Washington Wild Urges Representatives to Continue to Fight for Wild Olympics Bill as it moves through Congress
Washington Wild sent letters today to Representatives Adam Smith and Pramila Jayapal urging them to ensure that the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (H.R. 2642 & S. 1382) remain a part of the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) once it emerges the pending House-Senate Conference Committee.
The letter to Congressman Adam Smith was undersigned by 27 progressive and environmental organizations and the letter to Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal was undersigned by 36 progressive organizations, elected officials, and business leaders, all voicing their support for this well-balanced act.
Representatives Smith and Jayapal have been champions of public land conservation, supporting amendments to the NDAA that protect public lands and waters. While these amendments have made it through the house, they must still move through the House-Senate Conference Committee.
The ancient forests and free-flowing wild rivers of the Olympic Peninsula are beloved by locals and tourists alike and are what give our Evergreen State its name. These natural amenities support a vibrant fishing and shellfish industry, lead to millions of dollars in tourism annually, attract a thriving outdoor recreation industry, and provide clean drinking water to local residents.
The Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act — sponsored by Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA06) and Senator Patty Murray’s (D-WA) — would help protect the economic future for the Olympic Peninsula and the Puget Sound. Taking action now to safeguard our healthy watersheds is far less costly than restoring degraded watersheds later.
Years of soliciting intentional feedback from local stakeholders has resulted in a well-balanced Wild Olympics proposal. The legislation has broad support with over 800 local endorsements from conservation, recreation and wildlife groups, hunters and anglers, local businesses, elected officials, faith leaders, and other stakeholders. Over 21,000 Washingtonians have voiced support for the bill, with more than 12,000 living on the Olympic Peninsula.
The Wild Olympics proposal has been written to protect tribal treaty rights and protect fish and natural resources that are essential to preserve tribal lifeways. Because of this, several local Tribes have formally endorsed the proposal.
With such broad support across our state, we are calling on our local Representatives to continue to champion the amendments to the NDAA as it moves through congress resulting in a final act that includes important public land bills including the Wild Olympics and Wild and Scenic River Act.