I'm another local supporter of the Wild Olympics and was happy to see the recent Q&A column from former County Commissioner Al Carter. I thought Al did a great job of setting the record straight on the Wild Olympics, showing that we can both protect our rivers and forests and protect jobs.

I and the more than 5,000 Peninsula residents who have voiced support of the proposal believe that protecting watersheds and protecting ancient forests makes good sense for the future well-being of the community's economy and our way of life. A coalition of sportsmen are pushing for the plan because they want more access to the areas where they can hunt and fish. Business owners support the plan because it will safeguard the scenic beauty that attracts visitors who spend dollars locally. Others, because they want to ensure that their favorite places to hike and camp will be around for their grandchildren to enjoy.

I once enjoyed being an avid hiker, alpine skier and cyclist, and then some 20 years ago I became bedridden with Multiple Sclerosis, eventually using a wheelchair for years. I slowly regained my ability to walk and recently purchased my first pair of hiking boots in 30 years. It's long been a dream of mine to hike into the Wild Olympics away from traffic and roads and billboards and all other indications of "civilization". I fear that when I'm physically strong enough to realize this dream most of the wonderful and wild places I long to see will be replaced by clear-cuts, ATV destruction and unauthorized dirt bike scars. I'mextraordinarily blessed to live on the Olympic Peninsula – one of the most magnificent and truly wilderness areas in the country. Please, let's keep it that way!

I urge former commissioner Al Carter to keep up the good work and applaud Congressman Dicks and Senator Murray for their leadership on this important issue.


Janette M. Hursh
Copalis Beach