THE WHITE HOUSE
OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY
LANDS PROPOSED FOR PROTECTION WITH FY 2000 LANDS LEGACY FUNDING December 14, 1999
In the recent budget agreement, President Clinton secured $652 million in FY 2000 for his Lands Legacy initiative, a 42 percent increase. About a third of the funding will support efforts by states and communities to protect farms, forests, urban parks, and other local green spaces. Much of the rest is committed to federal acquisition of New Mexico's Baca Ranch and other designated lands, from the Everglades to the California desert. The remaining $35 million is available for federal acquisition and protection of other sites. Today, the Administration is proposing to the Appropriations committees, that the $35 million be used to protect the following sites:
Gunnison Basin -- This $2.5 million proposal would allow the Bureau of Land Management to help preserve critical elk and Bighorn sheep habitat, communities of threatened and endangered species and scenic views.
Silver Mountain -- In a partnership with the local community, $5 million would be used by the Forest Service to acquire lands located near Telluride. This acquisition would provide protection of wildlife habitat and alpine ecosystems and would preserve valuable public recreational resources and open spaces. The historic Alta Townsite would also be preserved and managed under the agreement.
Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge -- The FY 2000 Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act includes $2 million for the Fish and Wildlife Service to acquire land for Pelican Island. And additional $4.6 million would allow the Service to acquire two key tracts to protect the Island's historic and scenic values from residential development.
Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site -- $3.5 million of funding would provide a significant down payment toward acquisition of properties surrounding the birth home and burial place of Martin Luther King Jr., including the King Center. The King family intends to donate the birth home and burial to the Park Service upon completion of these acquisitions.
Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge -- The $1.6 million proposal would allow the Fish and Wildlife Service to acquire a portion of the McCandless Ranch, which supports the last remaining wild population of the alala, or Hawaiian crow. This acquisition would enhance the Service's ability to control alien species and manage the native plants and animal populations.
Sawtooth National Recreation Area -- This year's budget includes $1 million for the Forest Service to make easement acquisitions for critical habitat of threatened and endangered fish species, like bull trout and Chinook salmon. The additional $1 million proposed today would help move the Service towards acquiring the remaining $7.5 million of high priority land just east of Boise.
Chippewa National Forest -- Located in northern Minnesota, the Chippewa National Forest has a boundary that overlaps with the Leech Lake Reservation. The new $550,000 proposal would allow the Forest Service to complete acquisition of a 146-acre tract on the shoreline of Leech Lake, by ensuring that a large span of the lakeshore remains untouched by encroaching development and by protecting wetlands and white cedar swamps.
Superior National Forest -- Funding of $500,000 would allow the Forest Service to acquire a key lake front property for recreation and resource protection. This parcel features Native America burial sites, proposed Wild and Scenic River lands, and wilderness entry points.
Lake Logan -- This year?s budget includes $1 million for the Forest Service to acquire portions of a tract within the Pisgah National Forest. An additional $1.25 million would enable purchase of more of this tract, which adjoins the Shining Rock Wilderness near the base of Cold Mountain. Preserving these undeveloped lands would protect wilderness and fish and wildlife habitat.
Gulf Tract -- This year's budget includes $3.5 million for the acquisition of this tract, which is four miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and borders six miles of the Appalachian Trail. The additional $1 million proposed today would allow the Forest Service to complete the acquisition.
Stones River National Battlefield - This year's budget includes $1.5 million for the National Park Service to purchase land within the national battlefield. The $2.8 million Title VI request would be used to complete all necessary land acquisition within the current boundary of the national battlefield.
Bonneville Shoreline Trail -- This year's budget includes $750,000 for the Forest Service to complete the Bonneville Shoreline Trail to serve as an artery for access to other trails and provide urban recreation to more than a million people in the Salt Lake area. An additional $1million proposed today would allow the complete acquisition of the Harvey property and continued land purchases along the urban interface.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument -- The $2 million proposed today would allow the Bureau of Land Management to protect key land from development, preserving the numerous resources the property contains.
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefield Memorial National Military Park -- This year's budget includes $2 million for the National Park Service to acquire several of the nine tracts of private land within the national park. An additional $1 million would allow the Service to acquire more of these lands.
Virgin Islands National Park --$1.5 million in funding would be used by the National Park Service to buy a property known as Estate Maho Bay within the park boundary.
Mountains to Sound Greenway -- This year's budget includes $2.5 million to allow the Forest Service to begin acquiring lands as part of a greenway along the I-90 corridor near Seattle. An additional $3.7 million proposed today would allow the Forest Service to improve public access to existing public land and enhance management of the fragile ecosystem, which supports several threatened and endangered species.
Royal Teton Ranch -- $500,000 would be used to retire grazing permits from willing sellers on the recently acquired Royal Teton Ranch, just outside Yellowstone National Park, ensuring additional winter range for Yellowstone bison.
Chattooga Wild & Scenic Ecosystem -- The Chattooga Wild and Scenic River, flowing through North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, is one of the Forest Service?s most popular recreation destinations in the South. $1 million would allow acquisition of critical land to protect unique plant communities and provide habitat for threatened and endangered species.