John Neilsen reports that the Bush administration is considering launching one of the biggest conservation programs in U.S. history.
If implemented, President George W. Bush could, with the stroke of a pen, protect vast stretches of U.S. territorial waters from fishing, oil exploration and other forms of commercial development. The initiative could also create some of the largest marine reserves in the world — far larger than national parks like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon.
The White House is thinking about taking "big steps, not small ones," says Jack Sobel, a senior scientist at the Washington-based Ocean Conservancy, an environmental group.
A spokesman for the White House Council on Environmental Quality confirmed that the administration is considering the initiative but declined to discuss details, saying they are still under review.