OLYMPIA, Wash. - Representative Derek Kilmer and a group of conservation, timber and local government stakeholders today announced the formation of new a partnership called the Olympic Peninsula Collaborative. Members of the partnership approved the following statement to explain its purpose and goals:
The Olympic Peninsula Collaborative will bring together stakeholders from the environmental community, the timber industry, and representatives from federal and local government around shared goals of increasing timber harvest from the Olympic National Forest while benefitting the environmental quality of our forests and watersheds. The Collaborative will work together and with federal officials to address issues that stand in the way of achieving the stated goals. Ultimately, the purpose is to show we can simultaneously create a more environmentally sound forest, provide for increased, sustainable timber harvests on the Olympic National Forest, and provide economic benefits to timber communities on the Peninsula.
I have always said that we don’t have to choose between economic development and environmental protection. This is the beginning of a long-term partnership that I hope will help prove that’s true. The Olympic Peninsula Collaborative will show we can build consensus and can bring folks together to simultaneously create a more environmentally healthy forest, provide for increased, sustainable timber harvests on the Olympic National Forest, and provide economic benefits to timber communities on the Peninsula.
- U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer