Wild Olympics Gets Starring Role in National TV Program on PBS

“This American Land” Spotlights Area and Advocates, Releases Video of Segment Online

QUILCENE, Wash. (June 24, 2014) Washington’s Wild Olympics and the local effort to safeguard its clean water and old growth forests are highlighted in an upcoming episode of the television series This American Land, which airs nationwide on PBS stations. The segment features interviews with a number of Olympic Peninsula community members working to permanently protect ancient forests and salmon streams on Olympic National Forest as wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers.

“This American Land” has posted the entire Wild Olympics segment for viewing/sharing HERE.

In the piece, Port Townsend City Councilor Michelle Sandoval explains that people are drawn to the Peninsula for the recreational opportunities and stunning scenery, and stay because of the clean water and high quality of life. Bill Taylor of Taylor Shellfish Farms in Shelton describes the importance of this clean water to his Hood Canal oyster beds, calling it the “lifeblood” of his industry. John Lockwood, owner of Pygmy Boats in Port Townsend, says that small manufacturers like him depend on the area’s incredible recreation opportunities to stay afloat. Port Townsend Fish biologist, and director of Northwest Watershed Institute, Dr. Peter Bahls explains how Olympic Peninsula salmon runs are still recovering from a hundred years of overfishing and heavy timber harvesting on the national forest. And retired logger Fred Rakevich of Elma says though he’s traveled all over, the ancient forests and free-flowing rivers of the Wild Olympics remain “something we need to protect and cherish.”

Connie Gallant of Quilcene, chair of the Wild Olympics Campaign, who also appears in the program, says, “We are delighted that This American Land has included our beautiful piece of the world in its series. The many local voices featured showcase the broad local support for safeguarding this stunning landscape. They come from different backgrounds and interests and use our public land in various ways, but they find common ground in the desire to permanently protect our ancient forests and salmon streams just as they are as a legacy to future generations.”

“Our mission is to bring our viewers the kind of serious yet entertaining conservation journalism that broadens their knowledge of critical issues with stories that they won’t see anywhere else,” says This American Land executive producer Gary Strieker. “Each segment focuses on unique and little-known places that deserve protection.”

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) have introduced legislation to permanently protect more than 126,000 acres of ancient and mature forests on Olympic National Forest as wilderness, and 19 Olympic Peninsula rivers and major tributaries as Wild and Scenic. The bill is aimed at permanently safeguarding critical salmon habitat, outdoor recreation and sources of clean drinking water for local communities. Backed by over 450 sportsmen organizations, local elected officials, business owners, conservation & outdoor recreation groups, and members of the faith community, the measure was crafted with considerable local stakeholder involvement over several years.

The Wild Olympics segment will air as part of the fourth season of This American Land, which will begin broadcasting in the Seattle area in August.http://www.thisamericanland.org

Sportsmen for Wild Olympics Announce New Endorsements & Video

sportsmen-for-wild-olympicsHundreds of Local Sportsmen Endorse Wild Olympics, Video Highlights Threats, Rivers & Local Support

(Sportsmen for Wild Olympics Video “Salmon Streams for Our Future” )

 

January 31st, 2014 – Today the group of Olympic Peninsula hunters, anglers, and guides of Sportsmen for Wild Olympics delivered signatures 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 Olympics also 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 ofSportsmen For Wild Olympics “About Us” )

Many area hunters and anglers have long been supportive of legislation introduced earlier by Senator Murray and former Representative 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 GuideBob 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

Derek Kilmer on why he is supporting Wild Olympics – PDN

I’m proud that we have a representative that is willing to climb into the trenches and work on these issues. Regardless of the outcome, we need more representatives like Derek, from both sides of the aisle.

I reject the proposition that we must choose between economic growth and environmental protection.

As long as we define success in our region as a zero-sum game between those who want to protect our environment and those who want to create jobs, we’ll be as dysfunctional as Washington, D.C.

Read the whole story at:

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140117/NEWS/301179978/point-of-view-in-his-own-words-kilmer-explains-why-hes-backing

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Today only – PDN poll of Wild Olympics

If you are supporter of Wild Olympics, you might want to make your position known. The PDN is doing an open unscientific survey of it’s online readers. Lower right of the front page.

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/

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Wild Olympics Campaign hails bill to protect peninsula’s ancient forests & rivers

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Diverse Coalition of Local Business Leaders, Sportsmen, Elected Officials, Conservationists & Recreationists Praise introduction of Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.

 

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

photoCopyright All rights reserved by Wild Olympics Campaign

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/

Patty Murray and Norm Dicks here to discuss Wild Olympics Wilderness Proposal

Today, Thursday, August 16th, 2012, U.S. Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks (D, WA-06) will travel to the Olympic Peninsula to discuss the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2012, a compromise proposal developed after nearly three years of engagement with local citizens and business leaders. This legislation would protect several key forest areas and rivers while preserving local jobs and access to outdoor recreation opportunities. Senator Murray and Congressman Dicks will be joined by local representatives and the Chair of the Wild Olympics Campaign. Following the stop at Taylor Shellfish, Senator Murray and Congressman Dicks will tour sites in the proposal.

WHO: U.S. Senator Patty Murray
Congressman Norm Dicks
Steve Tharinger, State Representative, 24th LD
John Austin, Jefferson County Commissioner
Mike Doherty, Clallam County Commissioner
Connie Gallant, Chairwoman, Wild Olympics Campaign
Michelle Sandoval, Former Mayor of Port Townsend

WHAT: Senator Murray and Congressman Dicks will talk about their continued work protecting and preserving the Wild Olympics

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