2017 Conservation Accomplishments
With your support, Washington Wild was able to achieve great strides in our conservation programming.
Thank you for defending Washington’s public lands!
2017 Conservation Accomplishments:
LOCAL ENDORSEMENTS GROW AS WILD OLYMPICS LEGISLATION REINTRODUCED
The Wild Olympics Coalition announced over 150 new endorsements from Olympic Peninsula elected officials and businesses rallying behind the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. The additions bring the number of Olympic Peninsula endorsers to 700. More than 12,000 local residents have signed petitions in support. If passed, the bill would designate the first new Wilderness areas on Olympic National Forest in three decades and the first ever Wild & Scenic River designations.
METHOW HEADWATERS PROTECTION ACT REINTRODUCED
In March, as a member of the Methow Headwaters Campaign we cheered the reintroduction of the Methow Headwaters Protection Act by Senators Cantwell and Murray! The bill calls for permanent protection of about 340,000 acres of public land in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest from new industrial-scale mine development.
ANTI-PUBLIC LANDS LEGISLATION STOPPED IN CONGRESS
In an elusive bit of good news, the Senate narrowly voted to keep a key environmental regulation that stops companies from burning greenhouse gasses. In addition, the expiration of a legislative deadline prevented a resolution that would have allowed drilling in our National Parks. Another piece of legislation that was meant to sell off 3 million acres of public lands was also withdrawn after an outpouring of public support to keep public lands in public hands. Washington Wild sent out action alerts and urged our members to write their elected officials on all of these pieces of legislation.
FOREST SERVICE RELEASES IMPROVED & BALANCED ROADS DECISION
Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest released a decision notice on efforts to maintain and reduce the road system to a sustainable size on the Greenwater watershed adjacent to Mt. Rainier National Park. In response to a Washington Wild coordinated letter, the Forest Service made positive additions to their plan, including maintaining passenger car access to the popular Noble Knob Trail, clarifying protections for endangered species, and adding additional miles of decommissioning for unneeded roads on the watershed.
CANTWELL, MURRAY HELP SAVE HANFORD REACH NATIONAL MONUMENT
In July, Secretary Zinke announced that Washington’s own Hanford Reach National Monument would not be impacted by the review process instigated by President Trump’s Executive Order in April of this 2017 due to an outpouring of public support. In addition, both Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell spoke with Secretary Zinke and to the public calling on them to stand up for these unique landscapes in Washington and across the US.
WASHINGTON WILD LAUNCHES NEW ONLINE ADVOCACY SYSTEM
In the beginning of 2017 Washington Wild launched our new online advocacy system! You can fill out a simple form to send comments and letters to your elected officials on conservation issues important to you with a click of a button. This year Washington Wild supporters sent 2,500 letters on 30 issues, including increasing entry fees in our National Parks, drilling in the Arctic, selling off millions of acres of public lands, and new road building in roadless areas in Washington.
WA CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION LEADS ON BIPARTISAN PUBLIC LANDS RESOLUTION
As a result of advocacy from Washington Wild, eight of the ten members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington State have cosponsored a resolution pushing back on recent congressional efforts to weaken protections for our public lands. The resolution expresses that America’s federal public lands are national treasures that belong to all Americans.
LAKE SERENE TRAIL CLOSURE FOR LOGGING LEADS TO LONG TERM SOLUTION
This year, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest issued a decision to close the Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls trail from September 25th, 2017 to July 1, 2018 to allow access to logging by the Weyerhauser company. Washington Wild coordinated a joint comment letter seeking a long term solution to logging on such a popular trail. After an outpouring of public support, conservation efforts prevailed and the private property adjacent to the trail was purchased keeping Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls logging free permanently.
DARRINGTON AND OLYMPIC COLLABORATIVES THRIVE
Washington Wild is working with a diverse group of stakeholders including rural community leaders and timber interests to simultaneously create a more ecologically resilient forest, provide for sustainable restoration thinning on national forest lands, retain receipts for aquatic restoration work, and provide economic benefits to local rural communities through two forest restoration efforts. In 2017, the Darrington Collaborative completed its first stewardship project with the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The Olympic Forest Collaborative worked on four stewardship projects with the Olympic National Forest last year.