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Office of The Secretary
Contact: John Wright
For Immediate Release March 3, 2003    

Interior Secretary Norton Lauds Administration’s Preserve America Initiative


New initiative promotes partnerships for preserving and protecting America’s natural and national legacy


WASHINGTON -- Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton today praised Laura Bush and the administration for launching a new initiative to preserve America’s heritage.  The new initiative, called “Preserve America,”  is a White House action developed in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce to focus attention on the administration’s efforts to preserve America’s national heritage.


“I am delighted to be a part of this very important preservation initiative,” Secretary Norton said.  “Without this initiative, artifacts and historic sites that define us as a nation may be lost forever.”


Interior Secretary Gale Norton, Laura Bush and National Park Service Director Fran Mainella after Preserve America in Washington, D.C. 3/30/03

Preserve America focuses on encouraging all citizens to get involved, to develop a deeper sense and appreciation of what it means to be an American, by learning about, helping to preserve and enjoying America's cultural and natural assets throughout the nation.


Norton noted that the new initiative will help advance the protection, enhancement and contemporary use of the historic properties owned by the federal government, while promoting intergovernmental cooperation and partnerships for the preservation and use of historic properties.


“Preserving and protecting our natural and national legacy will take the cooperation of many partners,” Norton said.  “This bold new initiative rekindles hope that by working together we can accomplish this objective, and we can do it with dedication and pride.”


In announcing the new initiative today in Washington, D.C., Mrs. Bush said that the initiative will feature two new awards. The Presidential Award for Preserve America will reward innovative partnerships that achieve public benefits through perservation. Communities that integrate preservation and tourism may also apply to be designated as Preserve America Communities.


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