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From: Paul Williams
To: All
Date: 2003-08-26 22:13:04
Subject: Press Release (0308224) for Fri, 2003 Aug 22

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 22, 2003

President Discusses Salmon Recovery in Washington State
Ice Harbor Lock and Dam
Burbank, Washington


˙˙˙˙˙In-Focus: Salmon Recovery
˙˙˙˙˙Audio

10:17 A.M. PDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. I appreciate you coming out to say
hello. Thank you. Be seated, please. Thanks for coming out to say hello.
It's a little different view from the views we have in Crawford.
(Laughter.) The temperature is a little cooler, too, I want you to know.

But thanks for coming. It's such an honor to be here at the Ice Harbor Lock
and Dam. I find it interesting that another Texan came to dedicate the dam.
Vice President Lyndon Johnson dedicated this unbelievable facility in 1962.
He said it's "an asset of astounding importance to the region and to
America." He was right in 1962. And when I tell you its an asset of
astounding importance to this region of America in 2003, I'm right, as
well. (Applause.)

We just had a great tour, seeing this facility and its technological
wonders. This work has added to the strength of your state, and it's added
to the prosperity of the people. It's really important that we remember
that when we're talking about national assets. After all, people's money
built this facility, and we want the facility to help the people. The
facility has been a crucial part of the past in this region, and I'm here
to tell you it's going to be a crucial part of the future, as well.
(Applause.)

I was pleased to see the incredible care that goes in to protecting the
salmon that journey up the river. It's an important message to send to
people, it seems like to me, that a flourishing salmon population is a
vital part of the vibrancy of this incredibly beautiful part of our
country. And I appreciate the commitment that we are making as a country,
and that you're making as a community, for salmon restoration. What I saw
was, and what you know, firsthand, is that we can have good, clean
hydroelectric power and salmon restoration going on at the same time. And
that's what I want to spend some time talking about. (Applause.) We have a
responsibility to work together to make sure the human condition is strong
and to make sure that the salmon flourish. And we'll meet that challenge.

I thank Gale Norton for her leadership. She is the Secretary of the
Department of the Interior. She is a lady from the West. She understands
land management. She knows what I know, that the folks who live closest to
the land are those that care most about the land. And we appreciate that
attitude. (Applause.)

I'm traveling in some pretty darn good company, too, when it comes to the
congressional delegation. Old Doc Hastings has made a pretty good hand --
(applause). He informed me first thing, before he even said hello, that he
was a grandfather again -- today. So congratulations, Doc. (Applause.) I
wouldn't take too much credit for it, Doc, if I were you. (Laughter.)

I appreciate so very much traveling with George Nethercutt, as well.
(Applause.) Both Doc and George are always telling me about how important
eastern Washington is. (Applause.) Every time I talk to them, they're
reminding not only that the folks here are just fine, fine, down-to-earth,
hardworking people, but our nation is blessed to have the resources that
are coming from this part of your beautiful state.

The western part of your state is beautiful, as well, and it's well
represented -- parts of it are well represented by my close friend Jennifer
Dunn. I'm glad you're here, Jennifer. (Applause.) The Acting Secretary of
the Army, Les Brownlee, is with us today. I appreciate you coming, Les.
Thank you for being here. (Applause.) We've got a lot of folks from the
Corps of Engineers that are with us, people who are making this dam work,
and I want to thank them for their service to our country. I appreciate so
very much the National Marine Fishery Service, through the Commerce
Department, the representatives that are here, as well.

I thank all the mayors that have come out; the state and local officials. I
like to tease the mayors and tell them they've got a pretty darn tough job.
After all, if the pothole isn't filled, they're going to hear from somebody
firsthand at the coffee shop. (Laughter.) That doesn't happen to the
President much. (Laughter.) I thank the mayors for coming. Just keep the
garbage picked up. (Laughter.)

I appreciate so much the tribal chiefs that are here with us today,
distinguished leaders that are here to make sure that the heritage of the
salmon is protected and honored and revered, Chief Burke and Black Wolf,
Sockeye and Sailor -- I'm honored you all are here and thank you for
coming, as well, for taking time. (Applause.)

One of the things I've learned about Washington, D.C., there's a lot of
experts on the environment there. (Laughter.) At least they think they are.
They're constantly trying to tell people what to do. My judgment is those
who think they know what they're doing in Washington, D.C. ought to come
out and visit with the folks that are actually protecting the environment.
(Applause.) People such as yourself. I have been to your state enough to
know that the people of this great state are never very far away from some
of nature's most beautiful sights. And the people who appreciate those
beautiful sights the most are those who live close to the sights. They
understand best of all what it means to be a good steward of land and
water.

The Washington way of life depends, and always will depend, on the wise
protection of the natural environment. It's been a part of your past; it's
going to be an important part of the future of this state -- and our
country, for that matter. And a vital part of the natural environment is
the Pacific salmon.

Lewis and Clarke -- as Doc made sure -- pointed out where Lewis and Clarke
stayed -- where he thought they stayed. (Laughter.) But he did say that
they stayed in this part of the world a long time. I can see why. The
weather's nice, and the scenery is beautiful. But think about what it was
like when those rivers in 1805 time frame were just full of salmon. It must
have been an unbelievable sight for them, particularly if they were hungry.
(Laughter.)

Today, there are a lot fewer salmon in the waters. And the mission has got
to be to fight the decline. The mission has got to be to make sure that we
understand that without the salmon in the Columbia and Snake Rivers that
this would be a huge loss to this part of the world. That's part of what
the focus of my short discussion is today, is to let you know that we
understand in this administration that we want to work with the local folks
to revitalize the salmon runs.

The good news is that salmon runs are up. (Applause.) And that's really
positive. And we just need to make sure we keep that momentum. I want to
talk about some ways we're going to do it. Gale mentioned one thing is that
we can spend that money in Washington, and we're writing a pretty good size
check in '04. It helps keep the commitment about what I said when I ran for
President. I said, look, we are concerned about the fish. We're also
concerned about the citizens of Washington State who depend upon the dams
for electricity, and the water to water their land so we can have the crops
necessary to eat in America.

But the economy of this part of the world has relied upon the steady supply
of hydropower. And we've got an energy problem in America. We don't need to
be breaching any dams that are producing electricity. (Applause.) And we
won't. Part of a national energy policy has got to make sure that we
increase supply and maintain supply. And I saw the six generators that are
able to capture a steady flow of water that produces that power, that
enables people to live. We want the salmon to live; we want the quality of
life in this part of the world to be strong, as well.

You know something, I talk about people closest to the land care about the
land more than most. Every day is Earth Day if you're a farmer. (Applause.)
Farmers depend upon the quality of the land and the quality of the water.
And I understand that. And I understand that this dam and the dams along
this river have a got a lot to do with the ability for people to farm the
land.

You know, one of the great things about our national security is we don't
have to worry about food from some other country. We produce enough to eat
here in America. And that's good for our national security. I can't say the
same for energy, by the way. We're reliant upon foreign sources of energy.
That is a problem for national security. We're not reliant upon foreign
sources of food. And that's important. This dam helps us become -- so that
we don't get reliant upon foreign sources of food.

Our farmers depend upon the dams on this river. People who run the barges
need the dams. The dams accommodate -- in other words, commerce happens,
people can make a living, people have food on the table so they can feed
their families. At the same time, the salmon are getting more plentiful.
And it's a positive story, and it's a story we've got to continue to make
sure this stays positive.

We have shown the world that we can have good quality of life and, at the
same time, save salmon. And that's exactly what this administration will
continue to do. I understand we can't do it alone, but we can help. We can
make a difference. As Gale mentioned, the budgets are increasing. We're
helping on technology. I just saw some technology that enables the young
salmon and Steelhead to pass through the dam near the surface of the dam at
lower speeds and lower pressures. That will help the young salmon runs. The
technology is employed at the Lower Granite Dam. It will be installed soon
here at Ice Harbor. In other words, the federal government is doing its
part by gathering the technologies that will make the salmon runs stronger
and better over time.

I bet in '62 there wasn't that much concern about salmon runs, when Vice
President Lyndon Johnson was here. I haven't reviewed his entire speech, I
don't know how much time he spent talking about technologies necessary to
save salmon. But in 2003, we can say we're developing good, strong
technologies to save salmon. We're getting better at it. (Applause.)

And I appreciate so much the hard work of the federal employees that are
doing what we pay them to do. I also know my friend, Donnie Evans, who is
the Secretary of Commerce, has got conservation plans that are now being
developed and implemented in Chelan and Douglas County public utility
districts. It's a good creative use of federal money, it seems like to me,
to create these conservation plans and habitat restoration programs, to be
smart about how we develop the strategies necessary to encourage salmon
runs to increase.

The plan will minimize the impact of dams, improving fish bypass systems
and hatchery programs. And we'll continue to work to fund local habitat
restoration programs. In other words, there's a lot going on. But the truth
of the matter is, in order to make this strategy work we're going to have
to work with the local folks. That's the reality of the situation.

I know that -- I saw some of the irrigation systems, spray systems -- they
look pretty darn modern to me. I suspect some of the oldtime farmers here
will tell you that there's been a lot of technological advancement when it
comes to conservation of water. The more water our farmers conserve by
using efficient sprinkler systems, obviously, the less operating costs they
have. But also it helps the salmon. And so, for the farmers who are here, I
want to thank you for doing your part not only feeding America, but being
good stewards of the water you use.

There's a group called Fish First. I met a fellow named Gary Loomis. And I
appreciate Gary coming today. Gary is a guy who cares about restoring
salmon runs and salmon habitat. So he and a group of volunteers have come
together to work on the salmon projects around the state of Washington.
They're installing culverts to accommodate the fish. They're creating side
channels and ponds. They're getting their money through private donations.
There's a lot of people who care about salmon runs, and they ought to be
helping by contributing money. And they're using volunteers and some public
grants.

As I understand that Gary Loomis' group is going to add another 4,900 foot
of stream channel, mainly through volunteer work. And I appreciate what
you're doing, Gary. I want to -- why don't you stand up and give people a
chance to look at you and let you know the -- (applause). I want to thank
you for what you're doing. This will give me a chance to tell the people of
the great state of Washington and Oregon that if you're interested in
salmon runs, if you want to do your part about conserving this great
legacy, volunteer with groups like Gary Loomis' group.

There's a lot of good conservation groups that have a good common-sense
view about making sure that the quality of human life is strong, and the
quality of fish life is vibrant and healthy, as well. Volunteer help makes
a difference. (Applause.)

I appreciate the positive attitude that people have here in this part of
the world, the can-do attitude -- "here is a problem; let's go solve it
together." And that's what we're here to confirm. It makes a -- it's a lot
better than what happens a lot of times when it comes to conservation
issues. And that is, people just file lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit,
just kind of tie everything up in endless litigation and nothing gets
better.

We've got that issue, by the way, with our forests. I was in Oregon
yesterday, saw the devastating forest fires that are taking place. It's
just sad to see national assets just go up in tremendous flames, because we
have not done a good job of thinning out our forests and protecting our
forests. And a lot of the reason why is because people just file lawsuits,
and we get stuck in the court, and nothing happens. The forests don't
benefit. People in the communities close to the forest are -- have their
lives endangered because of the kindling that has piled up. We need to cut
through all this business and get solving the national problems.

And so the good news about what's happening here is it looks like you've
been able to bypass all the endless litigation, come up with solutions to
the problem so that the people can say, you know, the job well done.
Generations -- (applause) -- future generations can say, these folks had a
chance and they responded.

And I want to thank you for what you do to make sure that this part of the
world is as vibrant and healthy, and the heritage of the salmon remains
strong. There's no doubt in my mind you will accomplish the objective. No
doubt in my mind we will help. We want to be helpers, not hinderers, coming
out of Washington, D.C.

The amazing thing about this country is when we put our mind to something,
we can do a lot. We can do a lot. (Applause.) My mind is still focused on
protecting America, by the way. We're going to hunt the terrorists down
wherever they are, and bring them to justice. (Applause.) And we're making
progress. See, in America we know that freedom -- free countries will be
peaceful countries. We also know that freedom is not America's gift to the
world, it is the Almighty's gift to every human being. (Applause.)

Abroad, this great nation will lead the world to more peaceful times. We'll
promote freedom. We worry about the human condition when people are
enslaved by tyranny. And at home, we'll protect our assets. We'll conserve
our beautiful environment. And at the same time, we'll work to make sure
that people can make a living, that people can work hard, put money on the
table, they can do their duty as a mom or a dad for -- to feed their
families.

Listen, America is a fabulous country, fabulous not only because of the
values we hold dear, but fabulous because of the nature of the people, who
are the American people. Thank you for coming. May God bless you.
(Applause.)

END 10:40 A.M. PDT


... "Heck - *I* could be an Australian then..." <g> -- K'vin
--- Terminate 4.00/Pro
 * Origin: Reality crept in... I shot it for trespassing (1:387/710)
SEEN-BY: 633/267 270
@PATH: 387/710 396/45 106/2000 633/267


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