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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 22, 2000


President Clinton has received recommendations from Interior Secretary Babbitt for the designation of five new national monuments in California, Montana, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and intends to make decisions on those recommendations in the coming weeks.

The Antiquities Act authorizes the President to ensure protection of federal lands of particular historic or scientific significance by designating them as national monuments. Over the past several years, President Clinton has used this authority to protect historic treasures such as Soldiers' Home in Washington, D.C., and extraordinary natural treasures such as California's ancient sequoias, the red-rock canyons of Utah, and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. To date, the President has created eleven new monuments, and expanded two others, protecting nearly 4.6 million acres in all.

At the President's request, Secretary Babbitt has surveyed federal lands in need of additional protection, and has consulted with state and local representatives on how best to preserve them. The President looks forward to reviewing the Secretary's latest recommendations.