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.

 

 

UPDATE ON: Rep.-elect Kilmer won’t support Wild Olympics bill as it is now–PDN

Trying to figure out whether the Demo who ran with heavy environmental support on the Peninsula now abandons one of his base, who worked hard for his election, or if this is just somewhat slanted reporting by the PDN. Kilmer could have said that he supports what he’s seen but needs more consensus building before he can push it over the top in DC. But he didn’t even apparently say that. He comes out in favor of increasing harvest levels in federal forests, with no explanation of why, or what’s currently wrong with the system.

While we agree that jobs are the primary thing to focus on, there has been an enormous amount of legwork done by the supporters of Wild Olympics, there does not appear to be any large scale negative issues with it, (read the scientific literature done researching it’s affects) and only a small contingent of folks against it, from all the polls that have been put out. Vocal opposition to be sure, some with big money, but not a majority of the public. 

UPDATE AS OF 12/14/2012 at 5:26PM

We contacted Connie Gallant, of the Wild Olympics Campaign. Her quote to us was:

"In speaking with Congressman-elect Derek Kilmer earlier today regarding the statements published on the PDN about his opposition to the Wild Olympics, he claims the PDN "mischaracterized" his statements, that he never has said he opposes Wild Olympics, that he simply wants to see some changes made and more consensus reached. After clarifying several points to  him about the proposal and the bill, he requested a meeting with the Wild Olympics coalition team very soon so that he can understand the issue better."

This update quote first appeared on the Olympic Peninsula Environmental News.

Read segments of the interview with him on the PDN today.

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20121214/NEWS/312149989/rep-elect-kilmer-wont-support-wild-olympics-bill-as-it-is-now

subscribe to the PDN. Keep local journalism alive.

To find out more about the Wild Olympics Campaign, see

http://www.wildolympics.org/

New Study of Wild Olympics Shows No Impact to Timber Jobs

Stewardhip Forestry does first timber impact analysis of Murray/Dicks Legislation

QUILCENE, WA – Stewardship Forestry, an independent forestry consultant, released a study today on the impact of the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (H.R. 5995/ S.3329) on the Olympic National Forest (ONF) timber supply. The question of what that impact would be and what affect it might have on timber jobs has been much debated as the Wild Olympics proposal has been significantly modified over the past three years. The report concludes that “the proposed wilderness within the Wild Olympics legislation will not limit timber supply under the current management policy framework, and thus should not result in reduced harvesting or job losses.”

“We welcome this independent analysis by forester Derek Churchill of Stewardship Forestry Consulting, which concludes the revised wilderness and wild and scenic river designations in Senator Murray’s and Congressman Dicks’ Wild Olympics legislation will not cost timber jobs or have any significant impact on the Olympic National Forest (ONF) timber supply,” said Connie Gallant, Chair of the Wild Olympics Campaign. The Wild Olympics Campaign commissioned the timber analysis to help inform the public discussion about land management and conservation for parts of the Olympic National Forest.

Stewardship Forestry’s Derek Churchill, who has worked with ONF staff on designing and reviewing timber sales in the past, concluded that less than 1 percent of the proposed 126,000-acre wilderness is harvestable under the current management policies of the Olympic National Forest. Earlier drafts of the proposal had contained nearly five times that amount. The study showed more than 99 percent of the wilderness proposed in the final legislation is already out of the timber base either because of current Forest Service administrative protections, riparian areas, distance from roads, or other factors the agency considers when conducting timber sales. The proposed wilderness designation would simply make current administrative protections permanent. In addition, the report confirmed that the Wild and Scenic River designations proposed in the legislation will have no impact on ONF timber production.

The report illustrates that it is the rate of harvest, not available timber, that is the primary factor in determining what impacts, if any, there could be to timber supply or related jobs. It concludes that 190,000 acres of available timber harvest capacity exists on the Olympic National Forest that would be unaffected by the proposed designations in the Murray/Dicks legislation. Because the current rate of harvest averages only 1,350 acres annually, the report concludes that the Olympic National Forest could significantly accelerate its current rate of harvest for 50 years or more.

The full Stewardhip Forestry report and an associated detailed GIS map can be downloaded on the Wild Olympics Campaign website (www.wildolympics.org).


Mr. Churchill is available for comment at 206-391-9832 and Derek@stewardshipforestry.com

Ms. Gallant can also be reached at cg@conniegallant.com

Olympic Peninsula wilderness plan is scaled back, but is it a compromise?–KPLU

Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks hit the Olympic Peninsula Thursday, trying to sell locals on a plan to designate more wilderness there. They say their latest bill is a grand compromise, and they’re hoping to convince Olympic Peninsula communities that fought earlier versions. The plan would place 126,554 acres of Olympic National Forest under wilderness protection, with more than 5,000 more to be added later. It would also designate 19 rivers, including the newly-wild Elwha, and seven tributaries, as Wild and Scenic Rivers. Whether they’re turned around public opinion over nearly three years of negotiations remains to be seen. The Peninsula still teems with signs charging a “land grab.”

I think it could also be mentioned that the Peninsula “teems” with people who support this plan, and many more who have no idea what it’s all about. Just because a few opponents can fund large signs doesn’t mean that it is a “government land-grab”. The people that are behind the proposal that Dicks and Murray are backing are long established local people, who passionately care about supporting the Park and it’s environs. These folks have a long record of positive projects that they have worked on. Find me anything in this current political climate that doesn’t have it’s detractors and I’ll show you a non issue Gift with a bow

http://kplu.org/post/olympic-peninsula-wilderness-plan-scaled-back-it-compromise

Wild Olympics Campaign Website Launched!

 

The Wild Olympics Campaign is a coalition of four Peninsula based environmental organizations and five state and national groups working to protect watersheds on the Olympic Peninsula. These forests and rivers provide local communities with clean water, unmatched outdoor recreation opportunities and sustain our outstanding Peninsula way of life. They are vital to the health of Hood Canal and Puget Sound and are critical habitat for wildlife, steelhead and salmon. The Campaign is working with local citizens and community leaders to establish new Olympic National Forest wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers and willing-seller National Park designations for these special places.

Over the past year, the Campaign has been reaching out to local stakeholders and Tribes to build support, listen to concerns and get feedback on their draft proposal. They have met with timber interests, local elected officials, Tribes, conservation groups, backcountry horsemen, mountain bikers, businesses, shellfish growers, community leaders, sport and commercial fishermen and other local residents. Along the way, the Campaign has refined their draft conservation vision to address many issues and requests from different local constituencies. They continue to reach out to different groups to grow support, work to address concerns and refine the draft proposal today.

The Wild Olympics Campaign is committed to continuing a community based process and thus, have launched a Wild Olympics Campaign website: www.wildolympics.org

As the Wild Olympics Campaign enters a new phase of public consultation, they invite you to join the discussion. Please review the latest revisions to our draft discussion maps and give your feedback in the comments section.  If you like what you see, please join the more than 1,500 other Olympic Peninsula residents who have voiced their support for the Wild Olympics Campaign by signing on to the online petition here: http://wildolympics.org/take_action

The Wild Olympics Campaign is:  American Rivers, American Whitewater, The Pew Environment Group’s Campaign for America’s Wilderness, North Olympic Group – Sierra Club,  Olympic Forest Coalition, Olympic Park Associates, Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society , The Mountaineers, Sierra Club, Washington Wilderness Coalition

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