Two letters against Wild Olympics

Posted 12/15/2011


I have read all the phony stories about what the Wild Olympics will do to clean up our streams and keep our lands open for hunting, fishing, hiking and other recreational activities.

Here is a true story.

My family owns a 320-acre tree farm and over the years has logged small parcels of it. Over the last nine years, we have paid logging and trucking businesses about $360,000 plus forest excise tax, B& O tax, county excise tax and capital gains tax of $45-$50,000. We have replanted over 37,000 seedlings at a cost of over $23,000. Some of these seedlings have already grown to over 15 ft tall.

Since logging and replanting we now have a tree farm full of wildlife and recreational opportunities for our family and friends. The tree farm will produce income for our kids and grandkids, food for the wildlife and recreation for many years to come.

Our little tree farm is only a fraction of the area that Wild Olympics and the government are trying to lock up. If they get away with it, we will lose many good paying jobs, much needed tax revenue, and a renewable resource. If these supporters want to keep a place to hunt, fish and hike and keep our streams clean then they should start by cleaning up all the illegally dumped trash on timber company and private lands. This might entice the land owners to open more land for public access.

The federal and state governments don’t have enough money to take care of their land they own now. Let’s put our tax money into taking care of what we already have and leave other things alone.

Jim Hliboki
Montesano, WA


To the Editor:

Jason Bausher’s Nov. 19 reader opinion about Wild Olympics read like a brochure published by the Wild Olympics group.

Wild Olympics will not increase access to any fishing or hunting. How anyone can believe such nonsense is beyond me.

The “Wild and Scenic Rivers” act does not increase access to any rivers, and, in fact, prevents access. Why do people believe otherwise?

Wilderness areas decrease access not increase it. The very definition of “Wilderness” is designed to keep people out. There is virtually no hunting done in wilderness areas by anyone, except those rich enough to afford guides with horses.

Let me give you an example.

I have killed several elk in what is now the Colonel Bob Wilderness. Lots of people hunted there before it was wilderness. Now few, if not zero, hunt in the Colonel Bob Wilderness. The trails are not kept up, and the roads that used to go up to the boundary are gone. A deer is not worth the effort and an elk is to big to pack out cross country for five or six miles on almost vertical sidehills.

People used to hunt the headwaters of the east fork of the Humptulips. The road is now gone and making it wilderness will prevent restoring it.

Preserves allow hunting, but access is frequently limited to all but walk-ins.

The people in Quinault who have lived under the thumb of the park for decades will give you the straight scoop. Dicks and Murray, I suspect, are trying to get some wilderness named after them, and they do not care one twit about the people who live there.

Al Carter is paid big bucks by the Pew Trust, an environmental extremist group. His job is to get something passed, that a few years ago he would have fought tooth and nail to prevent.

Ron Armstrong
Hoquiam, WA