Guest Opinion — Wild Olympics opponents say every day without a bill is a good day

Let the celebration begin! No Wild Olympics bill in 2013! Congressman Derek Kilmer says he has no plans to introduce the bill and is instead working on getting the Northwest Forest Plan to meet its promises on timber harvest. On Friday he Co-Chaired a Congressional Healthy Forest Caucus on Collaborative Harvest Agreements in Port Angeles. Our Working Wild Olympics Coalition supports these efforts followed by an open and honest community-based conversation about the future of the Olympic Peninsula.

And Sen. Patty Murray has not re-introduced the bill, despite her pledge to carry on after the sudden retirement of Congressman Norm Dicks last year. In February we “kicked the hornets nest” to see where she stood and within three hours Murray responded that she “intended to re-introduce the bill … ” Now, six months later and with no action, on July 12, following a propaganda PR piece that was released by the now desperate Wild Olympics Con-Game to kick the sleeping dog issue to life, Murray said only that “… she enjoys working with the Wild Olympics. …” No mention of introducing the bill. Celebrate! Celebrate! Dance to the music. Every day without a bill is a good day!

This year all of our Coastal Caucus legislators, except Steve Tharinger of course, signed a letter urging Kilmer and Murray to not move forward with the bills. Could she be starting to listen to the vast majority of citizens, businesses, organizations, elected officials from city councils, mayors, commissioners and state government who oppose this land grab attempt to permanently restrict the Multi Use Mandate of these Forest Service and DNR lands? We can hope!

This Wild Olympics PR piece lists the 84 Grays Harbor businesses that supposedly are in support. Local radio stations carried this release and immediately after that businesses that didn’t even know their names were on this list were contacting radio stations to have them removed. And businesses that had been given the warm and fuzzy intoxicating Wild Olympics Kool-Aid were now saying they didn’t know the truth about that. If you drank this Kool-Aid, there is an easy cure — drink large amounts of our local, clean already protected waters and it will flush all those toxins right out, and you will feel refreshed and of clear mind and body again!

As for the remaining businesses that do support, this amounts to less than 2 percent of the 4,000 businesses on Grays Harbor. Interesting that after years of sneaking around Grays Harbor, the highly paid Wild Olympics staff has not been able to con more into supporting them. Must be that the citizens of Grays Harbor know better than to drink from the devil’s cup. Thank you, Grays Harbor!

The facts of their agenda are now appearing. On July 16 and 18 The Daily World carried a two-part series from The Kitsap Sun on the first 75 years of the Olympic National Park and the next 75 years where board members of the Wild Olympics groups repeatedly state they support letting the park’s roads and infrastructure continue deteriorating back to the wilds vs. human access and for the lands outside the park to do the same. A complete contradiction to their Wild Olympics Kool-Aid con game of “this will bring more recreational access, help the economy, bring jobs, blah, blah, blah.”

Can’t have it both ways Wild Olympics. In this second article is Bruce Moorhead, a retired Olympic Park biologist, who has written and pushed for the removal of the Quinault South Shore Road from the bridge on up to Graves Creek Campground making it into a trail — turning a two-day pack trip to Enchanted Valley into three, rendering the vehicle camp now unusable and closing the miles of road to locals and tourists who enjoy viewing the wildlife and scenery year round. How is this going to help our local economy? It’s not. The Olympic National Park visitors are already dropping from 3.7 million in 1995 to just 2.8 million last year and the Wild Olympics supporters promote removing existing access. They continue their agenda onto Forest Service lands by blocking the fixing of the Dosewallips Road, which once led visitors to two popular campgrounds, and access to trailheads before being washed out in 2002. Repeated efforts by the Forest Service, elected local and state legislators to get this repaired have been thwarted by these same enviro groups who are for preservation vs. recreation — the same agenda as in Wild Olympics — lock it up, throw away public access. And this list goes on. Here on the west side in the Matheny area with Sam’s River, the East Fork Humptulips where thousands of acres of previously harvested forests and the access roads, are proposed for Wilderness and Wild & Scenic River Designations — grabbing land and permanently restricting its use for all to enjoy!

On July 22 a second PR piece, promoting Sportsmen for Wild Olympics, was released to combat our Working Wild Olympics members Bill Pickell and myself being on the local KBKW “Coffee Talk” Radio and outing their agenda. It backfired tremendously! The recording can be found at the Working Wild Olympics website and on Facebook. Having 35 years of hands-on experience in wildlife, their habitat and public recreational access I know these claims — by Jason Bausher, the creator of Sportsmen for Wild Olympics — are Wrong! He presumes the Wild Olympics Wilderness designation would create additional hunting opportunity. Wrong! The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife currently has a high buck hunt in the five wilderness areas in September for two weeks of deer hunting and Jason presumes they will automatically expand to these lands. The Fish & Wildlife staff got the laugh of the day when they first saw this in The Daily World last year. Their reaction was, “Who asked us? We set the seasons!” These hunts are provided because of the remote, high country difficulty in accessing these areas. This “Wild Olympics wilderness” would be right next to hundreds of miles of roads, some even paved like the South Shore Road at Lake Quinault. No way would this be included. The largest sportsmen’s organization in the state, Hunters Heritage Coalition, representing 26 groups with 50,000 members, is Opposed to Wild Olympics, along with Eyes In The Woods, the state leader in keeping public access open. Sportsmen do not support Wild Olympics — they Oppose!

Join the Celebration! NO Wild Olympics now or ever!

Dan Boeholt is a resident of Aberdeen.