Nurturing a Fragile Giant
Will 25 million acres within the National Landscape Conservation
System truly be conserved? Landscape architects take on political
and funding challenges.
By Michael Leccese
Photo By Wayne Mumford/
In September 1996, President Bill Clinton invoked executive powers
under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to create the 1.9-million-acre
Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. By proclaiming the
monument, Clinton blocked a proposed coal mine that would have scarred
one of the nation’s most remote and scenic settings.
Environmentalists cheered and compared Clinton to Teddy Roosevelt,
but a group of Utah high school students burned Clinton in effigy
and released black balloons. Others staged vigilante-style protests
that reflected the ire of some Western citizens and politicians,
not to mention the mining industry.
Despite howls over federal suzerainty, Clinton wasn’t done.
By the time he left
office, he proclaimed 14 more national monuments totaling 6 million
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