Top Interior Official Leaving

George Frampton, a leading environmentalist who has served as the Interior Department's assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks since 1993, is leaving the Clinton administration effective Feb. 14, it was announced Monday.

Frampton, who was president of the Wilderness Society for seven years prior to joining the Interior Department, has no immediate plans but intends to take some time off, a department spokeswoman told Reuters. During his tenure at Interior, Frampton oversaw controversial efforts to protect endangered species and restore the Florida Everglades. In a statement, Interior Secretary Babbitt said, "George Frampton has done a masterful job with an extraordinarily complex set of issues from the Everglades restoration to acquiring fragile lands in Alaska, from conservation planning in coastal California counties to the addition of Boston Harbor to our national parks system."

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