American Whitewater Joins a Diverse Coalition of Local Business Leaders, Sportsmen,
Elected Officials, Conservationists & Recreationists Praising 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 (S. 1949 and H.R. 3922) 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
"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."