President Clinton is in the midst of a major push to name national monuments during his final year in office. Having named only one national monument between the time he took office and the close of the millennium–Grand Staircase Escalante in Utah, which drew heavy criticism–he has already named four monuments in 2000. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit has recommended four more monuments for the western United States.
The monuments Babbitt has recommended are: the Hanford Reach National Monument, encompassing approximately 200,000 acres along 51 miles of the Columbia River in Washington; the 164,000-acre Canyons of the Ancients Monument in a remote region of Colorado; a 135,000-acre Ironwood National Forest Monument in Arizona; and in Oregon, a 52,000-acre Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.
If Babbitt’s recommendations are approved by the President, he will have declared as national monuments some 3.7 million acres of U.S. land, according to the Associated Press, placing him second behind President Carter.