Remarks at the Presentation
Ceremony for the Take Pride in
today we're honoring the people who honor
Now what this means is that people who mistreat these lands are really stealing from others, from their fellow citizens and from future generations. And there's no reason for us to tolerate that. Ask Lou Gossett, Clint Eastwood, or Charles Bronson if they get angry when people abuse our public lands. As these Take Pride spokesmen symbolize, there's a code of conduct, a code of honor, that separates right from wrong; and part of that code guides how we care for our national parks and public lands. As Lou, Clint, and Charlie have put it: That's the difference between the good guys and the bad guys.
You know, I'm reminded of an old story -- and believe me, this time it is an old story. If you have heard it, pretend you haven't. [Laughter] It's about those two fellows that were out hiking in the woods and suddenly looked up and saw a grizzly bear coming over the hill toward them. One of them immediately reached into his pack, pulled out a pair of sneakers, started removing his boots and putting on the sneakers. And the other one standing there says, ``You don't think you can outrun that grizzly, do you?'' And he said, ``I don't have to. I just have to be able to outrun you.'' [Laughter] Now, Clint would have just said, ``Go ahead, make my day.'' [Laughter]
the truth is every citizen, school, civic group, business, and community that
takes pride in
Theodore Roosevelt, who began our system of national parks and forests, said
that ``A grove of giant redwoods or sequoias should be kept just as we keep a
great and beautiful cathedral.'' And by respecting the land that we share, we
respect one another. To preserve
In 1982 we began a $1 billion restoration program to improve and protect our national parks, thereby ending some years of neglect. We've added millions of acres to the National Wilderness Preservation System. Since 1981 the number of rivers protected as ``wild and scenic'' has more than tripled. And 34 new national wildlife refuges, totaling over 400,000 acres in 20 States, have also been added. And our administration has made more than 270 additions to the endangered and threatened species list. But we've done more than just make a list; we've put new emphasis on restoring animal populations, with over 180 recovery plans, compared to just 36 approved under the previous administration.
Our administration has set the highest standards for enforcing environmental protection laws. And just in our first term alone, we filed 852 civil enforcement actions -- that's nearly 2\1/2\ times the rate of the previous administration. But we didn't stop there. We took it one step further and established the environmental crimes unit because in the past virtually no environmental cases were criminally prosecuted. The result is that, during the past 5 years, we've obtained over 400 criminal indictments and over 300 convictions and guilty pleas. And the message to polluters is crystal clear. We told them, in the words of Dirty Harry, ``You're out of luck.''
air, cleaner water, increased protection of American wildlife -- this progrowth administration has also been staunchly proenvironment. The same spirit of creativity and
innovation that's created 17 million jobs has also benefited the land itself,
best of all, there are people like you throughout the country, taking pride in
Note: The President spoke at at the South Portico of the White House.