THE WILD OLYMPICS
I'm not talking about the recent winter Olympics, this is much more regional.
In January, Representative Derek Kilmer and Senator Patty Murry reintroduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, in reference to Washington State's resources and the headwaters on the Olympic Peninsula.
Being an "Olympic Peninsulan" by birth and upbringing, this issue raises great interest here on the home front.
I'm not one that usually will jump in on environmental actions as many of them seem to have personal and hidden agendas. I don't feel that is the case here.
From what I understand, this "act" should permanently protect more than 126,000 acres of backcountry in the Olympic National Forest from future development, which includes logging. Don't get me wrong here, as I have had many friends and family who were damn fine "environmentalists" in the logging industry over the years, but, I question if this act will have any effect on logging as the area proposed is outside of the current logging zones.
On the plus side, this safeguards sensitive salmon and steelhead spawning grounds on 19 Olympic Peninsula rivers and their major tributaries plus it puts a buffer around the Olympic National park and vital elk/wildlife habitat.
Another compromise is that it will not close a single yard of the 2,250 miles of roads in the national forest or affect any trailheads, still allowing valuable access for sportfishing or other outdoor recreation.
One of the strongest proponents of this is an organization named Sportsmen for Wild Olympics and they are supported by dozens of major fishing and hunting organizations, local guides and leading outdoor groups. I suggest you check them out at www.SportsmenforWildOlympics.org.
I currently see this as a win-win for all outdoor enthusiasts and it could well be the salvation of rivers and fishing on the Olympic Peninsula. That is, if the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife doesn't get involved.
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Sportsmen For Wild Olympics
Sportsmen for Wild Olympics Members:
Able Guide Service (Sekiu)
Dave Bailey (Gardiner)
Waters West Guide Service (Montesano)
Norrie Johnson Guide Service (Sequim)
Angler's Obsession (Forks)
Little Stone Flyfisher (Port Townsend)
Denny Clemons (Elma)
Anadromy Fly Fishing (Forks)
Game On Guide Service (Shelton)
Piscatorial Pursuits (Forks)
Peninsula Sportsman Guide &
Outfitting Service (Port Townsend)
Olympic Peninsula Skagit Tactics (Forks)
Mike Z's Guide Service (Forks)
Jason Bausher (Aberdeen)
Doug Rose Fly fishing (Forks)
Other Hunting & Fishing Organizations Supporting Wild Olympics:
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers -Washington Chapter
Greywolf Flyfishing Club (Sequim)
Washington River Fishing (Hoodsport)
Waters West Fly Fishing Outfitters (Port Angeles)
Wild Steelhead Coalition
Brazda's Fly Fishing
Sea Run Pursuits
Washington Wildlife Federation
Izaak Walton League of America,
Greater Seattle Chapter
Association of Northwest Steelheaders
Gig Harbor Fly Shop
Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association
Washington Council of Trout
NW Guides and Anglers Association
Sage Fly Rods
WILD OLYMPICS CAMPAIGN OFFICIAL SITE: