The Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was re-introduced into the Senate on Wednesday by Senator Patty Murray with support of Representative Derek Kilmer.
— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) March 1, 2017
The bill reiterates their goal of permanently protecting more than 126,500 acres of Olympic National Forest as wilderness and 19 rivers and their major tributaries, a total of 464 river miles, as Wild and Scenic Rivers.
First introduced in 2012, and re-introduced in 2014, 2015, and 2016, the current reiteration continues the goals first set out by Sen. Murray and Representative Norm Dicks.
In a release from the Wild Olympics campaign, they tell KXRO that they refiled the bill with “over 150 new endorsements from local Olympic Peninsula elected officials and businesses” in support.
These new endorsements add to a list that has been growing since the campaign to place these lands under further federal protection began, now totaling more than 700 leaders in the community, and more than 12,000 residents who have signed petitions, according to organizers
In 2012, the Port of Port Angeles, Clallam County, and the City of Forks, funded a study that said that the original bill would show a loss of jobs and economic impact on the peninsula though harvest capacity, wages, and taxes.
Since the original measure, the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act has been adjusted in several ways.
The Grays Harbor County Commissioners, Aberdeen City Council, and Cosmopolis City Council have all voted in opposition to the legislation since it was originally introduced.
The Hoquiam City Council have voted saying they opposed the legislation as it was at the time, but said they were willing to consider revised plans.
Current and Former Local Elected Officials in Support
WA State Representative Steve Tharinger (Dist.24)
WA State Representative Mike Chapman (Dist.24)
Aberdeen City Councilmember Jeff Cook
Aberdeen City Councilmember Alan Richrod
Elma Mayor Jim Sorensen
Hoquiam Mayor Jasmine Dickhoff
Hoquiam City Councilmember Brenda Carlstrom
Hoquiam City Councilmember Denise Anderson
Hoquiam City Councilmember Richard Pennant
Ocean Shores Mayor Crystal Dingler
Ocean Shores City Councilmember Jackie Fara
Ocean Shores City Councilmember John Lynn
Ocean Shores City Councilmember Gordon Broadbent
Ocean Shores City Councilmember John Martin
Westport City Councilmember Louis Summers
Westport City Councilmember Melissa Huerta
Former Grays Harbor County Commissioner Frank Gordon
Former Grays Harbor County Commissioner Al Carter
Former Ocean Shores Mayor Garland French
Former Ocean Shores City Councilmember Dan Overton
Former Ocean Shores City Councilmember Ed Engel
Former Westport City Councilmember Desiree Dodson
Former Westport City Councilmember Robert Shelton (deceased)