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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Lisbon, Portugal)
For Immediate Release                                       May 31, 2000


I am pleased to receive Secretary Babbitt's recommendations today for the creation of new national monuments to protect unique federal lands in Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.

As trustee of much of our nation's natural endowment, the federal government must do its utmost to ensure lasting protection of our most precious lands. That is why I asked the Secretary to identify federal lands most in need of additional protection, and why I have exercised my authority under the Antiquities Act to grant such protection to some of our most cherished landscapes -- from California's ancient sequoias to the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

Each of the areas recommended today represents an exceptional, irreplaceable piece of America's natural and cultural heritage. I will carefully consider the recommendations and hope to reach a decision on them in the near future.