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forest plan as
8/27/03 President George W. Bush made his third visit to Oregon Thursday, touting a forest plan proposed by an Oregon congressman as an exploding wildfire grew to more than 20,000 acres near where Bush was planning to speak.
That stop, near Camp Sherman just east of Sisiters, was cancelled, and instead Bush spoke to some 600 supporters at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond.
As Bush spoke, a towering cloud of smoke from the B and B Complex wildfire less than five miles west of Camp Sherman covered the western skies.
Approximately 50 of those 600 were Klamath Basin farmers and businessmen, and all said the longest and loudest applause came when Bush mentioned the Klamath Basin.
"It was nothing like Medford," said LonnieBaley, referring to Bush’s stop in Oregon in 2002. "This was a lot smaller, and there was a lot of security."
Among those in attendance were Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, Interior Secretary Gale Norton, Congressman Greg Walden, and Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski.
All but Norton spent time with the people after Bush completed speaking. Norton made a beeline to the helicopter, Baley said.
In his comments, Bush twice said he was "honored" Kulongoski was there.
"I'm honored that he is here," Bush said. "It should say loud and clear to everybody that preserving and protecting our forests is not a political issue, it is not a partisan issue, it is a practical issue that we must come together and solve."
Leanne Crawford, a farmer’s wife, said she purposely stood back in the crush to get close to the gregarious Bush. She said she had met him once before, and "others needed the chance."
In 2000 Crawford had traveled to Sacramento with her daughter’s fourth grade class, and the campaigning Bush met and shook hands with all the students. Crawford said she knew then Bush would win.
"I felt rural America would pull it out," she said. "I just had a feeling."
Page Updated: Saturday February 25, 2012 05:30 AM Pacific
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