George Bush photo

Remarks to Participants in the Columbia River Gorge Earth Day 20 Rally

April 22, 1990

The President. Hello, Ed. Greetings to you and, certainly, to Governor Booth Gardner. Can you hear me all right?

Listen, we just wanted to wish you well. My respects to the Governor, who was so helpful on this education conference and now taking a leadership role for the environment. And I want to welcome all. I understand you have an enormous group there assembled to celebrate Earth Day. I don't think you could have chosen a better location for this celebration. The Columbia River Gorge is so beautiful -- its natural beauty -- that it makes a perfect setting to celebrate your commitment to protect, preserve, and enhance our national heritage. So, to all assembled, my greetings.

The focus on Earth Day better enables all of us to build on our own successes -- and there have been many -- and acknowledge that so much yet remains to be done. We've got to integrate the goal of a strong economy with that of an improved environment, and we don't have to trade off a lot of jobs in order to protect and preserve. Having said that, by working together through public and private partnerships and through government at the local, State -- and, yes, plenty of involvement from the Federal level -- and then through individuals like you gathered in this extraordinary amphitheater, we can really make a difference.

It takes you all -- dedicated individuals, committed, courageous -- to make that difference. Like Frank Lockyear of Wilsonville, Oregon, who was named by us, by me as President at the White House, as the 118th Point of Light. He founded on his own, ReTree International, and his tireless work has resulted in over a million trees planted around the world. Thanks to Frank and the thousands of people like him, even more Americans will take part in building a better America. I really am confident that when we celebrate Earth Day's 30th anniversary, we will have a cleaner, a safer, and a healthier world.

It might interest you to know that just this minute I hung up from talking to Jim Whittaker 17,500 feet aboard Mount Everest, up there to send a message of environmental purity by cleaning up the debris that was left by expeditions. And now I'm talking to all of you in the beautiful gorge, and I just wish you well. Thank you for setting an example for our entire country. God bless you all.

Mr. Furia. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for honoring us and addressing the people gathered here at the Columbia Gorge.

The President. Is this you, Ed, or is this Booth?

Mr. Furia. No, it's me, Mr. President. We had a little technical difficulty with the microphone. I was saying that you honor all of us, not just here in the Columbia Gorge but all of us participating in Earth Days across the country, by participating with us.

The President. Well, listen, we're proud of you, and I'm proud to have weighed in here. We're going to keep up the interest from our end, and I hope that everybody there will find a way to involve himself or herself -- or child -- in protecting the environment and making this place just a little better for those that come on after us.

So, thanks, have a wonderful rest of the day, and thanks for taking the call. Over and out.

Mr. Furia. Over and out. Ten-four.

The President. You've got it.

Note: The President spoke at 4:21 p.m. from Tarpon Flats in Islamorada, FL, via an electronic hookup with the rally site. In his remarks he referred to Edward Furia, president of the rally, which took place at Columbia River Gorge, WA.

George Bush, Remarks to Participants in the Columbia River Gorge Earth Day 20 Rally Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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