I support the Wild Olympics bill.
Wild Olympics designates a wilderness buffer around Olympic National Park. The consultation process over the past four years earned support from groups that sometimes disagree. I urge readers to contact Rep. Kilmer and ask him to support the Wild Olympics bill.
The list of things you can do in designated wilderness is longer than what you cannot. Hiking, camping, climbing, rafting, kayaking, skiing, snowshoeing, hunting, fishing, horseback riding and berry-picking are allowed. Mining, logging and motorized use are not.
No forest system roads are located inside the 126,000 acres of proposed wilderness. Existing roadways are available for motorized uses like snowmobiles and four-wheelers.
The proposed wilderness does not change existing trailheads. The place where you start your hike today is the same place you will start your hike after the bill is passed.
The proposed wilderness does not close new areas to logging. It only affects land where logging is already off-limits, earning endorsement by a Port Angeles timber company and a mill in Cosmopolis.
Washington’s outdoor recreation industry supports 115,000 jobs and contributes $11.7 billion per year. Other purely economic beneficiaries are in food, fishing, lodging, retail, real-estate, fuel, and services. Economics like this are especially powerful because they support family businesses on a recurring basis, year after year.
Please ask Rep. Derek Kilmer to join 20 hunting and fishing organizations, 200 Olympic and Kitsap peninsula businesses, Democrats, Republicans, and conservationists, and support the Wild Olympics bill.