White House Press Release

Proclamation of Giant Sequoia National Monument

April 15, 2000


                    THE WHITE HOUSE

               Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                      April 15, 2000

                              April 15, 2000

President Clinton, in a trip today to the Sequoia National Forest in
California's Sierra Nevada, will sign a proclamation creating the Giant
Sequoia National Monument.  This 328,000-acre monument will ensure lasting
protection for 34 groves of ancient sequoias, the largest trees on Earth.
Speaking one week before the 30th anniversary of Earth Day, the President
also will call on Congress to approve his Lands Legacy Initiative, which
would provide record funding to protect other natural and historic
treasures, and secure permanent funding to continue these efforts in the
years ahead.

A Century of Lands Stewardship.  In 1906, Congress passed the Antiquities
Act, authorizing the President to create national monuments on federal land
to protect "objects of historic and scientific interest."  All but three
Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt have used the Act to protect natural
and historic treasures.

These areas include Death Valley and Muir Woods in California; Glacier Bay,
Misty Fjords, and Admiralty Island in Alaska; the Grand Tetons in Wyoming;
portions of Washington's Olympic Peninsula in Washington; and Utah's Bryce
and Zion canyons.  More than 100 monuments have been designated in 24
states and the Virgin Islands, protecting some 70 million acres, about 10
percent of all federal lands.

Preserving the Ancient Giants of the Sierra Nevada. Giant sequoias - which
can grow more than 300 feet tall and 30 feet across, and live more than
3,000 years - once thrived across western North America.  Today only about
70 groves survive, all on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada.
Twenty-five groves are permanently protected in Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and
Sequoia National Parks.  Another 34 groves are found in the Sequoia
National Forest.  In January, saying he wanted "to ensure that these
majestic cathedral groves?are protected for future generations," President
Clinton asked Agriculture Secretary Glickman to recommend whether to
achieve this protection under the Antiquities Act.  On the Secretary's
recommendation, the President today will sign a proclamation that:

--   Creates the Giant Sequoia National Monument, under the management of
the U.S.  Forest Service

--   Allows and encourages continued public access for hiking, camping,
hunting, fishing,   mountain biking, river rafting, kayaking, horseback
riding, and other types of         non-motorized recreation

--   Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to appoint a Science Advisory
Board on issues such     as fire management, and to adopt a management plan
for the new monument within three  years

--   Prohibits new mining claims and allows a limited number of timber
sales, providing a  two-and-a-half-year transition before ending commercial
timber harvesting within the  monument

--   Preserves valid existing rights, such as water rights and access to
private lands

--   Allows "special" uses, such as grazing and youth camps, to continue
under normal   permitting processes

President Clinton has created four other national monuments - Grand
Staircase-Escalante in Utah, Grand Canyon-Parashant in Arizona, Agua Fria
in Arizona, and the California Coastal monument - and has expanded the
Pinnacles monument in California. With these actions, the President has
protected more land as national monuments in the lower 48 states than any
president in history.

A Permanent Lands Legacy for America.  In FY 2000, the President secured
$652 million, a 42 percent increase, for his Lands Legacy initiative.  For
FY 2001, the President is proposing $1.4 billion, the largest one-year
investment ever in conserving America's land and coastal resources.  In
addition, the President is proposing a new, protected budget category to
preserve this higher level of funding in future years.  More than half this
dedicated funding would be used to support state and local conservation