Clinton Marks Earth Day With Trail Project
HARPER'S FERRY, W. Va. (AllPolitics, April 22) -- President Bill Clinton paid homage to Earth Day Wednesday, helping volunteers repair a stretch of the Appalachian Trail near here and outlining his environmental objectives for the next year.
Clinton said improving the environment and building a strong economy go hand in hand.
"Every time we have taken a sensible, reasoned but strong step to
protect the environment, we have actually increased the
diversity of our economy, the breadth and width of it, and
increased jobs and strengthened the long-term economic prospects," Clinton said.
"That is the lesson the whole world has to embrace now. We
can only sustain economic growth if we can improve the
environment, if we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, if we
can build a balanced future together," he said.
Clinton outlined several environmental goals, including:
- Preserving more natural areas, including ancient redwoods in California, and bringing the last remaining sections of the Appalachian Trail under public control.
- Winning release of money authorized and appropriated for conservation projects, which he said are tied up in unrelated disputes.
- Preserving more cultural and historic sites, including
homes, churches and other sanctuaries along the route of the Underground Railroad, used by slaves fleeing the South before the Civil War.
- Creating voluntary partnerships to help private landowners better preserve their own lands.
- Improving management of national forests to put more emphasis on recreation, wildlife and water quality and less on logging. "Our national forests are more than mere paper plantations," Clinton said. "They are the source of the vast majority of our fresh water."
- Healing the wear and tear on overused national parks by earmarking money for adequate maintenance.