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Public Papers - 1990

Exchange With Reporters During a Meeting With Representative Denny Smith in Portland, Oregon

1990-05-20

Northern Spotted Owl

Q. Hi, how are you? What are you going to do with -- --

The President. I'm not taking any questions here. This is what they call a photo opportunity, and I'm not taking questions, especially on Sunday. Denny might.

Q. Denny, you're making some announcement after this, can you clue us in to what it might be?

Representative Smith. Well, it depends on how hard I'm able to twist his arm.

Q. What might it be?

Representative Smith. We've got a real big problem here with the timber supply because of the threatened and endangered species of the spotted owl, and it's important we get a fair hearing and get the opportunity to know whether we're going to have any jobs in the forest industry here.

Q. Mr. President, what's your inclination on that?

The President. My inclination is that we have a balanced policy. There's a lot of people whose livelihood is threatened out here, and I want to hear more about it from this Congressman who's been in the lead on this subject. And I've said that before, I'll say it again at the breakfast tomorrow, and I've been saying that in terms of the environment I want to be known as an environmental President, but I also want to be one who's concerned about a person's ability to hold a job and have a job. And there's a lot at stake here on this question. One of the things I'm doing is listening very careful. I listen to the Attorney General. And Dave Frohnmayer, in whom I have great confidence, and Denny Smith -- been out in front on this question a long time. So, though we had law enforcement at the last event, an area that both of them have had leadership roles in, now we've got some economic questions and some environmental questions. And so, we're listening to find out all I can about it.

Thank you, gang, for your understanding.

Note: The exchange took place at approximately 5:20 p.m. at the Portland Hilton Hotel. Denny Smith was the U.S. Representative for Oregon's Fifth District. David Frohnmayer was State attorney general and the Republican gubernatorial candidate. The northern spotted owl inhabited an area of the State that was targeted for logging.

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