I recently heard about the Wild Olympics Campaign and the proposal to protect the Olympic Peninsula's ancient forests and wild rivers. As a resident of Kitsap, a peninsula bordered on one side by Puget Sound and the other by Hood Canal, I couldn't be happier that Congressman Norm Dicks and Sen. Patty Murray are moving forward with a watershed protection package for the Olympic Peninsula.

Timber has and always will be a part of our region. However, other economic sectors are and will continue to be a huge part of what makes our state tick. The shellfish industry, a business that relies upon clean cold water, relies on healthy rivers to survive. Our salmon sport and commercial fishery are fully dependent on protected watersheds to thrive and continue. Tourism, long a staple of our beautiful state, is largely fueled by the awe inspiring natural wonders that draw millions every year.

In times of trouble, it is best to preserve land for the future of both people and the planet we all depend on. I am proud that my representatives are working hard for common sense conservation measures for our neighboring peninsula. It takes bold and visionary action to protect our precious natural resources for the good of whole and not the short term economic gains by the few. I appreciate and praise Rep. Dicks and Sen. Murray for having such foresight.

Sandy Pernitz