Taylor Shellfish, Sage Fly Fishing and Rice Fergus Miller Architecture & Planning are the top names on a list of local businesses backing a bill that would create new wilderness protections in lands around Olympic National Park.

They say setting conserving 130,000 acres would help them attract and retain top talent from a growing poll of professionals who value wild areas.

Their endorsements of the Wild Olympics bill are the latest in a campaign that has steered its focus on one man: U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer.

Kilmer, who represents the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas, has remained undecided on the bill since taking over for the bill’s primary sponsor, longtime congressman Norm Dicks. The bill would need Kilmer’s support before it is reintroduced in Congress.

You can read more about the new focus on Kilmer HERE.

Kilmer, who grew up in Port Angeles, has said he wants to find a“sweet spot” between conservation and economic development.

The bill is opposed by the Working Wild Olympics group and the North Olympic Timber Action Committee. Both groups say the bill would lead to fewer jobs and less access to national forests for hiking, hunting and other outdoor sports.

Wild Olympics’ supporters hope to shift Kilmer’s thinking with a petition, endorsements from outdoor recreation groups and the letter from business leaders.

You can read the letter below.

Wild Olympics Ceo Letter

Photo: Dosewallips River. Tristan Baurick, Kitsap Sun