I attended the Olympic Watershed Protection Workshop put on by the 
offices of Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks with great 
interest. As a local supporter of the Wild Olympics Campaign, I wanted 
to learn what compromises the congressional offices had made when 
putting together their plan. I was also curious to see where the 
opinions of most participants were and was thrilled to see an 
overwhelming majority of people at the Hoquiam workshop in support of 
the effort.

Unlike many "antis" who seem to have made up their minds decades ago 
to be against any measure of protection, there were many people in 
attendance who were genuinely looking for real information about the 
proposal. The staff people from Congressman, Dicks' and Sen. Murray's 
offices were excellent at talking with people and explaining various 
aspects of the proposal. I was also glad for the opportunity to talk 
with a couple of people who came to the session feeling that they 
should be in opposition because of the red signs they had been seeing, 
but then changed their minds after learning exactly what is being 
proposed–facts instead of fear.

Clearly the congressional offices have put lots of thought into the 
proposal. Areas were excluded to ensure that forest thinning could 
take place. They chose to go with a "National Preserve" option as 
opposed to "Park" in order to ensure both tribal and non-tribal 
hunting and gathering will continue in acquired areas. At the same 
time, the draft plan still protects special places like South Quinault 
Ridge and makes great strides in protecting our most precious 
resource, clean water.

Life is full of compromises. The watershed protection proposal put 
forward by Congressman Dicks and Sen. Murray is no different. Clean 
water is not something to take for granted and I appreciate the effort 
they are making to ensure it will be there for all of us, now and in 
the future. The proposal does not have all that I had hoped for, but 
it goes a long way toward protecting what we need. I am fully behind 
their efforts.

Jude Armstrong is a resident of Hoquiam