primarily in Virginia, Maryland, Maine and Vermont.

Winter Range for Yellowstone's Migratory Wildlife: Purchase of land or easements from portions of the Royal Teton Ranch just north of Yellowstone National Park, a critical winter foraging area for elk and bison, with $13 million. This project also protects the park's geothermal resources, including Old Faithful.

Restoration of Salmon Runs on the Elwha River: A total of $86 million to acquire the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams and begin dam removal and ecosystem restoration in and around Olympic National Park in Washington State.

One of America's Largest Elk Herd Protected: A first installment of $20 million to purchase the 95,000-acre Baca Ranch adjacent to the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico. The property is rangeland for one of the country's largest elk herds. It also includes the Valles Caldera, a unique and nationally significant volcanic crater.

Civil War Battlefields Protected: Protection of an additional 1,218 acres at six Civil War battlefields: Antietam National Battlefield and Monocacy National Battlefield in Maryland, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park in Virginia, Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, and the Stones River National Battlefield in Tennessee for a total of $11.1 million.

Georgia Seashore Expansion: An additional 395 acres of the largest privately owned tract at Cumberland Island National Seashore will be acquired with $6.4 million. The property includes a designated wilderness area.

Other properties include:

Completion of the acquisition for the 55-mile Backbone Trail in Santa Monica National Recreation Area for $5.51 million.

Illinois' Cache River Basin ecosystem will be protected from logging and agricultural development with this $1 million acquisition at the Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge.

Completion of the acquisition of 4,000 acres, for $3 million, adjacent to Lake Jocasee within the Sumter National Forest in northwestern South Carolina.

Completion of the acquisition of 644 acres, for $4 million, along the Nameragon Lake in Wisconsin.

A total of $10 million for the Northern Cascade Mountains to Sound Greenway project near Seattle, Washington. Consolidation of lands improves public access to National Forest system lands and protects threatened and endangered species habitats.

A total of $1 million to protect Loggerhead and green sea turtle habitat from residential development at the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, Florida.

Completion of lands purchase in the Taylor Fork Drainage with the Gallatin National Forest, Montana for $2.15 million. Protects critical wildlife habitat between Yellowstone National Park and the Lee Metcalf Wilderness.

Continuation of the commitment to protect Lake Tahoe Basin watershed through the $1.0 million acquisition of environmentally sensitive lands.