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 Home > News & Policies > January 2009

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 6, 2009

Fact Sheet: President Bush Has Advanced Cooperative Conservation

     Fact sheet In Focus: The Bush Record
     Fact sheet In Focus: Environment

Because Of The President's Efforts To Encourage Cooperative Conservation, Innovation, And New Technologies, America's Air Is Cleaner, Our Water Is Purer, And Our Natural Resources Are Better Protected

"America's greatness is not measured by material wealth alone; it's measured by how we manage and care for all that we have been given. We're people united by our belief that we must be good stewards of our environment."
– President George W. Bush, 10/20/07

Encouraged And Promoted Conservation Of Our Natural Resources

  • Instituted policies that helped reduce air pollution by 12 percent from 2001 to 2007 and adopted new policies that will produce even deeper reductions.  Established stringent air quality standards and adopted rules that will cut hazardous industrial emissions and will cut power plant emissions by nearly 70 percent and diesel engine emissions by more than 90 percent.
  • Signed an Executive Order making cooperative conservation the national policy of the United States and directed Federal agencies to implement resource laws cooperatively with State, local and tribal governments, and the public.
  • Cleared dry brush and dead trees and thinned overstocked forests on 27 million acres of forest and range lands through the Healthy Forest Initiative to help prevent catastrophic wildfires, assist in executing core components of the National Fire Plan, and restore these ecosystems to healthy, natural conditions.  
  • Restored, improved, or protected more than 3 million acres of wetlands, improving water quality and creating wildlife habitats, largely through farm bill conservation programs, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and other cooperative conservation efforts.  Set a new goal to protect, improve, and restore another 4 million acres.
  • Expanded Federal tax incentives to encourage landowners to donate their property for conservation purposes.  Strengthened and expanded the Conservation Reserve Program through which we are helping ranchers and farmers restore grassland habitats on their land.
  • Created 15 new National Wildlife Refuges and emphasized recovery goals under the Endangered Species Act. 
    • Efforts to conserve the populations of both the bald eagle and the Yellowstone grizzly bear have led to their recovery and removal from the Endangered Species List.   
    • The Administration listed the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act and has further developed a polar bear action plan to help protect the species. 
  • Facilitated an agreement among Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming on water allocation during shortages and surpluses.  This two-year effort enables the Department of the Interior to better manage Federal reservoirs while meeting the water needs of the seven States.
  • Advanced a series of highly complex, regional resource conservation and management initiatives in partnership with the States, including with regard to the Everglades, Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes, Pacific Coast, Columbia River, and Klamath River Basin.

Preserved Our National Parks And Community Heritage

  • Announced the National Park Centennial Initiative in 2006, which increased funding to hire more park rangers, repair buildings, improve natural landscapes, and engage more children as junior rangers – an initiative Mrs. Laura Bush has actively supported and promoted. 
  • Performed more than $1 billion in assessments and clean-ups where necessary on more than 10,000 abandoned and contaminated industrial sites through the Brownfields Program. 
  • Provided nearly $17 million in grants through the Preserve America Initiative to advance efforts to protect our cultural and natural heritage in all 50 States: awarded more than 220 Preserve America grants and recognized more than 700 communities as Preserve America Communities.  Mrs. Bush has also actively supported and promoted this initiative.
  • Signed an Executive Order to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of hunting opportunities and the management of game species and their habitat.

Preserved Our Oceans

  • Released an Ocean Action Plan in 2004 and created the first ever Cabinet Committee on Ocean Policy.  All 88 actions recommended in the Ocean Action Plan have been met or are on track, making our oceans' coasts and Great Lakes cleaner, healthier, and more productive.
  • Designated nearly 140,000 square miles of coral reef ecosystems and surrounding waters in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, which contains more than 7,000 species, many of which are found nowhere else on earth, as the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument – giving the area our Nation's highest form of marine environmental protection.
  • Designated three areas of the Pacific Ocean, covering more than 195,500 square miles, as marine national monuments: the Mariana, Pacific Remote Islands, and Rose Atoll Marine National Monuments.
  • Announced the expansion of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary by 775 square miles to include the Davidson Sea Mount. 
  • Protected our oceans by taking action to end overfishing and conserve habitats.
  • Increased funding for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration by $770 million since he took office.

Protected Fish And Birds

  • Directed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in consultation with Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, to strengthen efforts to protect sustainable fisheries and call for an end to destructive fishing practices on the high seas.  In December 2006, in an effort spearheaded by the United States, the United Nations passed a resolution to help protect fish stocks and marine habitats from destructive fishing practices.
  • Signed an Executive Order to conserve as gamefish two of America's most popular recreational fish – striped bass and red drum – for the recreational, economic, and environmental benefit of present and future generations. 
  • Signed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 and reaffirmed our commitment to protect America's fisheries and keep our commercial and recreational fishing communities strong. 
  • Preserved and restored stopover habitat for migratory birds in the United States through the Migratory Bird Initiative and put forth an innovative policy called "recovery credit trading," which provides a new tool to help in habitat conservation.

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