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Bush Signs Bill to Preserve Wetlands

President Bush, hoping to burnish his environmental record, signed legislation Monday to continue a program aimed at preserving America's wetlands.

"The federal government will continue its partnership with land owners, conservation groups and states to save and improve millions of acres of wetlands,'' the president said in a White House ceremony.

The legislation extends a program under which the federal government matches donations from sportsmen, state wildlife agencies, conservationists and land owners who pledge to protect wetlands.

Bush said the government has contributed $462 million since 1981 under the program.

Bush also was signing several other bills Monday, including defense spending legislation and a measure in honor of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., who died in an Oct. 25 plane crash that also killed his wife, their daughter and five others.