WASHINGTON WILD MOBILIZES MORE CIVIC ADVOCACY THAN EVER
In the beginning of 2017 we launched our new online advocacy system where 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. Through our 2018 advocacy efforts and 50 community engagement and activism events across Washington State we activated 1,124 supporters (the most supporters ever!) and sent over 4,100 advocacy messages! This amounted to a 50% increase in engagement as supporters sent letters on important issues like offshore oil drilling in Washington State, protecting the Endangered Species Act, standing up for our Roadless Areas, and saying no to mining in the Methow.
BAKER LAKE ROAD TO TRAIL PROJECT REPLACES PROPOSED ROAD THROUGH ANCIENT FORESTS
Washington Wild coordinated a comment letter signed by 25 conservation and recreation groups to the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie Forest supporting the Baker Lake Road to Trail conversion project. Both alternatives proposed include road to trail conversion in the area and do not include building a road in a roadless area. We applaud the Forest Service for their protection of roadless areas, and the use of road-to trail conversion for a more sustainable road and trails system. In addition, the proposal will create long-term sustainable use for trail users, reduce user impact to the Baker River, and provide additional recreational benefits for a variety of users!
LEGISLATION INTRODUCED TO CODIFY LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND
This past October Senator Maria Cantwell’s legislation to permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by a 16-7 vote! This important step shows that Congress recognizes the importance of legislation that would fully fund and reauthorize this landmark conservation program. LWCF supports our treasured public lands that protect ancient forests, salmon spawning streams, sources for safe and clean drinking water and amazing recreation opportunities. Washington Wild mobilized its members and supporters to send over 300 messages to decision makers in support of LWCF and to secure permanent funding for the protection of places like Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Columbia Gorge.
SECRETARY ZINKE RETHINKS NATIONAL PARK FEE INCREASE AFTER PUBLIC OUTCRY
In April, in response to an outpouring of public opposition, the Trump administration backed away from its original plan to drastically increase entry fees at 17 of our nation’s most popular national parks, including Washington’s Olympic and Mt. Rainier National Parks. Over 100,000 people, including Washington Wild members, raised their voices for our national parks during the public comment period for the proposed plan. A full 98% of those comments were vehemently opposed to the cost increase. Through rallying our community of supporters, we ensured this plan was stopped so that everyone can access our beautiful parks regardless of socioeconomic status. Your voices were heard in defense of our national parks. Together, our voices can make a difference.
WASHINGTON WILD LEADS DEFENSE OF WASHINGTON’S ROADLESS AREAS
Washington Wild led efforts in Washington State to defend the 2001 Roadless Rule amid local and national threats to these special places. WA Wild organized a letter signed by more than 150 local stakeholders opposing threat to protections for some of the last remaining ancient forests, sources of clean water and wildlife habitat. As a result of this and additional efforts the harmful legislative rider that would have eliminated protections for roadless areas in Alaska was removed, and in October 2018 Senator Cantwell introduced legislation that would permanently protect roadless areas for generations to come!
MORE THAN 5,000 WASHINGTONIANS STAND AGAINST MINING IN THE METHOW
As a member of the Methow Headwaters Coalition, Washington Wild mobilized our supporters in the region to speak up in favor of a two-year moratorium on mining in the Methow Valley. As a result, more than 450 people filled the Winthrop Barn at a public meeting and more than 5,000 individuals sent comments to the Bureau of Land Management to raise their voices for long-term protection from mining for the Methow Valley! In 2019, the campaign will work to support a long-term protection from exploratory drilling and mining in this iconic mountain valley.
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BACKS AWAY FROM OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING PROPOSAL FOR WASHINGTON STATE
In response to an outpouring of public opposition and strong objection from Washington’s Congressional delegation, Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke acknowledged the overwhelming opposition from Washington State leaders and residents to his proposal to allow offshore oil drilling! Through Washington Wild’s advocacy efforts over 1,200 messages were sent to decision makes in opposition to offshore oil drilling in our state! Thank you to Governor Jay Inslee, Senators Murray and Cantwell, and every one of you that took the time to voice your concern for the proposal stood up for Washington’s coast! Your voices were heard in defense of our public lands.
PROPOSED SUNSET FALLS DAM ON SKYKOMISH RIVER WITHDRAWN!
The Sunset Falls project was proposed on a river segment with multiple state and federal protections. The South Fork Skykomish has been designated as a State Scenic Waterway and the U.S. Forest Service has recommended it for Wild and Scenic designation. Despite these protections and overwhelming public opposition, Snohomish County PUD decided to move forward with a project proposal. Since 2011 Washington Wild has worked with a coalition of conservation and recreation organizations to oppose the project citing concerns about the development of hydropower on a currently free-flowing river, threats to the recreation opportunities near Sunset Falls, and economic viability of the project. Through these efforts the Snohomish County PUD announced its decision to abandon the project to continue their energy conservation focus!
WASHINGTON WILD SUPPORTS KEY ROAD REPAIRS, INCREASED REC. ACCESS
During Washington’s winters many Forest Service Roads suffer damage from washouts which restrict hiking, biking, climbing, camping and other recreational opportunities. Repairs are necessary to restore access since a number of these roads provide the pathway to amazing recreation opportunities. In 2018 Washington Wild advocated and mobilized supporters for key road repairs that provide recreational access in the Sky Valley, Mt. Baker Region, Mountain Loop Highway and on the Olympic Peninsula. Washington Wild expressed support for addressing an oversized and under-maintained road system that causes high aquatic risk to our watersheds and fish while balancing important recreation opportunities.
LOCAL ENDORSEMENTS GROW FOR WILD OLYMPICS PROPOSAL
In 2018 Washington Wild, as a member of the Wild Olympics Campaign, worked to increase local support for new Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River protections on Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park. More than 800 local businesses, elected officials and conservation, recreation and hunting and fishing organizations formally endorsed new federal protections for intact forests and watersheds. Additionally, more than 12,000 local individuals form the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas have signed a petition supporting the proposal. The legislation will be considered in the new Congressional session in 2019.