Tag Archive for Wild Olympics

Sportsmen for Wild Olympics announce new endorsements & video

Sportsmen for Wild Olympics

A group of Olympic Peninsula hunters, anglers, and guides of Sportsmen for Wild Olympics delivered signatures last week from more than 300 local sportsmen and women on a petition to Senator Murray and Representative Kilmer in support of their new legislation to permanently protect headwaters and salmon streams on Olympic National Forest and enhance access.  The signers urge the lawmakers to keep the ancient forests and free-flowing rivers wild, because “Peninsula salmon, trout, and steelhead rely on cold, clean water from upper reaches of rivers & streams on Olympic National Forest. These headwaters & streams are at risk as private industry and small hydro developers try to roll back temporary safeguards on our public lands.”

This new support comes on the heels of new endorsements by over two dozen major hunting and fishing organizations and local guides, including nineteen leading sportsmen groups and Peninsula guides who recently sent a joint letter to Sen. Murray and Rep. Kilmer urging action to safeguard this area.  Those signing the letter include Piscatorial Pursuits (Forks), Waters West Guide Service (Montesano), Angler’s Obsession (Forks), Little Stone Fly Fisher (Port Townsend), Johnson Guide Service (Sequim), Anadromy Fly Fishing (Forks), Game On! Guide Service (Shelton), Olympic Peninsula Skagit Tactics (Forks), Able Guide Service (Seiku), Gray Wolf Fly Fishing Club (Sequim), Peninsula Sportsman (Port Townsend), Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, the Wild Steelhead Coalition, the Northwest Guides & Anglers Association, the Washington Wildlife Federation, Izaak Walton League, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Association of Northwest Steelheaders and others.

 

Both the petition and the letter state that “Only full, Congressionally-designated Wilderness and Wild & Scenic River safeguards will permanently protect backcountry elk habitat and sensitive salmon and steelhead spawning grounds against future development.” The group further notes that the final compromise legislation removed all roads from the proposed wilderness boundaries, ensuring Wild Olympics will not close roads or affect any road or trailhead access.

 

Sportsmen for Wild Olympicsalso released a new video: ”Salmon Streams for Our Future” to spotlight the headwaters, rivers and salmon that would be protected under the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, and the threats they face without permanent protection. It highlights the long list of support for Wild Olympics from 27 leading hunting & fishing organizations and local guides, and features stunning footage of spawning salmon shot by acclaimed local filmmaker John Gussman. An interview with Sequim fishing guide & Sportsmen for Wild Olympics co-founder Norrie Johnson explains how the legislation is vital to protecting the headwaters, rivers & streams on Olympic National Forest that local anglers depend on for salmon & steelhead fishing. The video closes with a call for hunters & anglers to visit the Sportsmen for Wild Olympics website and sign their online petition in support of the Wild Olympics legislation.

 

Dave Bailey, Past President of the Grey Wolf Fly Fishing Club in Sequim, WA and a co-founder of Sportsmen for Wild Olympics says the group is releasing the video to show people that the threats to local salmon streams are real and that Wild Olympics is broadly supported in the local sportsmen community.

“People think that because these areas appear as they’ve always been, that they are safe.  That is the furthest thing from the truth,” said Bailey. “There is a determined effort in Congress to roll back safeguards on our public lands and open these sensitive spawning grounds to small hydro development, industrial clear-cutting and more road building once more.  That’s bad for fish, game, and sportsmen” said Bailey.

The Sportsmen are concerned that without immediate action on this issue, extreme logging legislation before Congress and the renewed push for small-hydro project development in Washington State are putting the remote backcountry headwaters and salmon streams on Olympic National Forest at risk.  (Click here to read the Sportsmen for Wild Olympics threats report, “Our Rivers & Headwaters at Risk”)

Aaron O’Leary, a member of Sportsmen for Wild Olympics and owner and head guide of Angler’s Obsession (Forks, WA),  put it plainly; “Supporting Wild Olympics will help preserve the salmon and steelhead fishing on the Olympic Peninsula for future generations.”  (Click here to see profiles of all the members of Sportsmen For Wild Olympics “About Us” )

 

Many area hunters and anglers have long been supportive of legislation introduced earlier by Sen. Murray and former Rep. Dicks, and participated in the four year public process initiated by local stakeholders and the lawmakers to craft a balanced protection plan for upper watersheds on Olympic Forest.

The Sportsmen for Wild Olympics Leaders have also updated their website to help dispel some of the myths about Wild Olympics & access, highlighting the fact that it will not close one single mile of the 2,250 miles of roads on Olympic National Forest and that Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers protect and enhance hunting & fishing access (Click Here to Read Wild Olympics Protects & Enhances Access Without Closing Roads).   “Wild Olympics will not only protect water quality and fish, but enhance public access,” said Roy Morris, Jr., a co-founder of Sportsmen for Wild Olympics and Owner/Head Guide for Able Guide Service out of Seiku, on the northwest corner of the Olympic Peninsula. Dave Bailey added that “Wild and Scenic Rivers are managed to protect and enhance the values that make them eligible for designation that include recreational pursuits such as sportfishing.”

“We must not lose this critical opportunity to conserve and protect the headwaters and watershed forests that are vital to our wild fish, birds and wildlife,” said Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide Bob Triggs of Port Townsend — one of the co-founders of Sportsmen for Wild Olympics. “It is far simpler and less expensive to conserve the wilderness habitat that we have, rather than to attempt to restore these places later. The value of some wild places cannot be measured in money.”

 

“Only Congressionally-designated wilderness and Wild & Scenic River safeguards will permanently protect core backcountry elk habitat and critical salmon and steelhead spawning grounds against future development,” said Dave Bailey.  “The Wild Olympics legislation would give our fish, wildlife and salmon streams the gold standard of protection they deserve.”

 

·             Sportsmen for Wild Olympics Video “Salmon Streams for Our Future”

 

·             Sportsmen For Wild Olympics Threats Report “Our Rivers & Headwaters at Risk”

 

·             Sportsmen for Wild Olympics About Us

 

·             Sportsmen for Wild Olympics Website: www.SportsmenForWildOlympics.org

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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

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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.

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Dinner and a movie for Wild Olympics supporters

ABERDEEN, Wash. - Over 120 Grays Harbor supporters of Wild Olympics, including business owners, and other community leaders, attended a screening of the film “Out of the Mist” about the forests and streams of the Olympic Peninsula at the Aberdeen Elks on Wednesday, October 2nd. Campaign consultant Al Carter tells us the dinner was a “Thank You” to their longtime supports.

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Wild Olympics Campaign support growing in Western Washington

The CEOs point out that the area’s natural treasures, which provide world-class outdoor recreation, clean water and the area’s high quality of living “give us a competitive edge over other regions in attracting and retaining the talented people our companies require.” Wilderness and wild and scenic river protection “would help protect the 500-plus local jobs that depend on our ability to compete for talent against other regions, and they would enhance our recruitment efforts to grow our businesses in the future.”

Nearly 100 new local business endorsements were also sent in a separate letter urging swift reintroduction of the Wild Olympics legislation to protect and grow local jobs in multiple sectors of the economy. The business owners and economic leaders say the legislation would both protect and create local jobs in shipping and trade, construction, real estate, fishing, information technology, the shellfish industry, tourism, manufacturing and other sectors of the region’s economy.

“Wild Olympics would 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, one of the nearly 100 local business owners who signed the letter in support of Wild Olympics. “Our ancient forests, salmon, rivers and stunning scenery are the north Olympic Peninsula’s competitive economic advantage over other regions” said Reyenga, who recently won the 2012 Realtor Achievement Award from the Port Angeles Association of Realtors. “We should do all we can to protect and promote these natural treasures. Wild Olympics would do both.”

In urging early reintroduction of the measure, the CEOs point to the findings in a November 2012 report by the independent, non-partisan Headwaters Economics Institute “West Is Best: Protected Lands Promote Jobs and Higher Incomes -How Public Lands in the West Create a Competitive Economic Advantage.” The report found that protected public lands are key to attracting companies, entrepreneurs and workers and that national parks, monuments, wilderness areas and other protected public lands in the Western US have enhanced the competitive advantages of high-tech and professional services companies – a major reason why the western economy has outperformed the rest of the U.S. economy in employment, population, and personal income over the last four decades.

The CEO letter also notes another 2012 Headwaters Institute report that found similar trends locally. It showed growth of over 5,000 new jobs on the Olympic Peninsula over the last ten years in trade and shipping, health care, education, business services, real estate, construction and other sectors, and found strong population growth from new residents drawn by the Peninsula’s high quality of living. The study reported job growth across multiple sectors of the local economy including those represented by the 225 local businesses now backing the Wild Olympics Campaign.

The new CEO and local business endorsements capped a wave of additional support pouring in for the Wild Olympics Campaign in recent weeks from Visit Kitsap Peninsula, mountain bike, climbing, paddling, hunting and fishing organizations and more than 80 local faith leaders representing 10 different religious denominations. Currently, over 450 elected officials, local farms and businesses, conservation and recreation groups and faith leaders have endorsed the Wild Olympics proposal.

BACKGROUND:

The conservation measure introduced last Congress would permanently protect more than 126,000 acres of wilderness in the Olympic National Forest and designate 19 rivers and seven tributaries —totaling 464 miles – as Wild and Scenic.

The Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (S. 3329/H.R. 5995), was introduced by Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks on June 21, 2012 but awaits reintroduction in this Congress. The legislation would protect the first new wilderness on Olympic National Forest in nearly 30 years and mark the first-ever Wild and Scenic River designations on the Peninsula.

The measure has been the subject of more than four years of discussion and public input, and as a result of this unprecedented community involvement, numerous and significant changes to the proposal were made before legislation was introduced in 2012, including the removal of the Parks addition component originally included in the campaign’s proposal. The compromise legislation introduced in 2012 did not include any roads in the proposed Wilderness and preserved all access to trailheads.

These and other revisions ensured that the final proposal will not cost any timber jobs, earning the compromise legislation the backing of Port Angeles Timber Company Merrill and Ring. Cosmo Specialty Fibers, owners of the Cosmopolis Pulp Mill in Grays Harbor also issued a statement praising the inclusive process and stating the currently proposed legislation would not affect their fiber interests. A 2012 bipartisan poll found overwhelming support for the Wild Olympics proposal among likely voters in Washington’s 6th Congressional District. Nearly two out of three (64 percent) likely voters support the Wild Olympics plan proposed by Rep. Dicks and Sen. Murray. Only 15 percent are opposed. On the Peninsula, support was nearly 2-1, with 50% supporting, and only 28% opposed.

Grays Harbor Wild Olympics Campaign Endorsements


 

Current and Former Elected Officials (7)

WA State Representative Steve Tharinger (Dist.24)

Grays Harbor County Commissioner Frank Gordon

Ocean Shores City Councilmember Ed Engel 

Ocean Shores City Councilmember Dan Overton

Westport City Councilmember Desiree Dodson

Westport City Councilmember Louis Summers

Former Grays Harbor County Commissioner Al Carter 

Former Ocean Shores Mayor Garland French

 

Business Endorsements (84)

Michael Pasha, Pasha Automotive Services (Aberdeen)

North Coast Surf Inc. (Ocean Shores )

A Natural Approach (Aberdeen)

Amore Restaurant (Aberdeen)

Arlan’s Oven (Westport)

Backstage Café (Hoquiam)

Backstage Espresso (Aberdeen)

Beach Boutiques (Ocean Shores)

Books on 7th (Hoquiam)

Brady’s Oysters (Aberdeen)

Christian Kazimir Construction (Ocean Shores)

Coastal Serenity (Ocean Shores)

Coastline Signs (Aberdeen)

D-L Summers Inc. (Westport)

Dennise Wells, Premier Realty Westport, LLC (Westport)

Dolores’ & Fay’s (Ocean Shores)

Econolodge Inn & Suites (Hoquiam)

Elton Bennett Art (Hoquiam)

Emerson Grocery (Hoquiam)

Emily’s Confections (Pacific Beach)

Everybody’s Store (Hoquiam)

Frank Gordon Electric (Aberdeen)

Fusions Art Gallery (Hoquiam)

Gallerie Timbuktu (Ocean Shores)

Game Freaks Videogames (Aberdeen)

Give Me Paws (Ocean Shores)

Gordon’s Antiques & Collectibles (Ocean Shores)

Grays Harbor Dance (Hoquiam)

Gray’s General Store (Hoquiam)

Hair by Nancy G (Ocean Shores)

Half Moon Bay Bar & Grill (Westport)

Handcrafter’s Hideaway (Ocean Shores)

Harborwood Designs (Montesano)

Heartland Handicrafts (Aberdeen)

Hoquiam’s Castle (Hoquiam)

Hoquiam Chiropractic (Hoquiam)

Impact Studios (Hoquiam)

Islander Resort and RV Park (Westport)

 

Jackson Street Books (Hoquiam)

Jaiwa Web Design & Consulting (Aberdeen)

JLS Partners LLC (Hoquiam)

Laurie Christian Real Estate (Ocean Shores)

Little Hoquiam Childcare (Hoquiam)

Lorna Valdez – Realtor (Ocean Shores)

Lytle Seafood (Hoquiam)

Ma and Pa’s Kettle Corn (Montesano)

Museum of the North Beach (Moclips)

North Beach Community TV (Aberdeen)

North Beach PAWS (Ocean Shores)

Ocean Companies (Westport)

Ocean Shores Electric Boats (Ocean Shores)

Ocean Shores Kites (Ocean Shores)

Olympic Inn (Aberdeen)

Pat’s Style and Trim Inc. (Aberdeen)

Peabody’s Paradise Pizza (McCleary)

People’s Emporium Antiques (Aberdeen)

Pic-A-Roon Pelican Gift Shop (Westport)

Plackett Enterprises (Ocean Shores)

Porthole Pub & Grill (Ocean Shores)

Pure Clothing (Hoquiam)

Queen B Quilts (Hoquiam)

R. Vanyi Photography (Hoquiam)

Roberta Myers, Premier Realty Westport, LLC (Westport)

Roy Nott, Business Leader (Hoquiam)

Running Wolf Studio (Moclips)

Sandcastle Restaurant (Ocean Shores)

Scoops Ice Cream (Aberdeen)

Seashore Ceramic Café (Ocean Shores)

Seagulls Nest Motel (Westport)

Silver Sands Motel (Westport)

Simonson Miller Flowers (Hoquiam)

Simply Said Flowers (Hoquiam)

Snore & Whisker Motel (Hoquiam)

Sucher and Sons Star Wars Shop (Aberdeen)

The Dusty Trunk (Ocean Shores)

The Reppery (Aberdeen)

The Strip Steak House (Shelton)

Tijssen Designs (Ocean Shores)

Top of the Cork (Allyn)

Treasure Way Antiques (Hoquiam)

Tsunami Gems & Beads (Ocean Shores)

Vogue Café (Hoquiam)

Westport Inn (Westport)

Woofs Dog Boutique (Ocean Shores)

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Working Wild Olympics Update

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Wild Olympics Proposal Update

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