THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release February 14, 2000
PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE:
HELPING OUR COMMUNITIES SAVE PRECIOUS LANDS
February 11, 2000
President Clinton today announces nearly $60 million in new grants to help communities across the country save precious lands -- $40 million in land acquisition grants to create parks and save open space, and $18.6 million in Forest Legacy grants to protect private forest land threatened by development. The President also calls on Congress to approve the Lands Legacy initiative in his FY 2001 budget, which would dramatically increase funding for state and local conservation efforts and make it permanent, so communities can conserve additional lands year after year.
Saving Open Space Close to Home. In the FY 2000 budget, the President secured $652 million for Lands Legacy, an interagency initiative to protect land and coastal resources across America. This includes $141 million for a variety of programs that help state, tribal and local governments protect wildlife, restore urban parks, save threatened farmland, and preserve other local green spaces. Today the President announces funding to states under two of these programs:
Land Acquisition Grants -- A total of $40 million, distributed among all 50 states and the U.S. territories, to develop and acquire land for public recreation. These grants can be used to acquire land or easements for parks, greenways, wildlife habitat, or coastal wetlands. Funding must be matched 50-50 by states, resulting in a total investment of $80 million. This is the first year since 1995 that Congress approved funds for this program. The funds are allocated among the states primarily according to population.
Forest Legacy Grants -- A total of $18.6 million for 29 projects encompassing nearly 250,000 acres in 19 states and territories. These competitive grants are used to protect private forest land that provides critical wildlife habitat and is threatened by development. Protected lands can continue to be used for forestry and other compatible activities. States must provide at least a 25 percent match, resulting in a total investment of $25 million or more. Major projects this year include:
- Sterling Forest, New York -- $2 million to protect additional forest along Sterling Lake, 40 miles northwest of New York City.
- Blue Mountain, New Hampshire -- $1.675 million to protect 18,600 acres, including 5,800 of high-elevation forest supporting numerous rare species.
- Hills of Gold, Indiana - $2.285 million to protect mixed hardwood forest 25 miles from Indianapolis.
- Big Creek Timber, California -- $1.3 million to preserve prime redwood stands in fast-growing Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties.
- Papa Parcel, Hawaii -- $1 million to protect 2,000 acres of koa-òhi à forest on lava flows in the South Kona area of the Big Island.
- Building a Permanent Lands Legacy. In his budget for FY 2001, the President is proposing $1.4 billion for Lands Legacy -- a 93 percent increase and the largest one-year investment ever requested for conserving America's lands. His proposal includes $521 million, almost four times current funding, for state and local conservation efforts, including: $150 million for land acquisition grants, $60 million for Forest Legacy grants, $30 million for restoring urban parks, $50 million for "smart growth" planning, and $100 million for a new program to protect non-game wildlife. In addition, the President is proposing a new budget category to ensure permanent funding of at least $1.4 billion in future years, with more than half the funding dedicated to state and local conservation efforts.
LANDS LEGACY FUNDING FOR THE STATES
$40 Million in Land Acquisition Grants in FY 2000*
February 14, 2000
President Clinton today announced $40 million in land acquisition grants for all 50 states and the U.S. territories. The grants can be used to acquire land or easements for parks, greenways, wildlife habitats, or coastal wetlands. Funding must be matched 50-50 by states, resulting in a total investment of at least $80 million.
District of Col.
Northern Mariana Isl.
Allocated to States
*Land acquisition grants are apportioned among the states and territories primarily according to population. Authorizing legislation allows the Secretary of the Interior to reserve a portion of the annual appropriation for critical projects. This year's contingency fund of $2 million is being committed to the state of Maine for the purchase of high-priority conservation easements or other interests in lands.