Tag Archive for Senator Murray

Coalition cheers Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2014

Wild Olympics Coalition

QUILCENE, Wash. (Jan. 17) A broad and diverse coalition of Olympic Peninsula community members cheered the introduction today of the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2014 by Representative Derek Kilmer and Senator Patty Murray.  The measure, similar to that introduced in the last Congress, by Senator Murray and former Congressman Norm Dicks would permanently protect more than 126,000 acres of ancient and mature forests on Olympic National Forest as wilderness and 19 Olympic Peninsula rivers and their major tributaries as Wild and Scenic.

“Senator Murray and Representative Kilmer deserve tremendous thanks for working to ensure that our beloved Olympic Peninsula will be here for our grandchildren,” said Connie Gallant, chair of the Quilcene-based Wild Olympics Coalition. “This landmark legislation will protect the Olympic Peninsula’s ancient forests, free-flowing rivers and stunning scenery for all time. It will safeguard critical salmon habitat and sources of clean drinking water for our local communities, protecting our unmatched quality of life on the Peninsula. We are extremely grateful to Representative Kilmer for continuing the work begun years ago by Representative Norm Dicks and Senator Murray to protect the Wild Olympics. It is testament to the commitment and hard work of Senator Murray and Representative Kilmer that we may — for the first time in nearly 30 years — see new wilderness on Olympic National Forest, as well as the first-ever protected wild and scenic rivers on the Olympic Peninsula.”

 

“Safeguarding our natural environment is a key to providing steady and sustainable income to our rural economies,” said Roy Nott, an Aberdeen Business Leader and former Timber Company Executive. “The Olympic Peninsula’s stunning scenery sport fishing, clamming, hiking, hunting, bird watching and other forms of outdoor recreation all contribute to our local economic health and are critical to attracting and retaining the highly skilled employees that growing, technology-based companies want and need.”

 

“This bill will protect and promote the same spectacular public lands and high quality of life that are helping to drive growth and create local jobs in real estate, construction and many other sectors of our economy today,” said Harriet Reyenga, an independent realtor for Windermere Real Estate in Port Angeles. “Our ancient forests, salmon, rivers and amazing landscapes are the north Olympic Peninsula’s competitive economic advantage over other regions.”  Reyenga, who won the 2012 Realtor Achievement Award from the Port Angeles Association of Realtors, added, “We should do all we can to protect and promote these natural treasures. The Wild Olympics legislation will do both.”

 

“People think that because these areas appear as they’ve always been, that they are safe,” said Dave Bailey, Past President of the Grey Wolf Fly Fishing Club in Sequim, WA and a co-founder of Sportsmen for Wild Olympics www.SportsmenForWildOlympics.org.  “Unfortunately, that is the furthest thing from the truth.  There is a determined effort in Congress to roll back safeguards on our public lands and open these sensitive spawning grounds to small hydropower development, industrial clear-cutting and more road building once more.  That’s bad for fish, game, and sportsmen.  This legislation is critical to preserve what we have.”

 

“Places like lower Gray Wolf, Lena Lake, South Fork Skokomish and South Quinault Ridge deserve the ‘gold standard’ of protection, and that is what this visionary bill provides,” said Tim McNulty, of Sequim, Wild Olympics Coalition member and author of Olympic National Park: A Natural History. “The conservation community has been working for decades to safeguard these unparalleled areas.  Today is a day to celebrate, but now we must work to get this important legislation passed by Congress and signed into law.  Future generations deserve no less.”

 

“The two largest shellfish hatcheries that supply seed to the West Coast industry are located on Hood Canal, said Bill Taylor President, of Taylor Shellfish in Shelton. “Well over 150 jobs are provided in Hood Canal alone by the industry, not including the indirect jobs such as processing, sales and shipping. By taking a watershed approach to protecting Olympic Peninsula forests and rivers we ensure clean and safe water so that shellfish companies can continue to grow and further benefit the economy and ecology of Washington state.”


“As an outdoor recreation business owner and an avid outdoorsman, my livelihood depends on clean, free-flowing rivers, said Morgan Colonel, the Owner of Olympic Raft and Kayak, Port Angeles I managed a Jackson Hole river company during the designation of the Snake River as Wild & Scenic, and saw firsthand the benefits of safeguarding this vital waterway. Active outdoor recreation contributes more than $11.7 billion annually to Washington’s economy, and supports 115,000 jobs. Businesses like mine depend on access to the high quality natural resources the Olympic Peninsula is known for. Protecting these resources is an investment in our region’s economic future, and the smart thing to do.”

 

Wild Olympics is endorsed by more than 470 local businesses, farms, faith leaders, local elected officials, hunting, fishing and recreation groups: www.wildolympics.org/supporters/endorsements

Senator Murray, Representative Kilmer Introduce Legislation to Protect Olympic Peninsula

Ancient Temperate Rainforest in the South Quinault Ridge Proposed Wilderness.

(Washington, D.C.) – After extensive engagement and discussion with residents and local business leaders on the Olympic Peninsula, today Senator Patty Murray and Representative Derek Kilmer introduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2014 in the Senate and House of Representatives.  As part of an ongoing effort to preserve and grow jobs on the Olympic Peninsula, this legislation would protect some of the most environmentally sensitive parts of our region for future generations while protecting access to outdoor recreation opportunities and private landowners’ rights.

Map: Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

Proposed Wild & Scenic Rivers Within the Wild Olympics Act of 2014

Proposed Wilderness Within the Wild Olympics Act of 2014

 

“The Olympic Peninsula’s wild spaces are among Washington state’s crown jewels, and the Wild Olympics proposal supports the foundation of conservation developed over generations,” said Senator Patty Murray.  “This plan is the result of several years of negotiation and compromise and I am thrilled to reintroduce today with Representative Kilmer, with whom I have done additional work prior to reintroduction.  This legislation is a step in the right direction to protect our most treasured places for our kids and grandkids, and I look forward to working with Representative Kilmer to pass this bill into law.”

“As someone who grew up in Port Angeles and saw first-hand the economic impact of the decline of the timber industry, I’ve always said that economic growth and environmental protection is not an either-or choice: we’ve got to do both. That’s why I brought industry and environmental leaders together to form a collaborative effort to increase harvest in our federal forests and protect the environment and it’s why I am introducing this bill today,” said Representative Kilmer. “This proposal is part of a practical, balanced economic development strategy to not only protect the natural beauty of our area for generations to come, but to help attract businesses to our region and help them stay, grow and invest for the future.”

 

This legislation would designate 126,554 acres of existing federal land as wilderness in the Olympic National Forest and designate 464 river miles across 19 rivers and some major tributaries on the Olympic Peninsula as Wild and Scenic Rivers. The wilderness designation permanently protects old growth and ancient forest habitat throughout the region. The Wild and Scenic Rivers designation would add federal recognition to the outstanding river systems on the Peninsula, protecting them as a source of clean drinking water and helping to keep the Puget Sound clean for generations to come and does not place restrictions on private property rights.

 

Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of  2014  builds off of legislation introduced in 2012 by Senator Murray and former Representative Norm Dicks that was a result of nearly three years of public engagement with residents, business owners, organizations, and Native American tribes. Based on additional public input, Senator Murray and Representative Kilmer made several changes to the legislation to address concerns and strengthen sections about private landowners’ rights.

Murray, Cantwell Unveil Legislation to Support American Ports

Senator Cantwell and I have worked with small and large ports here in Washington state, the business community, and labor leaders to write the Maritime Goods Movement Act – which will make desperately needed improvements to the laws that impact ports of all sizes and business large and small – exporters and importers,” Senator Murray said. “This legislation will change the Harbor Maintenance Tax to give shippers new incentives to move their goods through American ports – particularly those in the Pacific Northwest.”

 

“I will continue to work with Senator Murray and my west coast colleagues on a solution that gives our ports relief and keeps us competitive,” said Senator Cantwell. “We know that Washington state goods and products are in high demand all over the world — from apples to airplanes to software. Fixing the H-M-T is about giving businesses and workers in our trade economy tools to succeed in a global marketplace. Because we know that if the playing field is level, Washington’s state ports and products will win out.”

 

More about the Maritime Goods Movement Act for the 21st Century HERE.

 

 

Senator Murray’s remarks, as prepared:

 

Thank you all for being here today.

 

“I’d like to start by thanking my colleague and partner in the U.S. Senate, Maria Cantwell, Tay Yoshitani from the Port of Seattle, John Wolfe from the Port of Tacoma, Dan McKisson from the ILWU, Port of Seattle commissioners Stephanie Bowman, John Creighton, and Courtney Gregoire, Port of Tacoma commissioners Don Mayer and Connie Bacon, Grays Harbor Port Commissioner Jack Thompson and Snohomish County Councilman Dave Gossett.

 

“Thank you all for your support on this important issue.

 

“And I’m thrilled to be here at one of our city’s beautiful piers to talk about the importance of our ports and the trade economy that’s supported our region for generations.

 

“As all of you know, Washington is the most trade-dependent state in our country…in fact, one in three jobs in Washington state is tied to international trade.

 

“And every day, millions of dollars in goods move through our state’s ports: bringing in products from every corner of the globe and shipping out goods manufactured or grown here in the Pacific Northwest.

 

“But we’re here today because some of the laws we have in place – specifically the Harbor Maintenance Tax – are actually hurting our ports and holding our economy back.

 

“Currently – the Harbor Maintenance Tax is diverting US-bound sea cargo, which should enter our country through the Port of Seattle, the Port of Tacoma, or other ports along our shores…

 

“Instead, shippers have decided it’s more cost-efficient to send those US-bound goods to Canada and Mexico first – only to ship them to the United States by truck or rail.

 

“That means fewer cargo containers coming into our ports. It means less work for longshoreman and pilots. And it means we can’t make investments in infrastructure that our ports need to be state-of-the-art and competitive.

 

“If that’s not a perfect example of an outdated law, I don’t know what is.

 

“So that’s why Senator Cantwell and I have worked with small and large ports here in Washington state, the business community, and labor leaders to write the Maritime Goods Movement Act – which will make desperately needed improvements to the laws that impact ports of all sizes and business large and small – exporters and importers.

 

“This legislation will change the Harbor Maintenance Tax to give shippers new incentives to move their goods through American ports – particularly those in the Pacific Northwest.

 

“And it will double the amount of funds we can use to re-invest in our ports each year to keep them competitive in the global marketplace…including remote and low-use ports that need our support.

 

“We’ll be introducing this new legislation when the Senate returns to session in September and we couldn’t have done it without the support of all the people here today.

 

“I also want to thank our colleague in the House of Representatives, Jim McDermott, who’s worked closely with us on this issue – we’ll need his support to get this passed through the House.

 

“So, thank you again for being here today, and now, I’d like to introduce my partner in the United States Senate, Maria Cantwell.”

 

 

Senator Cantwell’s remarks, as prepared:

 

“Thank you.

 

“I’d like to thank Senator Murray for that introduction.

 

“I’ve been proud to work with Senator Murray to further the growth of Washington’s ports.

Looking across the water here gives you a clear picture of why the ports of Seattle and Tacoma support 200,000 jobs.

 

“You can literally watch Washington’s trade economy in motion at the Port of Seattle – or the Port of Tacoma.

 

“When it comes to Washington state’s economy, ports are us. More than 1 in 3 Washington jobs are tied to trade. That’s why Senator Murray and I have worked to invest in Washington ports and the millions of jobs that depend on them.

 

“And we’ve made some significant progress in investing in our port infrastructure.

 

“One year ago – here at the Port of Seattle – I joined Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to announce a new national initiative for smarter freight planning.

 

“We are now on our way to developing America’s first comprehensive freight strategic plan. And that’s good news for ports in Washington state.

 

“But even with this progress, Washington state ports face major challenges.

 

“The Asia-Pacific market is growing. And Canada and Mexico are making major investments to capture more of that market.

 

“Today, we’re here to announce a step forward to make sure American ports can compete on a level playing field.

 

“The time to fix our Harbor Maintenance Tax (H-M-T) is now.

 

“Currently the H-M-T makes it harder for our ports to compete with Prince Rupert to the North – or the Port of Lazaro Cardenas to the South.

 

“The threat is real.  The Federal Maritime Commission found that up to 27 percent of container volume moving through West Coast ports is at risk of diverting to Prince Rupert. 

 

“Here in the Puget Sound, that cargo diversion threatens the employment of about 10,000 American workers.

 

“In fact, diversion of 10,000 containers from our ports in the Puget Sound could:

•           Cost businesses $1.3 billion

•           Reduce income for workers by $833 million

•           Cut local purchases by $192 million

•           And slash state and local taxes by $75 million

 

“That’s why Senator Murray and I are introducing this bill to fix our broken system. The inequality for our ports needs to end.

 

“I recently sent a letter to the chairman of the Finance Committee and stated that H-M-T reform must be included in any tax reform bill.

 

“I will continue to work with Senator Murray and my west coast colleagues on any solution that gives our ports relief and keeps us competitive.

 

“We know that Washington state goods and products are in high demand all over the world — from apples to airplanes to software.

 

“Fixing the H-M-T is about giving businesses and workers in our trade economy tools to succeed in a global marketplace.

 

“Because we know that if the playing field is level, Washington’s state ports and products will win out.

 

“West Coast deep-water ports like Seattle and Tacoma don’t need the same maintenance as shallow-water ports.

 

“So while Seattle and Tacoma generate 7 percent of the funds for the H-M-T, they only receive a penny for every dollar collected.

 

“Shippers are also moving goods through fast-growing ports in Mexico and Canada to avoid paying the H-M-T.

 

“Our legislation would fix the H-M-T with a user fee that would apply to all points of entry for U.S.-bound cargo.

 

“This would level the playing field for our ports and protect our jobs here in Washington.

 

“Trade affects all corners of our economy. And Washington’s ports are the heart of our trade economy.

 

“We’re ready to hit the ground running with our bill when we get back to DC in September.

 

“Because when it comes to shipping goods, Washington ports and Washington workers get the job done. And when we compete on a level playing field, we won’t lose.

 

“Thank you all for coming today.”