Bush to visit Oregon, not Crater Lake
Herald and News
Klamath Falls, Oregon
August 06, 2002
By LEE JUILLERAT
Officials: Security fears sink plans to see park
President Bush plans to visit Oregon this month, but the White House has ruled out a proposed visit to Crater Lake National Park for its 100th birthday.
Security concerns canceled the visit, Park Superintendent Chuck Lundy said today.
“We were looking forward to his visit,” Lundy said. “It would have been a great honor for the park to have the president here to kick off our centennial activities. We’re disappointed, but we understand those security concerns are the primary factor.”
Presidential travel plans are kept vague, especially since the attack on Sept. 11. So, Bush’s itinerary in Oregon has not been made public.
The last time he visited the state, he was in Portland for a speech in which he announced a Cabinet-level task force to deal with Klamath Basin water questions.
There continue to be hints that Bush will make an appearance in the Klamath region, where the water issue has attracted a great deal of administration attention.
In Klamath Falls on Monday, a top official of the Commerce Department told civic and business leaders that Bush would be “out here.”
“The president — he’ll be out here, hopefully within a few weeks,” said David Sampson, assistant commerce secretary. Sampson was in Klamath Falls to deliver a $950,000 check to the city to subsidize roads and utilities for the new Home Depot store.
At the park, officials had been planning centennial activities on the possibility that Bush would be at the park, probably on Aug. 22. Lundy said he learned Sunday, and confirmed Monday, that officials from the Secret Service scuttled the Crater Lake visit for security reasons.
“We had been in conversation with the White House about President Bush’s possible visit for several months, and it appeared he very much wanted to come here,” Lundy said.
Park officials will meet this week and may reschedule centennial activities. The celebration, which will be capped by a park rededication on Sunday, Aug. 25, had been extended to begin on Thursday, Aug. 22 because of a possible visit by Bush.
Spokesmen at the White House press office said Monday that Bush is tentatively scheduled to travel to Oregon, California and New Mexico the week of Aug. 19.
Details of the trip, including places that he will visit, have not been finalized and will not be announced until Aug. 16 or, possibly, until 48 hours in advance. They stressed that all information on his schedule is subject to change.
Regional Editor Lee Juillerat covers Lake, Siskiyou, Modoc and northern Klamath counties. He can be reached at 885-4421, (800) 275-0982