Reintroduction by Senator Murray and Representative Kilmer builds upon the momentum from last year, during which the Wild Olympics bill passed the House with bipartisan support and advanced further than ever before in the Senate.
Designed through extensive community input, the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Act would designate the first new Wilderness in Olympic National Forest in nearly four decades, and the first-ever Wild & Scenic River designations on the Peninsula. It would permanently preserve ancient and mature forests, critical salmon habitat, and sources of clean drinking water for local communities while also protecting and expanding world-class outdoor recreation opportunities like hiking, camping, boating, hunting, and fishing. No roads would be closed, and trailhead access would not be affected.
“I’m proud to have worked with Congressman Kilmer—not to mention Tribes, sportsmen, advocates, local business leaders, and so many others—for years on our bill to protect the Wild Olympics, one of our state’s most beautiful natural treasures, and I am thrilled to be reintroducing it today … I look forward to working with Congressman Kilmer to keep up the momentum behind this important legislation and continuing our fight to protect and preserve the Wild Olympics.” — Senator Patty Murray
“As someone who grew up on the Olympic Peninsula, I learned firsthand that economic growth and environmental protection go hand in hand. I’m proud to reintroduce this practical, balanced strategy, that will protect the wildest and most pristine places on the Olympic Peninsula while ensuring we can keep and grow jobs in our natural resource industries and other sectors. And I’m grateful for the years-long collaboration to create a proposal that works for folks across the community – including tribes, sportsmen, conservation groups, timber communities, business leaders, shellfish growers, and everyone in between.” — Representative Derek Kilmer
The bill’s progress in Congress comes on a recent wave of support and new local endorsements rallying behind the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. The new additions bring the total number of local Olympic Peninsula & Hood Canal region endorsements to more than 800 endorsers, including the Quinault, Quileute, Elwha, and Jamestown S’Klallam Tribes; over 30 local sportsmen organizations and fishing guides; the mayors of Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Ocean Shores, and other local elected officials; businesses and CEOs; farms and faith leaders; conservation and outdoor recreation groups; and many others. Additionally, more than 12,000 local residents have signed petitions in support.