Our Olympic Peninsula watersheds offer the last and best remaining habitat for native fish and wildlife. They provide resilient strongholds for salmon and steelhead as global climate change stresses threatened and endangered Olympic stocks. They supply clean, cold drinking water to local communities. Scientists have identified these watersheds as vital to the health and recovery of Hood Canal and Puget Sound.
The Peninsula’s forest watersheds and rivers are also prized backcountry recreational destinations. Whether it's fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, kayaking, horsepacking, bird watching or backpacking, these scenic treasures draw tens of thousands of visitors each year. They also provide a steady and sustainable flow of income to local economies. Most importantly, local families and people everywhere want our wild Olympic natural heritage protected for future generations to enjoy.
There are many important efforts already underway to restore lost salmon habitat on the Peninsula, such as the Elwha River restoration set to begin next year. And yet many of our healthy forest and river watersheds are not permanently protected from future development. Scientists, economists and community leaders all agree, protecting our watersheds now is far less costly than restoring them later. The groups in The Wild Olympics Campaign believe now is the time to protect what we have while we restore what we’ve lost — for our families and for our future.