THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
STATEMENT OF VICE PRESIDENT GORE
ON COLUMBIA RIVER SALMON RESTORATION
Congratulations to all the parties gathering today on the banks of the Columbia River to join forces in an historic effort to ensure the environmental and economic vitality of the Pacific Northwest.
First and foremost, today's agreement will set the toughest standards ever to protect and restore the Columbia's ancient salmon runs. It serves as an extraordinary model for future efforts to preserve this vital piece of the region's natural and cultural legacy. More broadly, this agreement demonstrates once again the collaborative approaches and flexibility that the Endangered Species Act makes possible.
I have tracked this effort since it was little more than a rough concept and, through our Council on Environmental Quality, have actively supported it. But the real credit for today's milestone goes to all those whose remarkable energy, creativity and dedication made it possible.
I'd like to thank Senator Murray and Governor Locke for their invaluable support. I'd like to commend the representatives of the Chelan County and Douglas County utility districts, the state and federal agencies, and the environmental community that worked so hard to forge this agreement. Finally, I'd like to praise the leadership of the Colville, Yakima and Umatilla Tribes, whose patience and wisdom is an inspiration to us all.
I applaud all of you for this tremendous achievement.