Recently, I attended the Olympic Watershed Protection Workshop put on by the offices of Congressman Norm Dicks and Sen. Patty Murray.
I learned a great deal and am writing to thank our representatives for moving forward with a draft proposal to provide the following reasonable and necessary protections for our precious Olympic watersheds:
- Designating wilderness areas for many non-motorized recreational activities. The boundaries have been carefully negotiated with many groups and individuals to accommodate their concerns.
- Allowing Olympic National Park to purchase lands from willing sellers. These lands would be placed in a “preserve” status and thus create new permanent hunting and fishing destinations.
- And recognizing Wild and Scenic Rivers that protect wild salmon habitat, preserve pristine watersheds for environmental health and safe drinking water, allow wonderful recreational opportunities, and keep dams from being built on these rivers. Keeping dams off of our rivers, as was proposed and defeated on the Duckabush in 1982 and the Dosewallips in 1996, is certainly less expensive and time consuming than trying to remove dams, as we are witnessing today with the long-awaited restoration of the beautiful Elwha River.
These protections will be enjoyed by present and future residents of this area, and will attract many visitors (who will stay in local accommodations and eat in our restaurants) from all over the world.