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Wild Olympics

The New Elwha Bridge and Rest Stop? by Pearl Rains Hewett

Posted on
by Pearl Rains Hewett, www.behindmyback.org

The New Elwha Bridge and Rest Stop?

Who knew? What Rest Stop?

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Clallam County Code 31.06.060 Transportation policies

(a) Encourage the Washington State Department of Transportation to retain all of their properties adjoining Highway 101 for future use as rest stops, scenic pullouts, roadside parks and….

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 We all know now,  So, Let’s plan on it!

The possibilities are endless

March 7, 2017  After looking at the 2017 plans for the new Elwha bridge, I immediately saw the possibilities and an opportunity for a Clallam County rest stop on the Norm’s Resort Property on High Way 101 next to the Elwha River.

Who’s Norm?  What’s he got to do with it?

In 1979  Norm’s  privately owned resort gave local citizens and tourists  FREE recreational access to 10 or more acres of private land on the bank of the Elwha River. It was great, FREE public access with a  long dirt trail for walking beside the river, free fishing,  and rental boats.

At some point in time the Norm’s Resort property of 10 or more acres was acquired by the  government and bull dozed flat.

With the replacement of the Elwha River bridge by WSDOT  at an estimated cost of  $18 to $25 million dollar, the opportunity and possibilities for Clallam County recreational use are endless.

Why stop with just a Clallam County rest stop on the Norm’s Resort Property? Why not add free public recreational access a walking trail and picnic area?

WSDOT will be tearing up the entire intersection of Highway 101 and Olympic Hot Springs Road. WSDOT will be required to do  and pay for restoration on the entire disturbed area.

Clallam County has a history of success with the rest stop area East of Port Angeles on Highway 101.

AND, Clallam County has a history of success, rated at four and a half stars.

Salt Creek Recreation Area – Clallam County

SALT CREEK RECREATION AREA IS A CLALLAM COUNTY PARK

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Five Generations of our Rains family have enjoyed the FREE Salt Creek beach.

We give it A FIVE STAR RATING.

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 Why stop with a rest stop, walking trail and picnic area on the Elwha River?

The possibilities and opportunity for Clallam County on nearly 50 acres previously developed recreational land are endless.

According to the Clallam County Planning Dept map, there are nearly fifty acres (50)  of previously owned developed, public recreational land located in Clallam County. It is now owned by U.S.A. It includes the Norm’s Resort property on the East side of the Elwha River and a much larger piece of land on the West side, a Public boat launch owned by WA State,  that had locked out citizens  because of the removal of the Elwha River Dams.

At some point in time, “THEY” combined the nearly  fifty acres of  public recreational land into one parcel  number in Clallam County WA.

At some point in time  it ended up being owned by the U.S.A.  in GOVERNMENT LIMBO LAND, with four options.

OPTION ONE (1) GIVE IT TO THE OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK?

The ONP has a track record  of failure, massive wash out Nov 17, 2015, Olympic Hot Springs Road emergency repairs? $4 million and they can’t even keep the road open for the gateway to the Olympics public trail access or their public view point. The National Park Service (NPS) has a $12,000,000,000.00 billion dollar backlog in maintenance.

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OPTION TWO (2) GIVE IT TO WA STATE?

What would they do with  it?

WA State can’t even figure out how to fund basic education.

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OPTION THREE  (3) GIVE IT TO THE TRIBES?

The Tribes already have their fair share of tribal access on the Elwha River.

The Clallam County, local citizens and tourists have,  FOR THE MOST PART, ZERO PUBLIC ACCESS AND ZERO PUBLIC RECREATIONAL LAND ON THE ELWHA RIVER.

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LIMBO LAND OPTION FOUR (4) GIVE IT TO OTHER.

I am formally submitting this option four (4) request  to our Clallam county elected officials Commissioners, Bill Peach, Randy Johnson and Mark Mozias, and DCD Mary Ellen Winborn. for their review and consideration including the Road Dept. Ross Tyler P.E. and the Parks Dept.

Clallam County has a very long history of success providing  “USER FRIENDLY” public access for local and tourist recreational facilities.

It is submitted, based on its merit for public access and recreational opportunity  for local citizens  and Clallam Counties economic tourism value. The estimated number of tourist visiting Clallam County every year is 300,000.

I am also sending this email to WSDOT to start the formal dialogue for coordination between Clallam County and the State of WA, in the best interest of U.S.A. everyone.

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And, perhaps as a reminder to WSDOT on Rest Stops and Roadside Parks.

Clallam County Code

(a) Encourage the Washington State Department of Transportation to retain all of their properties adjoining Highway 101 for future use as rest stops, scenic …

31.06.060 Transportation policies.

(1) Highway 101. Preserve and enhance the Highway 101 corridor for regional mobility to improve its functionality for business, area residents, tourists,nonmotorized transportation, freight and services.

(a) Encourage the Washington State Department of Transportation to retain all of their properties adjoining Highway 101 for future use as rest stops, scenic pullouts, roadside parks and future transit pullouts.

(b) Work with the Washington State Department of Transportation and other agencies to ensure that Highway 101 meets the goal that the corridor function regionally for the mobility of goods, services and passengers…… —————————————————————————–

WSDOT is  in the planning stage for the new Elwha bridge replacement and what specific restoration could be provided free of charge, by the state, for a Clallam County Rest Stop, public access, a Roadside Park and other public recreational uses. 

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Salt Creek Recreation Area – Clallam County – WillhiteWeb.com

Salt Creek Recreation Area is a Clallam County Park but is as good as any … the 518-acre Camp Hayden military reservation at Tongue Point was part of the …

SALT CREEK RECREATION AREA IS A CLALLAM COUNTY PARK

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ELWHA RIVER RECREATION AREA – A CLALLAM COUNTY PARK

Indeed, the possibilities and opportunity for Clallam County to develop public tourist recreation facilities on nearly 50 acres of Elwha riverfront property are endless.

The estimated number of tourist visiting Clallam County each year is 300,000.

I know many of you will be thinking about this

PLEASE THINK BIG!

Continue reading

Editorital: A War on Wild

Editorial series by Pearl Rains-Hewett
www.behindmyback.org

Posted 1/31/2014

Part 1:

There is a time to be silent and a time to speak

 A time to keep and a time to throw away

 There is a time for every activity

 Now is the time for many of us to speak of a War On Wild and keep our rights.

Is it your time?

We are American citizens, we are private property owners, we are the stewards of our pristine forest land, it is our heritage, it is who we are and what we do, it is our way of life, it is our source of employment and income, it provides our shelter, the roof over our heads, food on our tables and heat from our hearth, indeed it has been  the  lot of our lives for many generations of local  families.

So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil Continue reading

Opinion: Big Green’s well-financed death grip on fisheries policy must be broken

Opinion by Ron Arnold
for Washington Examiner

Poste 12/28/2013

President Obama’s administration has added to its war on coal and its wind-farm eagle-chopping policy and is trying to yank seafood out of America’s diet.

For more than a decade, the National Marine Fisheries Service has devoured fishing fleets while Big Green’s money octopus prods the feds by waving grant-eating enviros in its tentacles, causing them to hook the public’s attention with mindless frenzy against “overfishing.”

Submerge for a moment in the seething political storm that fishermen live in — examine the overwhelming network diagram above. You’re looking at 552 grants totaling $561,907,154 — over half a billion dollars from six Big Green foundations: Pew, Packard, Walton, Moore, Surdna and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, each a funding octopus with anti-fishing payday tentacles that twine and choke and, for the most part, destroy. Continue reading

Judge’s road ruling is a travesty

Opinion – The Richfield Reaper

Posted 11/19/2013

Richfield, Utah – A ruling issued last week by U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball has the potential for devastating effects on the region as well as the public’s ability to access federally administered land.

Kimball’s ruling throws the entire travel plan for the 2.1 million acres of land administered by the Bureau of Land Management’s Richfield office into question. How the ruling will ultimately affect motorized access is not yet known, but it carries the possibility of being an economic nightmare for the region. Continue reading

Wild Olympics still a heated topic

KXRO News

Posted 7/17/2013

Olympic Peninsula, WA – The Wild Olympics debate has continued locally.

Following the announcement by the Grays Harbor Wild Olympic Campaign that 84 local businesses support the legislation, the opponents to the measure have responded.

After the list of local supporters was released, at least one local business has come out to say that they do not support, and are not aware how they got onto the list. Continue reading

“WILD” and the EPA

by Pearl Rains Hewett –  Comment

 
Posted on July 17, 2013

Clallam County, WA – Are both government Taking and Controlling entities being used TO WILLFULLY DENY ACCESS AND RESTRICT the USE OF both PRIVATE and Public land.

WILD IS AN AMERICAN AFFRONT TO THE 1938 ACT OF CONGRESS
THAT CREATED THE OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK FOR THE FULL USE AND ENJOYMENT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
BY RESTRICTING AND DENYING PUBLIC ACCESS TO PUBLIC LAND

While WILD IS at it, WILD IS creating 1/2 mile set backs
(buffer ZONES ) on private property.Creating those famous NON-CONFORMING, no man’s use of his own land, on private property that has been owned by families, like ours, for over 60 years.
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The Rains Sr. family has lived in Clallam County for 93 years.
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WILD? ONP ACCESS DENIED IS A PUBLIC PDN AFFRONT
AFFRONT definition added for emphasis, to insult or offend somebody openly Continue reading

Wild Olympics campaign says more local businesses are supportive

 

July 12, 2013

Grays Harbor, WA – According to the Grays Harbor Wild Olympics Campaign, more than 80 local businesses have announced their support for Wild Olympics.

Former Grays Harbor County Commissioner Al Carter with the campaign says that nine CEOs and nearly 100 new business endorsers from the Olympic Peninsula and South Puget Sound Region are the latest who endorse seeing the passage of the legislation to permanently protect the Olympic National Forest.

In a letter to Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Derek Kilmer, the group urges the reintroduction of The Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Continue reading

Lake Quinault closed to all non-tribal use, including boats and swimming

by David Haviland
KBKW

Posted 6/27/2013

LAKE QUINAULT, Wash. – Lake Quinault is closed to all non-tribal activities including fishing, swimming, and boating. Quinault Nation President Fawn Sharp tells KBKW “Closure of the lake was a decision made by the Quinault government after many years of disregard toward our resources, rights, regulations and policies.

“The ban involves all uses of the lake itself. That includes all boats and all non-tribal fishing. Tribal fishing is still allowed, as long as it is within tribal regulations. 

Asked when restrictions would be lifted, Sharp said “A far better approach will be to realize the error of treating our lake as a sewer, and committing in a formal sense to recognizing the jurisdiction of the Quinault Nation over its lands and waters.

The Quinault Business Council approved a resolution on June 4th, 2013, prohibiting swimming and boating on the lake, it will be up the business council to decide whether it will be reopened to the public. Continue reading

Olympic National Park holds info sessions on new Wilderness Plan

Ross Coyle for
Sequim Gazette

Posted 4/2/2013

 

Olympic Peninsula, WA – Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum will host her final information sessions on the park’s Wilderness Plan in Quilcene from 4:30-6:30 p.m. April 3 at the Quilcene Community Center.

 

This wraps up almost six weeks of workshops designed to give the public a voice into the management of the park’s wilderness spaces. The park hasn’t had a Wilderness Plan in a long time, said Sannie Lustig at an information session at Trinity United Methodist Church on Feb. 7, to get public input for the Olympic National Park’s upcoming wilderness plan. Continue reading

U.S. government seeks $18 million refund from timber counties

By Jeff Barnard and Ben Neary,
The Washington Post

Posted 4/1/2013
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The U.S. Forest Service’s demands that rural timber counties pay back millions of dollars in federal subsidies under automatic budget cuts have outraged members of Congress from both parties and caused concern in those counties with struggling economies.

Thirty-one House members sent a letter to the Obama administration last week protesting demands for refunds of $17.9 million in revenue that pay for schools, roads, search and rescue operations in rural counties, as well as for conservation projects.

 “For the administration to announce three months after the disbursement of these payments that they are subject to the sequester, and that states will receive a bill for repayment of funds already distributed to counties, appears to be an obvious attempt by President Obama’s Administration to make the sequester as painful as possible,” said the letter organized by Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, and signed by 30 others, including Democrats. Continue reading

Herrera Beutler addresses future of Gifford Pinchot roads

The Columbian
By BLisa Broadt, The Chronicle

Posted 4/1/2013

CENTRALIA — U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, on Wednesday told community leaders she remains committed to open forest roads and preserving public access to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. At a community roundtable at the Lewis County Courthouse, Herrera Beutler solicited input from about 25 stakeholders regarding the management of federal forest roads and overall forest health.

The Forest Service must figure out how — with a downsized budget — to reduce the number of roads and trails in Gifford Pinchot from about 4,000 miles to about 1,000 miles by the year 2015.

If, as currently suggested by the Forest Service, those roads are fully decommissioned, public access would be significantly limited, according to Herrera Beutler. Continue reading

Letter: Olympic National Park – 75 years

I have no doubt that it is an interest of Congress for what Olympic National Park has released in their news announcement of the 75th year of ONP [Olympic National Park]:
In establishing the park, Congress defined the park’s purpose as to:

 

“… preserve for the benefit, use and enjoyment of the people, the finest sample of primeval forests of Sitka spruce, western hemlock, Douglas fir, and western red cedar in the entire United States; to provide suitable winter range and permanent protection for the herds of native Roosevelt elk and other wildlife indigenous to the area; to conserve and render available to the people, for recreational use, this outstanding mountainous country, containing numerous glaciers and perpetual snow fields and a portion of the surrounding verdant forest together with a narrow string along the beautiful Washington coast.”


It is clear that ONP feels this is the definition and purpose; but what ONP fails to mention in this same breath is this clip is not from the legislation for ONP, the enabling legislation of 1938, PL 75-778.  It is not in the legislation, but what is, is Section 5 regarding full use and enjoyment

SEC. 5. Nothing herein contained shall affect any valid existing

claim, location, or entry made under the land laws of the United

States, whether for homestead, mineral, right-of-way, or any other

purpose whatsoever, or shall affect the right of any such claimant,

locator, or entryman to the full use and enjoyment of his land, nor

the rights reserved by treaty to the Indian” of any tribes.

for which ONP doesn’t appear to be prepared to equally celebrate the 75 years of the park on that point, a point of law and not a discussion point.  It’s one thing for a senator or representative to stand on the Capital floor and individually declare a position and intent, but it’s another for the congress to vote as a whole creating a law that says something that consistently gets ignored/denied by the Executive Branch for 75 years.

Isn’t this along the same lines as writing one’s own history to reflect what one wants it to say versus fact; isn’t ONP writing their own purpose and priorities?

Ed Bowen
Lake Ozette

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Comments from Karl Spees:

Now the Park can exclude camping, the public’s enjoyment in perpituity, and no one will have any idea that they are excluding everyone except the well connected.

Over the years it has become more difficult to get an overnight camping permit. Now there is no way to know the status of this public park usage (transparency).  Oh yeah, I forgot, now its a UN Biosphere.
Karl Spees – Concerned American.
 ______________________________________
News Release from the ONP:

New Reservation System for Olympic National Park Wilderness Camping


Reservation requests for wilderness camping areas with overnight use limits will be accepted by fax or postal mail beginning Monday, April 1, 2013.  Phone reservations are no longer accepted.

 

Ozette Coast
Royal Basin/Royal Lake area
Grand Valley and Badger Valley area
Lake Constance
Upper Lena Lake
Flapjack Lakes
Sol Duc/Seven Lakes Basin/Mink Lake area
Hoh Lake and C.B. Flats
Elk Lake and Glacier Meadows
Group and stock camp sites along the Hoh River Trail

 

Camping is permitted only in designated sites within these areas.

 

Reservations can be submitted by fax or mail using the form found at http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/upload/wilderness-permit-reservation-form.pdf

Additional information is available online at http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/wilderness-permits.htm.

Sounds like something that needs to be added in the scoping for the ONP Wilderness Stewardship Plan on how to provide access to the People’s park.

Agenda 21, The Wildlands Project, and the Earth Charter concerns local citizens

by Lois Krafsky-Perry
for Citizen Review
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Port Angeles, WA – A meeting held by the Republican Women of Clallam County (RWCC),  was attended by approximately 40 people, Monday March 11, at the Monterra Clubhouse.
After the regular meeting, a video was shown  with Michael Shaw, founder of Freedom Advocates, who shared information relating to  Agenda 21, followed by a powerpoint presentation from Taking Liberty, produced by Environmental Perspectives Inc.
A live presentation was then made by local businesswoman, writer and editor Sue Forde, who spoke about how Agenda 21, The Earth Charter and the Wildlands Project relate to local concerns.  She also answered questions from the attendees.   Continue reading

Wild Olympic Campaign increases the chance of catastroph​ic fire on the Peninsula

Editorial by Shelly Taylor

Posted 3/6/2013

Olympic Peninsula, WA State – A brief seen in our local paper recently:

“Grants Pass, Oregon: Big changes are in store for U.S. forests as global warming increases wildfires and insect infestations, and generates more floods and droughts, the US Dept of Agriculture warned Tuesday. In a new report, it said the area burned by wildfires is expected to at least double over the next 25 years.”

I remember being told that wildfires are increasing because the forests aren’t being managed properly, i.e. logging to remove forest debris.

Here is the reply I received:

“Each forest region has different problems with forest health issues. The Pacific NW was dramatically impacted by the NW Forest Plan (NWFP) when Clinton decided to lock up (preserve) about twenty four and a half million acres of US Forest Service FS) timberlands in Washington, Oregon and Northern California. Most of the Federal Forests contained in the NWFP are prone to Mother Nature’s wind, fire and disease regime. Regulations have crippled the Forest Service management of our federal forests and the same regs have opened the door to endless lawsuits when the FS attempts to do anything. Continue reading

Is the Dungeness Water Rule etched in stone? Perhaps not…

from Pearl Rains-Hewett
Behind My Back.org

Posted 2/5/2013

6 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:

7 Sec. 1. RCW 90.38.005 and 1989 c 429 s 1 are each amended to read

8 as follows:

9 (1) The legislature finds that:

 

It appears that the WA State Legislators can change WA State DOE Water Rules with a House Bill 1414 ?

36 to satisfy both existing rights, and other presently unmet as well as

37 future needs of the basin;

  Continue reading

Florida’s land conservation program crawls back from the dead

Orlando Sentinel

Posted 12/12/2012

TALLAHASSEE, FLA — It isn’t exactly a roaring recovery. But Florida’s once-heralded land conservation program is creeping back from the dead.

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet signed off on a list of 21 conservation projects Tuesday that the state Department of Environmental Protection will attempt to buy with $8.4 million lawmakers tucked in the budget this year. Continue reading

Open Letter to WA State Representatives about wilderness areas

Posted 11/2/2012

TO THE ELECTED 24TH DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVES

Do you EVER look down on “We the People”?
Do you EVER see our economic suffering?
Do you ever respond to our emails?
Is this the FUTURE “YOU” have planned for my 16 Grandchildren?

YOU legislate, YOU appoint, YOU disappoint, AND, “We the people” suffer the consequences of what YOU have done.

WHO IS REALLY RUNNING “WILD” IN AMERICA?  SPECIAL INTEREST, NON-PROFIT, non-taxpaying Special Interest Coalitions and groups. Continue reading

Wild Olympics – Oct. 8, 1992 to Oct. 29, 2012

Commentary by Pearl Rains-Hewett

Posted 10/29/2012

 

CONSPIRACY EXPOSED Oct. 8, 1992 The notarized document  was written on Oct. 8, 1992 by George C. Rains Sr. when he was 77 years old.

 

OVER 20 YEARS AGO George C. Rains Sr. WROTE

 

How can a Federal Government of ours pay money for things like this when our government is many trillions of dollars in debt?

 

This conspiracy will never end unless you people, property owners and tax payers start fighting back to stop the conspiracy and the taking of all our property on the Olympic Peninsula.

 

The Olympic National Park has doubled in size to over one million acres or more.

 

Most people have no knowledge of these vast encroachments to take our property and property rights on the Olympic Peninsula, and it is time that the truth be known. Land and Power Grab

 

The National Park Service has no respect for private property ownership and rights.

 Attempts are being made to grab land corridors on each side of the major rivers on the Olympic Peninsula. If they succeed here attempts will be made to grab land corridors on smaller streams on the Olympic Peninsula.

 

Pearl Rains Hewett

Read on if you are concerned Continue reading

Sequim officials sign on with Wild Olympics

Published on Wed, Oct 24, 201

 

by MARK ST.J. COUHIG
Sequim Gazette

Sequim, WA – Sequim Mayor Ken Hays has put his name on a letter supporting the Wild Olympics legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Norm Dicks.

 

City councilors Laura Dubois and Candace Pratt also signed on the dotted line.

 

The proposed law has long been controversial, with “Working Forests = Working Families” signs popping up across the region in opposition to the “draft proposal” released by Murray and Dicks in November 2011. Continue reading

Dicks, Murray tout their Wild Olympics plan

By Steven Friederich | The Daily World

Posted 8/18/2012

Grays Harbor, WA – Congressman Norm Dicks and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray took their push for the Wild Olympics Campaign on the road Thursday with stops in the Shelton area to showcase the need for better water quality at a shellfish farm and later on a bridge rising over a river in the Olympic National Forest, which would see increased protection.

In June, Dicks and Murray introduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2012, roughly three years after conservation and recreation groups started the conversation to expand protection of areas around Olympic National Park.

The legislation expands the wilderness area around the park and also creates a Wild and Scenic designation along rivers coming out of the park. It’s considered a swan song for Congressman Dicks, who is retiring at the end of the year. Continue reading

Murray, Dicks promote Wild Olympics bill

Kitsap Sun

Posted 8/17/2012

 

SHELTON, Wash. (AP) — Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks are visiting the Olympic Peninsula Thursday to promote their Wild Olympics legislation. They’re stopping at a Taylor Shellfish site near Shelton and touring areas that would be affected.

Bills in the House and Senate would create nearly 200 square miles of new wilderness in Washington’s Olympic National Forest and designate 19 rivers and seven tributaries as Wild and Scenic Rivers.

Murray and Dicks say they have made compromises to overcome objections the designations would be too restrictive on logging and recreation.

The Aberdeen and Cosmopolis city councils and Grays Harbor County commissioners have passed resolutions opposing the Wild Olympics campaign.

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Murray, Dicks visiting Shelton today as part of proposed Wild Olympics legislation

August 16, 2012

By Peninsula Daily News staff
SHELTON — Accompanied by elected officials from Jefferson and Clallam counties, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks are visiting the Skookum Bay Taylor Shellfish facility in Shelton today and will tour nearby forest areas that would be affected by their proposed Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2012.

The legislation, now pending in the House and Senate, was a compromise proposal developed from the Wild Olympics Campaign.

It would designate more than 126,500 acres of new wilderness in Olympic National Forest. Nineteen Olympic Peninsula rivers and their major tributaries would be designated “wild and scenic.”

Murray and Dicks said they have made compromises to overcome objections the designations would be too restrictive on logging.

Murray, D-Bothell, and Dicks, whose congressional district includes the North Olympic Peninsula, is being joined on today’s tour by state Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Sequim; John Austin, one of the three Jefferson County commissioners; Mike Doherty, one of the three Clallam County commissioners; Connie Gallant of Quilcene, chairwoman of the Wild Olympics Campaign; Al Carter, a former Grays Harbor County commissioner; and Michelle Sandoval, a member of the Port Townsend City Council and the city’s former mayor.

Wild Olympics — not much middle ground

By Angelo Bruscas
The Daily World

May 11, 2012

Aberdeen, WA – The Wild Olympics proposal to add wilderness designation protection to national forest land around Olympic National Park and put several Olympic Peninsula rivers on the list of “wild and scenic” streams was examined and debated on all sides last night at a spirited town hall meeting sponsored by the mayors of Grays Harbor cities.

Rex Valentine, a lifelong Grays Harbor County resident, speaking against the plan said he was mostly disappointed about the timing of the issue.

“I really don’t think we should go ahead with this in any way. We don’t need it,” said Valentine, one of about two-dozen citizens to comment on the proposal that has galvanized timber communities around the national park. “I think our area can pretty well take care of itself.” Continue reading

Cosmopolis City Council issues resolution against Wild Olympics Agenda


June 14, 2012

KXRO Newsradio


The Cosmopolis City Council had a workshop on Wednesday featuring speakers from both sides of the Wild Olympics discussion. Following that workshop, the council added a resolution to their agenda to formally make their stand on the issue. John Owen from the Wild Olympics campaign asked the council before they made any formal statement, to make sure they were fully aware what they were voting for.


Changes were made to the resolution involving striking entire passages and adjustments to wording before the Cosmopolis City Council unanimously voted to oppose any and all legislation that resembles the Wild Olympics campaign.


They join Grays Harbor County Commissioners and the Aberdeen City Council in opposing the legislation.


The Hoquiam City Council had a resolution on their agenda at this week’s meeting to discuss their position on the issue. That resolution was moved to their June meeting.

Cosmopolis Wild Olympics Resolution

Wild Olympics Part I: Ideas run ‘wild’ around Olympics

By Martha M. Ireland – Column for May 18, 2012 – Peninsula Daily News

Posted June 10, 2012

Part I of II.

Olympic Peninsula, WA – IT’S HARD TO ARGUE with the contention that Olympic Peninsula wilderness should be preserved and protected from development.

U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks and Sen. Patty Murray signed on to the Wild Olympics Campaign last year. In the congressional version, dubbed the “Path Forward on Olympic Watersheds Protection,” the proposed National Park expansion was scaled back from 37,000 acres to about 20,000 acres.

At a public meting in Grays Harbor last week, congressional staff assured proponents that Dicks and Murray will continue to push for higher levels of protection, and attempted to placate opponents with news that land acquisition has been dropped from the proposal.

Backing off from park expansion is understandable.

Olympic National Park currently encompasses 922,650 acres—nearly 1,500 square miles—from the Hood Canal view-shed to the Hoh Rainforest, plus 64 miles of Pacific coastline.

Olympic National Park, Olympic National Forest, state-managed Trust Lands and private and tribal timberlands cover more than 90 percent of Clallam County’s 1,754 sq. miles.

Under current designations, all other land uses in Clallam County—cities, homes, businesses, industry, public infrastructure and agriculture—jockey for space on the remaining less-than-175 sq. miles. Minus, of course, areas restricted by critical areas, shoreline and other burgeoning regulations.

Jefferson County has at least as large a percentage of its land base tied up in Olympic National Park and forest. The park and forests also cover significant portions of Grays Harbor and Mason counties.

A glance at the map should convince everyone that the Olympic Peninsula simply does not have any capacity for more parkland.

Nevertheless, in this the latest chapter in the long history of Olympic preservation, Wild Olympics advocates bemoan the “loss” of what they hoped to capture, and double down on their demand for higher levels of “protection” for what is already protected.

Protected it is:

  • Pres. Grover Cleveland created the Olympic Forest Reserve in 1897.
  • Pres. Theodore Roosevelt declared alpine and sub-alpine Mount Olympus a National Monument in 1909.
  • Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited in 1938 to sign legislation that expanded the protected area and gave it the further protection of national park status.
  • Olympic National Park was declared an International Biosphere Reserve in 1976 and a World Heritage Site in 1981.
  • In 1988, Congress designated 95 percent of the park as the Olympic Wilderness.

The Pacific Ocean off Olympic National Park’s coastal beaches became Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary in 1994. The sanctuary encompasses 3,189 square miles, and overlays the Flattery Rocks, Quillayute Needles and Copalis Rock National Wildlife Refuges.

Much of the 633,677-acre Olympic National Forest, which surrounds the park, is also designated wilderness, leaving a tiny remnant available for tightly regulated logging.

State-managed trust lands and tribal and privately-owned timberland make up the majority of the non-federal land on the peninsula.

The state-managed lands were specifically set aside to generate revenue to support local government and schools. Together with private timberlands, they were intended to be harvested and replanted in rotation, producing sustainable yields forever.

However, in 1994, timber production was slashed by 95 percent, as a result of the Northwest Forest Plan, which was adopted in the name of preserving spotted owl habitat.

Ever since, the once-working forests have been producing about 5 percent as much timber as they previously generated, with comparable curtailment of revenue and jobs.

Logging has always been prohibited within the park and is now severely restricted outside the park.

Zoning adopted under the state Growth Management Act protects virtually all private forestland in the region from conversion to non-forest uses.

The Elwha River dams have just been torn down and there is zero possibility of more dams being built on the Olympic Peninsula, in or out of the park.

Still, cries for more protection echo like the howl of wolves under a full moon.

Actually, with all the “protection” now in place, the only truly threatened resources on the Olympic Peninsula are private property and the dwindling remnants of working forestland.

Click here to read Part II of this series.

Wild Olympics Part II: Wilderness vows made, not kept

By Martha M. Ireland – Column for June 1, 2012 – Peninsula Daily News

Posted June 10, 2012

Part II of II.

THE BENEFITS OF an enduring resource of untrammeled wilderness were promised by passage of the federal Wilderness Act in 1964.

The Act has delivered 110 million acres of designated Wilderness nationally.

Of those, 962,249 acres—more than 1,500 square miles—are on the Olympic Peninsula, in five designations. Wilderness makes up 95 percent of Olympic National Park. The Brothers, Buckhorn, Mount Skokomish and Colonel Bob Wildernesses all abut the park but are in Olympic National Forest.

[One square mile is equal to 640 acres.]

The Park boundary drawn in 1938 has kept its promise to protect and preserve the most scenic and fragile areas of the Olympic Mountains.

The four Wilderness areas added in 1984 preserve mountain peaks outside the park.

Surrounding federal land that did not make the cut for preservation was designated as working forest, to be managed to produce timber and support for local schools and roads forever. That promise was largely derailed by the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan.

With the push to designate everything as Wilderness, other promises are also at risk.

Various designations are available, including backcountry and roadless, but Wilderness— with a capital “W”—is the most restrictive classification.

Designating all wild areas as Wilderness is like setting aside “90 percent of the land for one percent of the people,” warned the late Ken Wilcox, a founder of Backcountry Horsemen of Washington and brother of Port Angeles retiree Lorraine Wilcox Ross.

“A rabid segment of our population has been using every means at their disposal to get every acre of unroaded land designated as Wilderness,” Wilcox wrote in newsletters, which Ross compiled into a book after his death.

Common Sense Environmentalist – Ken Wilcox – A Burr Under Bureaucratic Saddles,” airs his view that Wilderness is not always the best option for people or for the environment.

For example, even outhouses, which would help protect the environment, are prohibited in Wilderness areas.

While working in the 1970s to 1990s to develop facilities that would support low-impact horse camping, Wilcox discovered “restrictions that Wilderness designations placed on hunting and other forms of recreation.”

Testifying before Congress, he supported a “spectrum of alternative land use designations [reflecting] the public’s tastes for widely diverse kinds of primitive settings.”

Hunters and fishermen who favored Wilderness designation, thinking it would protect and expand their recreational opportunities, were getting snookered, Wilcox warned. After designations were through, established hunting camps were removed, no matter how historical, and all wheeled conveyances were strictly banned, including single-wheel pack-out carts.

“If Wilderness is the only primitive setting offered in the land-use spectrum, it will be forced to accommodate all roadless activities including uses more appropriately carried out elsewhere,” Wilcox testified.

A mix of designations would give users more options and dispersal space so they are not crowded together in ways that threaten the environment, he advised

Most distressing, Wilderness managers clearly favored leaving trails unmarked or poorly marked. Wilcox and his Backcountry Horsemen were ordered not to put up signs that would have reduced hazards for horsemen, hikers and the environment by keeping visitors on approved paths. Keeping the view free of manmade signs trumped reducing incidence of people getting lost and injured on unsafe routes.

Descriptions online at www.wilderness.net confirm that attitude prevails to this day.

Most of the Mount Skokomish Wilderness “is wild and ruggedly free, penetrated only by four short and wondrously neglected trails,” the site boasts.

“Enjoy challenging recreational activities…and extraordinary opportunities for solitude,” it promises. It gives instructions in “leave no trace” camping on trails that are unmarked traces.

Disabled and physically unfit people can view these wildernesses only from the windows of an airplane, yet a few purists object to over-flights, wanting silence with their solitude.

Promises of expanding recreational opportunities echo as hollowly as timber harvest promises—promises made but not kept.

Click here to read Part I of this series.

Fish and Wildlife Commission approves land transactions

NEWS RELEASE
Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/

June 4, 2012

(Editorial Comments inserted where noted.)

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved several land transactions, including the purchase of nearly 52 acres of property along Dungeness Bay in Clallam County during a meeting here June 1-2.

Purchasing the land, located about five miles north of Sequim, will allow the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to protect and restore key coastal wetlands important for fish, shellfish and wildlife.

The property will become part of the North Olympic Wildlife Area, managed by WDFW to provide habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife species as well as public access for outdoor recreation, such as fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing. The $1 million purchase price will be funded with grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Comment: I thought both our state AND federal governments were hopelessly mired in debt????!!!!  Strange how we have money for the purchase of property yet we can’t even fund our school districts!) Continue reading

Editorial: Toss Wild Olympics plan completely

Editorial by Karl Spees
(also appeared in the 5/23/12 issue of Peninsula Daily News)

Posted June 4, 2012

Seattle Times “gossip columnist” Danny Westneat’s column “Wild Olympics Perception Prevails” (PDN, May 11) shed more heat than light on the subject of the Wild Olympics plan.

His column portrays all citizens who oppose the plan as rubes.

On May 10, this rube attended a Wild Olympics forum in Grays Harbor County where a show of hands of the 250 in attendance revealed the rubes outnumbered the elites by a margin of three to one. Continue reading

Citizen Coalition Requests Federal Lands to Be Returned to the Counties

LEBANON, OR – May 25, 2012

An Oregon citizens coalition calling themselves Give Us Our Land Back is petitioning the US Congress to return ownership of federal land in Oregon to the counties of Oregon.

All US Forest Service, Bureau of Management, and National Park Service lands in Oregon will be given back to the counties, if the “Petition To De-Federalize Oregon Lands” is successful.

The online petition is at http://giveusourlandback.org.

In an letter on the website, Give Us Our Land Back executive director Mike Dubrasich wrote, “The Federal Government is trustee of 53% of the landbase of Oregon, and they have violated that trust exceedingly. Continue reading

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