Wild Olympics Act rides a wave of support to Senate hearing

Momentum continues to build for the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. More than 800 groups and elected officials have signed on to support permanent protections for the area's treasured lands and rivers.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
April 21, 2016
Wild Olympics Act rides a wave of support to Senate hearing

Update: This legislation has been reintroduced in the 116th Congress (2019) by Senator Patty Murray (S. 1382) and Congressman Derek Kilmer (H.R. 2642).  Thank you Washington state lawmakers for continuing to fight for our treasured lands and waters! 

If you’re a Mountaineer, there’s a good chance you’ve enjoyed the Olympic National Forest. Old growth trees, lush rain forests, ocean views, and towering mountains—the area’s list of scenic wonders goes on. But preserving them requires us to broaden our scope to collaborate with many others who also have a vested interest in these lands. We've been working with a diverse group of interested parties to advocate for the Wild Olympics Act, which could result in nearly 127,000 acres of new Wilderness in Olympic National Forest and 19 new Wild and Scenic Rivers. 

The Wilderness designation would provide the area’s beloved lands and rivers with permanent protection. The U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee will soon hold the bill’s first Congressional hearing – a pivotal next step for this process.

The Mountaineers, along with a diverse coalition of local businesses, sportsman, conservation, and recreation groups, have been part of this process since its planning phases. You can support this work as well:

Sign the petition

To learn the full scope of the proposed legislation, visit Wild Olympics.

Our Role

As a supporter of the Wild Olympics Campaign, The Mountaineers backs a broad coalition of businesses, environmentalists, recreationists, and government organizations to advocate for  the Wild Olympics Act. Our collective voice represents wide-ranging support for this designation, with more than 550 campaign endorsements to support the bill’s sponsors: Representative Derek Kilmer and Senator Patty Murray. We’ve welcomed this legislation since it was introduced, and are proud to see it hit the national stage.

The Peninsula represents more than one of our favorite playgrounds

The Olympic National Forest is a dreamer's playground. Our volunteers lead trips to over 100 different places on the Peninsula. Preserving these destinations will require outdoor lovers to network with a variety of interest groups. In this case, we’ve worked with local governments, shellfish farms, sportsmen, restaurants, outdoor industries, shops, and loggers to find common ground around sustaining environmental resources that attract businesses, visitors, and residents. Learn more about these eclectic supporters here.

Get outside, show your support!

At the Mountaineers, we strongly believe that people who enjoy nature will work to sustain it. So this may sound too good to be true, but one of the most important ways to preserve wild places is to simply experience them. Plus, you’ll be supporting the outdoor industry. Every dollar you spend buying a coffee on the way to a trailhead, booking a camping spot, or renting a kayak is a boon to local communities and provides economic incentive to preserve wild places like this.

To explore the lands covered in the Wild Olympics Act, check out this awesome story map: Exploring the Wild Olympics.

To get inspired and learn more about The Mountaineers’ unique connection to the Peninsula, check out our blog, The Olympic Peninsula: A Mountaineers Love Story.

We are proud to be members of the Wild Olympics coalition for this work -  check out the coalition website for a deeper dive into the work on this legislation. 

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