Wild Olympic Debate Hits Legislative Sendoff

ABERDEEN, Wash. – A strong message was sent from Grays Harbor’s Legislative Sendoff yesterday on an issue that might not get much attention in the shadow of an ever-growing budget crisis, as State Representative Brian Blake expressed “I strongly appose the Wild Olympics plan, if these tens of thousands of acres of Douglas Fir plantations meet the congressional definition of wilderness, then the timber industry of Grays Harbor deserves a lifetime achievement award from the Sierra Club.”
One thread that did seem to come loose from the tapestry of issues surrounding land management on the Olympic Peninsula was the idea of bartering protection for federal forestry “Honestly, I think it’s probably going to happen. If I were you, I would be saying no, but maybe a soft yes if you could get more timber harvest on Federal lands.”
Representative Kevin Van DeWege said the most important part of the negotiation was to stay at the table with feds. State Senators Brian Hatfield and Jim Hargrove were joined by Representatives Blake, Takko, Tharinger, and Van De Wege in opposition to the idea. However some Representatives made statements promoting a compromise, while others apposed all together.