Down the Hatch
Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt today will ask Pres. Clinton to create at least four new national monuments, including two in Arizona and two in California. Some 1 million acres northwest of Grand Canyon National Park, tens of thousands of acres near Phoenix, 10,000 acres south of San Jose, and thousands of small, uninhabited islands off the California coast would be protected from many forms of development under Babbitt’s recommendations, which Clinton is expected to act on early next year. Republicans, including presidential candidate Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), are already protesting any such move by Clinton, which would not require congressional approval. Hatch said yesterday that if elected president, he would spend part of his first day on the job erasing protection for the 1.9 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, created by Clinton in 1996, and announcing that the U.S. would not abide by the Kyoto treaty on climate change.