Sportsmen for Wild Olympics Announce New Endorsements & Film


New Short Film “Salmon Streams for Our Future” Highlights Rivers in Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, Support from over 30 leading Hunting & fishing organizations & guides, Sportsmen Petition

 

Aberdeen WA, August 14th, 2018 – Today the coalition of Olympic Peninsula hunters, anglers, and guides of Sportsmen for Wild Olympics released a new short film featuring prominent local fishing guide Ashley Nicole Lewis called ”Salmon Streams for Our Future”  <https://vimeo.com/284809681> to spotlight the headwaters, rivers and salmon streams that would be protected under the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. It highlights the long list of support for Wild Olympics from local hunting & fishing organizations and Guides, and an interview with Ashley explains how the legislation is vital to protecting the land and waters from the increasing risks of development and habitat degradation and would help protect fishing for future generations. The short film closes with a request to other sportsmen to sign the Sportsmen For Wild Olympics Petition to help protect salmon streams for our future & enhance hunting & fishing access.

 

The group also announced signatures from over 600 Olympic Peninsula & Hood Canal area sportsmen & women on their petition to Congress in support of the Wild Olympics legislation. The signers urge lawmakers to keep the ancient forests & free-flowing rivers wild, stating “Wild Olympics would permanently protect critical habitat, headwaters & salmon streams on Olympic National Forest that are currently threatened by extreme “public land-transfer” & “Logging Without Laws” legislation & the new push for small-hydro development on our rivers. These sensitive spawning grounds are at risk as private industry & small hydro developers try to roll back temporary safeguards for our public lands. Only full, Congressionally-designated Wilderness & Wild & Scenic River safeguards will permanently protect salmon streams for our future.” The new support comes on the heels of endorsements by over 30 leading hunting and fishing organizations & local guides who have sent letters or signed petitions to Sens. Murray & Cantwell & Rep. Kilmer urging action to safeguard this area.  These include:

 

Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, Northwest Guides & Anglers Association

The Washington Wildlife Federation,

Izaak Walton League (Gr. Seattle Chapter) Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, (Washington Chapter)

Association of Northwest Steelheaders, 

The Gray Wolf Fly Fishing Club (Sequim)

SAGE Fly Rods

Waters West Guide Service (Montesano)

Doug Rose Fly Fishing (at request of family)

Bad Ash Fishing (Tahola)

Washington Council of Trout Unlimited

Little Stone Fly Fisher (Port Townsend)

Johnson Guide Service (Sequim)

The Wild Steelhead Coalition

Olympic Peninsula Skagit Tactics (Forks)

Able Guide Service (Seiku)

Washington River Fishing (Hoodsport )

Mike Z’s Guide Service (Forks)

Brazda’s Fly Fishing

Angler’s Obsession (Forks)

Sea Run Pursuits

Peninsula Sportsman Guide & Outfitting Service (Port Townsend)

Waters West Fly Fishing Outfitters (Port Angleles)

Piscatorial Pursuits (Forks

 

BACKGROUND, THREATS & ACCESS:

Many area hunters and anglers have long been supportive of the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild & Scenic Rivers Act (S. 483/H.R. 1285) legislation reintroduced last year by Sen. Murray and Rep. Kilmer, 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 final revisions to the compromise proposal ensure it will not close roads or cost timber jobs. The bill would essentially simply make permanent current Forest Service safeguards for certain remote areas of Olympic National Forest containing critical backcountry spawning habitat, ancient forests & salmon streams – some of the healthiest, least degraded habitat left on the Peninsula.

 

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 and Scenic Rivers protect and enhance hunting & fishing access (Click Here to Read Wild Olympics Protects & Enhances Access Without Closing Roads).

The sportsmen are concerned that without immediate action on this issue, extreme logging and public land transfer 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, “Olympic Peninsula Rivers at Risk”).

 

TESTIMONIALS

Ashley Nicole Lewis of Bad Ash Fishing Guide Service “Conservation for me on the Olympic Peninsula means that the next generation and generations to come can come out here and experience the way that I experience it and the way my grandpa experienced it when he fished out here and that forever we always have this – what is wild and what is the Olympic Peninsula and our culture today.”

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

Aaron O’Leary, head guide of Angler’s Obsession (Forks, WA),  puts it plainly; “Supporting Wild Olympics will help preserve the salmon and steelhead fishing on the Olympic Peninsula for future generations.”

 

Roy Morris, Jr., and Owner/Head Guide for Able Guide Service out of Seiku & a co-founder of Sportsmen for Wild Olympics: “Wild Olympics will not only protect water quality and fish, but enhance public access.”

Casey Weigel – Owner & Head Guide of Waters West Guide Service in Montesano said “Through hard work and our passion for our rivers and fishing, my wife and I have grown our small business enough to be able to help 3 other year-round and seasonal local guides support families, who love fishing just as much as we do. I support the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild & Scenic Rivers Act because our rivers and our salmon are our lifeblood and, without them, businesses like ours, the local jobs they support, and the dollars they bring into our local economy would dry up. The Wild Olympics proposal would simply make the current safeguards protecting our rivers on Olympic National Forest permanent. That’s all it does. It doesn’t change access or cost timber jobs. And if it did, I wouldn’t support it, because my family works in the timber industry. There are many challenges facing our rivers and salmon, with lots of debate and millions of dollars spent trying to help restore clean water and habitat downstream. But one basic, simple piece of the foundation we can put in place now that won’t cost any of us anything, is to permanently protect the healthy habitat on the federal lands upstream against any misguided attempts to develop them in the future. That’s why I am a proud supporter of the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. For Our Future.”

 

Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide Bob Triggs of Port Townsend (& a co-founder of Sportsmen for Wild Olympics). “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. 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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For General information, visit www.SportsmenForWildolympics.org.

 

 

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