THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE: LASTING PROTECTION FOR AMERICA'S LANDS LEGACY February 7, 2000
President Clinton's FY 2001 budget will propose a record $1.4 billion to protect land and coastal resources -- and will seek dedicated funding at this level each and every year to ensure continued efforts to preserve America's natural heritage. This proposed Lands Legacy funding would provide significant new resources to states and communities to protect wildlife and local green spaces, support federal efforts to save natural and historic treasures, and expand efforts to protect ocean and coastal resources.
Making our Lands Legacy Permanent. President Clinton secured $652 million in FY 2000 for the Lands Legacy initiative, a 42 percent increase. For FY 2001, the President is proposing $1.4 billion, the largest one-year investment ever in conserving America's lands. The President also is proposing a new budget category to preserve this higher level of funding in future years. More than half the funding would support state and local conservation efforts. Specific appropriations within the $1.4 billion cap would be decided each year. These dedicated funds could not be spent on purposes other than Lands Legacy, and if funds are not appropriated in any given year, the cap would rise by a corresponding amount the next year. This would create a lasting endowment future generations can draw on to protect precious land and coastal resources.
Helping Communities Protect Wildlife and Open Space. This year, Lands Legacy is providing $141 million to state, local, and tribal governments to help protect wildlife and local green spaces. In FY 2001, the President is proposing $521 million, almost four times current funding. Priorities include:
Wildlife Protection -- $100 million for a new grant program to help states protect non-game wildlife by acquiring, protecting, and enhancing critical habitat; and $65 million, a 183 percent increase, to support habitat conservation plans and other collaborative tools that protect endangered species.
Land Acquisition Grants -- $150 million, almost four times current funding, for matching grants to states to acquire land or easements for parks, greenways, recreation, wetlands, and wildlife habitat.
Urban Parks and Forests -- $20 million, a tenfold increase, to restore parks in distressed urban neighborhoods; and $40 million to establish, expand and maintain urban and community forests.
Forest and Wetland Protection -- $60 million to buy conservation easements on private forestland threatened by development; and $30 million for matching grants to protect and restore wetlands.
Farmland Protection -- $65 million in mandatory funding (over and above the $1.4 billion cap) for matching grants to protect more than 130,000 acres of farmland threatened by development.
Saving Natural and Historic Treasures. In FY 2001, the President is proposing $450 million, a 7 percent increase, for federal land acquisitions. Priorities include:
Lower Mississippi Delta -- $6.5 million to protect bayous and wetlands in Arkansas and Louisiana.
Giant Sequoias -- $4 million to protect ancient sequoias in California's Sierra Nevada.
Everglades -- $80 million to continue Everglades restoration and to expand Florida wildlife refuges
Civil War Battlefields -- $22 million to protect Gettysburg, Masassas, Harpers Ferry and other sites.
Lewis and Clark Trail -- $15.1 million to protect the explorers' historic route along the Missouri River.
Providing Special Assistance to Coastal Areas. The President is proposing $429 million, a 159 percent increase, for programs that protect ocean and coastal resources, including:
Coastal Impact Assistance Grants -- $100 million for a new program to help coastal states address the environmental impacts of existing offshore oil and gas development.
Pacific Northwest Salmon Fund -- $100 million, a 72 percent increase, to help state, local and tribal efforts to restore thriving runs of wild coastal salmon.
Other priorities include $159 million to states to protect, restore, and revitalize coastal areas; $35 million, a 38 percent increase, to protect and expand national marine sanctuaries; $15 million, a 150 percent increase, to protect and rebuild coral reefs; and $20 million for estuary research.