Target: U.S. Congress
Goal: Designate Olympic National Forest and rivers in the Puget Sound as federal wilderness area
If passed in Congress, new legislation would protect 126,000 acres of the Olympic National Forest, along with 19 rivers in the Puget Sound Region, by designating the region as federal wilderness areas and wild and scenic rivers. However, the bill proposed by Washington legislators is currently facing obstacles in Congress, and from several commercial and development interests, even though the assets it would protect have everyone’s long-term interests at heart.
Primarily, there are vital water resources this legislation would protect from commercial, industrial, recreational and residential pollution, and disruption and drainage. Inextricable from the health of these rivers is the health of wildlife, particularly salmon. In this way, the protection would also be economical.
Wild salmon habitat, as well as hatcheries, oyster beds and shellfish habitat would all benefit from this protection, and thus the industries and jobs they support. Further, tourism and recreation in the Puget Sound region depends on the health and natural beauty of the mountains, forests and wilderness; these are an irreplaceable part of the identity and legacy of this area.
Stressed by climate change and growing population, the Puget Sound, as a beautiful wilderness and vital resource needs preemptive protection from an uncertain future. Please support Washington legislators and the Puget Sound Partnership by advocating for this legislation in Congress so that the beautiful and valuable Olympic National Forest, and rivers in the Puget Sound Region, are thoroughly protected for present and future generations.
A bill to protect 126,000 acres and 19 rivers in Washington’s Puget Sound region is under consideration in Congress. The health and beauty of this area ensures the natural legacy of Washington, as well as supporting fishing and shellfish industries, tourism, recreation, wildlife habitat, and importantly, water resources.
Senator Patty Murray and Representative Norm Dicks have made a huge effort to secure the federal protection of this area through the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2012. Statewide support of their effort from diverse interests in Washington makes a strong case for the bill.
Citizens are concerned with the preservation of this vital natural beauty and heritage, as well as water resources and recreational opportunities. Although some commercial and development interests are opposed, this legislation would in reality protect universally valuable resources for the long term, and thus the jobs and livelihoods which depend on them.
As climate change, growing population, and water scarcity present an uncertain future, it is now vital to protect this area while still possible. Please support citizens, industries and legislators in protecting the Puget Sound and Olympics region in Washington.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Maurice King via Flickr