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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, January 15, 2001
Volume 37--Number 2
Pages 17-110

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]



Addresses and Remarks

    AFL-CIO building, rededication--36
    Democratic National Committee staff--49
    Economic report--101
    Forests, action to preserve America's--17
    Foundry United Methodist Church--24
    Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, statue unveiling--70
    Illinois, Chicago
        James Ward Elementary School--57
        Overflow crowd--67
        Private party--66
    Massachusetts, Northeastern University in Boston--88
    Michigan, Michigan State University in East Lansing--52
    National Council of Negro Women, remarks honoring Dorothy Height--75
    New Hampshire, community in Dover--80
    New York City
        Israel Policy Forum dinner--28
        Tribute to Senator Hillary Clinton--26
    Presidential Citizens Medal, presentation--41
    Radio address--22
    Senator Max Baucus, luncheon--72
    Virginia, Armed Forces tribute to the President in Arlington--19

Communications to Congress

    Iraq, letter transmitting report--68
    Jordan-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, message transmitting proposed 
        legislation to implement--23

Communications to Congress

    Protocol To Amend the 1949 Convention on the Establishment of an 
        Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission with documentation, 
        message transmitting--49

Executive Orders

    Responsibilities of Federal Agencies To Protect Migratory Birds--77
    The President's Disability Employment Partnership Board--76

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchange with reporters on the South Grounds--101
        Allison Payne of WGN-TV in Chicago--68
        Steve Holland and Debbie Charles of Reuters--93

Statements by the President

    Family and Medical Leave Act--63
    Korean war No Gun Ri incident--88

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--110
    Checklist of White House press releases--109
    Digest of other White House announcements--104
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--105

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Published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National 
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Compilation of Presidential Documents contains statements, messages, and
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[[Page 17]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 17-19]
Monday, January 15, 2001
Volume 37--Number 2
Pages 17-110
Week Ending Friday, January 12, 2001
Remarks on Action To Preserve America's Forests

January 5, 2001

    Thank you very much. You guys are all cheating. You're just trying 
to warm up. I know what's going on. [Laughter] I was told by an elderly 
conservationist from my home State of Arkansas that I had better do a 
good job with America's natural resources when I became President, on 
pain of feeling the fire of Hades. I did not realize that our reward is 
that we would be freezing to death here. [Laughter]
    I want to thank my good friend Senator Gaylord Nelson for a lifetime 
of leadership in conservation. And I am profoundly grateful to Secretary 
Glickman and to Chief Dombeck, a career public servant, who said it all 
when he began by saying, ``This is not a political issue for those of us 
who believe in it.''
    I thank Jim Lyons and the others at the Department of Agriculture 
and the Forest Service. I want to thank our EPA Administrator, Carol 
Browner, who's here with us today. Just a few days ago, she announced 
her new rule to cut harmful emissions caused by the burning of diesel 
fuel. It will dramatically improve the quality of air in America, and we 
thank her for that.
    I would like to also acknowledge the substantial contributions to 
this effort, particularly in fading the heat. And believe it or not, 
even today there was some heat involved in this. I want to thank John 
Podesta and George Frampton and the others at the White House for their 
strong support for the course we have followed.
    And I'd like to thank Dr. Tom Elias for hosting us again and for 
showing me my bonsai tree when I came up. [Laughter] We came here 2 
years ago to launch the lands legacy initiative, and I knew this was the 
place to plant the seeds of success. And I thank him--that is also 
another major achievement of this Congress this year, the largest 
increase in funding for land conservation in the history of the 
Republic, and I thank all those who were involved in that.
    Finally, I would like to thank Congressman Mark Udall for being here 
with his bride, Maggie. Thank you very much for being here. As you know, 
he comes from a family with fairly substantial environmental 
credentials, and he came here, and the first thing he said was that we 
had done the right thing today. And we will need his voice in Congress 
this year, and we thank him for being here.
    For the first time ever, with the lands legacy initiative, we 
established a dedicated continuous fund for protecting and restoring 
green and open spaces across America. Today we come to build on that 
    In one way or another, all of us have come here, and I now have come 
to know many of you in this audience. And I know we come from different 
backgrounds and have traveled different paths through life, but somehow 
or another, we have in common our view that nature is a priceless but 
fragile gift, an important part of the fabric of our lives, and a major 
part of our responsibility to our children and our children's children.
    I grew up in a State where more than half the land is covered by 
forest. I grew up in a town surrounded by a national park. Most of the 
people who enjoy our public lands are like the people I grew up with--
hard-working families who very often could afford no other kind of 
vacation and can afford nature's bounty because our forebears made sure 
that it belongs to them, and it belongs to us all.
    I am grateful that we can stand here today because of the work done 
by Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, and John Muir. I am grateful for 
all those who have walked in their footsteps for a hundred years. I am 
grateful that for the last 8 years I had a Vice President who spoke out 
strongly for these values and these policies and helped us to

[[Page 18]]

do what we have done to be good stewards of the land.
    We have saved and restored some of our most glorious natural 
wonders, from Florida's Everglades to Hawaii's coral reefs, from the 
redwoods of California to the red rock canyons of Utah. We have helped 
hundreds of communities, under the Vice President's leadership, to 
protect parks and farms and other green spaces. We've built new 
partnerships with landowners to restore and preserve the natural values 
of our private land.
    We've modernized the management of our national forests to 
strengthen protections for water quality, wildlife, and recreation, 
while ensuring a steady and sustainable supply of timber. We have 
greatly expanded our cooperation with other nations to protect 
endangered species and threatened areas, like tropical forests.
    In a larger sense, I hope and believe we have helped to put to rest 
the old debate between economic growth and environmental protection. We 
have the strongest economy in a generation and the cleanest environment 
in a generation. And I might say, parenthetically, that as we come to 
grips--as inevitably we must--with the challenge of climate change, and 
even though it is hard to believe on this day global warming is real--
[laughter]--those of you who are here today will have to be in the 
vanguard reminding people that we can break the iron chain between more 
greenhouse gas emissions and economic growth. It is not necessary any 
longer, but we have to be smarter about what we're doing.
    Today we take, as Secretary Glickman said, a truly historic lead on 
the path of environmental progress. Throughout our national forest 
system there are millions of acres of land that do not have and, in most 
cases, have never had roads cut through them. These areas represent some 
of the last, best unprotected wild lands anywhere in America.
    These uniquely American landscapes are sanctuaries to hike and hunt 
and ski and fish. They're a source of clean water for millions of our 
fellow citizens. They are havens for wildlife and home to about one 
quarter of all threatened or endangered species in our Nation.
    On a beautiful fall afternoon more than a year ago now, Secretary 
Glickman and many of you joined me at Virginia's Washington and 
Jefferson National Forest to launch a process to safeguard these lands. 
As Secretary Glickman just described, we reached out to the American 
people to help us develop the plan. More than a million and a half 
    I'm told that more Americans were involved in shaping this policy 
than any land preservation initiative in the history of the Republic. 
Thanks to their extraordinary support, the process is now complete.
    Sometimes, progress comes by expanding frontiers, but sometimes, 
it's measured by preserving frontiers for our children. Today we 
preserve the final frontiers of America's national forests for our 
    I am proud to announce that we will protect nearly 60 million acres 
of pristine forest land for future generations. That is an area greater 
in size than all our national parks combined. From the Appalachian 
Mountains to the Sierra Nevada, forest land in 39 States will be 
preserved in all its splendor, off limits to roadbuilding and logging 
that would destroy its timeless beauty.
    This will include protection for the last great temperate rain 
forest in America, Alaska's Tongass National Forest. This initiative 
will provide strong, long-term protection for the Tongass, while 
honoring our commitment to address the economic concerns of local 
communities. We will work with them to ensure a smooth transition and to 
build a sound, sustainable economic base for the future.
    Indeed, our entire approach to managing our national forests has 
been based on striking the right balance. For example, under this rule, 
the Forest Service still will be able to build a road or fight a fire or 
thin an area in an environmentally sensitive way, if it is essential to 
reducing the risk of future fires. And even as we strengthen 
protections, the majority of our forests will continue to be responsibly 
managed for timber production and other activities.
    Bear in mind, as has already been said, only about 4 or 5 percent of 
our country's timber comes from our national forests. And less than 5 
percent of that is now being cut

[[Page 19]]

in roadless areas. Surely we can adjust the Federal program to replace 5 
percent of 5 percent. But we can never replace what we might destroy if 
we don't protect those 58 million acres.
    Ultimately, this is about preserving the land which the American 
people own for the American people that are not around yet, about 
safeguarding our magnificent open spaces, because not everyone can 
travel to the great palaces of the world, but everyone can enjoy the 
majesty of our great forests. Today we free the lands so that they will 
remain unspoiled by bulldozers, undisturbed by chainsaws, and untouched 
for our children. Preserving roadless areas puts America on the right 
road for the future, the responsible path of sustainable development.
    The great conservationist Aldo Leopold, who pioneered the protection 
of wild forest roadless areas, said, ``When we see the land as a 
community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and 
respect.'' If there is one thing that should always unite us as a 
community, across the generations, across parties, across time, it is 
love for the land. We keep faith with that tradition today, and we must 
keep faith with it in all the tomorrows to come.
    This is a great day for America. I thank all of you who made it 
happen. It is your achievement, but it is a gift that you give to all 

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