Protecting our Ancient Forests and Rivers for Future Generations
On January 16, 2014, Senator Patty Murray and Representative Derek Kilmer introduced legislation to establish new Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River protections on the Olympic Peninsula. If passed, the bill would protect the first new Wilderness designations (more than 126,000 acres ) on Olympic National Forest in nearly 30 years and the first ever Wild and Scenic River designations (for 19 rivers and their tributaries constituting 464 miles of river) on the Olympic Peninsula.
The Wild Olympics Campaign is thrilled with this news and we enthusiastically support the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and will continue to work to advocate for permanent protection of these wild places for future generations. The legislation would provide durable, permanent safeguards for the Peninsula's most priceless natural treasures; our towering ancient forests, free-flowing rivers, critical fish and wildlife habitat and our clean water. We are incredibly grateful for Congressman Dicks and Senator Murray's steadfast leadership and tireless efforts in advancing this landmark legislation. It is truly a historic giant step in the long history of Olympic Peninsula conservation.
Peninsula residents support protecting our last remaining wild forest and rivers. A bipartisan poll found overwhelming support for the Wild Olympics proposal among likely voters in Washington's 6th Congressional District. Nearly two out of three (64 percent) likely voters support the Wild Olympics plan proposed by Rep. Dicks and Sen. Murray. Twenty percent of the district voters polled said they were undecided. Only 15 percent are opposed.
Over the past three years, Wild Olympics has been reaching out to Peninsula communities to build support from diverse local voices, listen to concerns and get feedback on our draft proposal. More than 10,000 Peninsula 6th congressional district residents have written letters or signed our petition, and more than 450 Peninsula businesses, farms, faith leaders, hunting and fishing groups, elected officials, conservation and civic groups support Wild Olympics. We will continue this outreach as this legislation makes its way through congress.
The Wild Olympics Campaign Chair