Local officials & business leaders helped design the new map released by the outdoor retailers promoting the Wild Olympics, calling it “amazing economic opportunity for the Peninsula”
Local Olympic Peninsula elected officials, business owners, and economic development leaders announced a new partnership with REI and Patagonia to promote the Wild Olympics Campaign at REI Seattle and online to encourage their customers to visit the spectacular Olympic Peninsula. The new effort comes out of an inclusive process involving local communities, businesses, and economic leaders of the Olympic Peninsula, who helped to shape the initiative.
As part of the partnership, today local elected officials from the Olympic Peninsula, the Wild Olympics Campaign, outdoor recreation groups, REI, and Patagonia unveiled a new “Destination Wild Olympics” MAP, highlighting some of the great recreation places in the Wild Olympics proposal. The map was designed with extensive input from local Olympic Peninsula business owners, economic development leaders and local elected officials, who announced their support for the initiative, calling it an amazing economic opportunity for the Peninsula.
The Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Act was reintroduced last year by U.S. Senator Patty Murray and Representative Derek Kilmer. The bill would permanently protect over 126,000 acres of new Wilderness areas in the Olympic National Forest, and 19 Olympic Peninsula rivers and their tributaries as Wild & Scenic Rivers – the first ever Wild & Scenic Rivers on the Peninsula. Designed through extensive community input to protect ancient forests, clean water, and enhance outdoor recreation, the Wild Olympics legislation has been endorsed by over 550 local businesses, sportsmen organizations, outdoor recreation groups, faith leaders, conservation groups and local elected officials, and more than 12,000 local residents have signed petitions in support.
REI and Patagonia have set up a pop-up Patagonia store on the second story of REI Seattle, one of the most visited destinations in Seattle. The store highlights key campaigns and the special outdoor places on public lands that they are both supporting through their work with the Conservation Alliance, a national coalition of outdoor industry leaders. They chose to feature the Wild Olympics Campaign as their first campaign because of the world-class outdoor recreation destinations on the Peninsula the campaign is seeking to protect. The outdoor retailers worked with local supporters of the campaign and other local Olympic Peninsula business and economic development leaders to highlight the special places on the Olympic Peninsula in the Wild Olympics proposal. Together their brands have a worldwide reach.
The map is available to download for free here. Free hard copies of the map will also be available at REI retail outlets in the Puget Sound area. Aberdeen based- PR and Marketing firm Alder Creative is helping the new partnership launch a sustained marketing effort of the new map that will continue throughout the summer, and will be distributing free copies of the map for pick-up at the hundreds of local Olympic Peninsula businesses who have endorsed Wild Olympics.
Terri Jeffreys, Mason County Commissioner, District 3 – Shelton “This partnership came out of a great process involving local communities, businesses and economic leaders of the Olympic Peninsula. We’ve been at the forefront of diversifying our local economy and promoting our World-Class outdoor recreation and stunning natural beauty. That’s why we call Mason County and Hood Canal the “Wild Side of Washington” – and we know it’s imperative we protect and enhance access to the incredible outdoor adventures offered by our pristine waterways and spectacular public lands. Wild Olympics has been endorsed by over 50 Mason County businesses and local elected officials and counting. I am proud to be one of them. We’re thrilled to be launching this new partnership with the Wild Olympics Campaign, REI & Patagonia to protect & promote our spectacular ancient forests, free-flowing rivers and world-class outdoor recreation opportunities. For Our Future.”
Jasmine Dickhoff, Mayor, City of Hoquiam- Hoquiam “I’m from here, I grew up here, and I’m proud to call the Harbor my home. Harborites are hardy, self-reliant, and we often have a different point of view than other communities. We choose to live without all the amenities of big-city life and we do so because we love it here. Hundreds of local Peninsula businesses, sportsmen organizations & local elected officials like myself are backing Wild Olympics because it embraces that same pride – our shared love of the land and our desire to permanently protect the most special parts of our spectacular backyard. However as a local elected official concerned about our economic future, I believe we need to be seizing new economic opportunities while taking great care not to hurt our current ones. That’s why it’s important to me that Representative Kilmer & Senator Murray have worked to ensure their final proposal won’t hurt local timber jobs. It’s also why I believe REI and Patagonia’s promotion of Wild Olympics is a validation of one of our important new economic advantages. Our region has stunning scenery, and spectacular public lands that most rural communities simply can’t compete with. As a result, our natural treasures help us attract new businesses, entrepreneurs and investment in our communities. I’m proud to have played a part in the community process that helped shape REI and Patagonia’s recognition of Wild Olympics. It’s an important down payment on the Harbor’s future.”
James Thomas, President & CEO Thermedia Corp/MasQs – Shelton “The Wild Olympics legislation will protect the outstanding way of life that is an important reason people choose to live, work and play here in Mason County with the backdrop of the Olympic Mountains in our backyard. In fact, these spectacular public lands were the final determinant when I chose the Olympic Peninsula as the new home for my medical device manufacturing company. Ten years later my heart still sings when I round a corner or top a hill and the Olympics come into view. That’s why I was glad to participate in the local process that helped shape this exciting new partnership between REI, Patagonia and the Wild Olympics Campaign. Their support for Senator Murray and Representative Wild Olympics legislation will help protect and advance the Peninsula’s economic future.”
State Representative Steve Tharinger, 24th Legislative District – Sequim “It is easy to see and understand the ecological value of the Wild Olympics idea, conserving clean and free flowing rivers, but what is sometimes missed is the economic value that maintaining places like Wild Olympics brings by attracting people to the special outdoors of the Olympic region. I want to thank REI and Patagonia for engaging local community leaders like myself to help design this initiative, and for recognizing that encouraging people to get out and enjoy the special places in the Wild Olympics proposal brings economic benefits to the communities I represent.”
Mark and Desiree’ Dodson, Owners Westport Marina Cottages – Westport: “We’re excited to be a part of launching this amazing recognition of the Wild Olympics Campaign by REI & Patagonia. We’re one of the hundreds of local Peninsula businesses backing Wild Olympics because it would protect & promote the same priceless natural treasures that are cornerstones of our economy. And now the country’s two most premier outdoor industry brands agree. Our ancient temperate rainforests & wild rivers are iconic one-of-kind outdoor recreation destinations that draw visitors & new residents from around the world. That’s why we’re excited to be partnering with the Wild Olympics Campaign, REI & Patagonia to promote the Harbor’s natural treasures to a whole new audience hungry for outdoor adventures!”
Douglas Scott, Outdoor Writer and Owner & Operator of Exotic Hikes: Doug is also a leading Olympic National Parks writer for national publications and websites. He is also a trusted guidebook author, focusing primarily on the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park. Douglas grew up in Grays Harbor and after traveling the world, returned to Olympia to set up a permanent camp. While living in Olympia, Douglas considers Hoodsport on the Olympic Peninsula’s Hood Canal to be home, and is most often found in and around the Staircase Region of Olympic National Park. Working as a guide and expert with local business along the Hood Canal, Douglas Scott has made Exotic Hikes and The Outdoor Society trusted sources of information for the millions who visit the Olympic Peninsula each year. With a monthly readership of 20,000 on The Outdoor-Society.com, as well as 40,000 onExoticHikes.com and 100,000+ on RootsRated.com, Douglas brings the Olympic Peninsula to nearly two millions homes across the country each year.
Roy Nott, Aberdeen Businessman and CEO. “Growing up in Pacific County in the 50’s and early 60’s, my future career path was pretty clear. I knew I would work in the timber industry. It was a no-brainer for me. The woods was where my childhood friends and I also chose to spend most of our free time. To advance your career often requires moves, and eventually my family and I were asked to move to the south and the northeast. It was all very interesting but we missed our family and friends and the forests back home. So, in 1993, I returned with a much greater appreciation for the Olympic Peninsula’s remaining virgin forests. Not just as a draw for tourists but also a residential draw for forest-lovers like myself and my family. That is also why I chose to be an early advocate for new Wild Olympics legislation.
The world has changed so much over my lifetime. I now live in Aberdeen but I am the President of a German-owned companyin the wood products industry. Rapid advancements in manufacturing and technology permit companies to collaborate globally today to make more valuable composite wood products from far younger, faster-growth trees. These technologies require us to be smarter and more globally and market-minded but they permit us- for the first time in our history- to have it both ways: to have a strong forest products sector along with legal protections for the remaining, virgin forests that have always provided our fantastic living and vacationing environment. This is my life story and these are my opinions. That is why I am so pleased to see REI and Patagonia recently take up the Wild Olympics cause. It is great to see your most deeply-held beliefs become validated as you get older.”
Sissi Bruch, Port Angeles City Council Member (Position #6) “I am very excited to lend my support this new REI/Patagonia Wild Olympics initiative. The idea of encouraging people, who love the outdoors, to come to our pristine wilderness areas, while supporting their preservation, has great synergy. This, in concert with Port Angeles designation as the 2nd best outdoor town, validates Port Angeles’s status as a world class outdoor recreation destination, and speaks highly of our need to protect this unique and pristine environment. I appreciate REI and Patagonia for inviting me and many other community leaders to participate in designing this initiative and in the collaborative and inclusive way it was done.”