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ICYMI: Senator Murray’s Wild Olympics Bill Gets Committee Hearing– MORE HERE 

Senator Murray: “Wild Olympics has brought Washington state families and communities from all walks of life together to protect beautiful outdoor spaces we all love, and I’m thrilled to see the progress the bill is making in the Senate.” 

***SEE PHOTOS FROM THE HIKE HERE***

(Seattle, WA) – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) joined State Representative Steve Tharinger, salmon and steelhead guide Ashley Nichole Lewis, President of Taylor Shellfish Company Bill Taylor, and conservationist Tim McNulty for a hike in Olympic National Forest to discuss her Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The bill has already passed out of the House with bipartisan support where it was introduced by Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and earlier this summer it received a Senate committee hearing, bringing the bill the closest it’s ever been to becoming law since Murray first introduced the bill in 2012 with then Representative Norm Dicks.

“Wild Olympics has brought Washington state families and communities from all walks of life together to protect beautiful outdoor spaces we all love, and I’m thrilled to see the progress the bill is making in the Senate,” Senator Murray said. “It’s thanks to the support and input from Tribes, local residents, businesses, shellfish growers, sportsmen, faith leaders, conservation groups, and so many others that we’re so close to getting this bill over the finish line—we’ve managed to build as broad of a coalition as possible to get this done. I’m glad I could spend some time with local leaders to talk about the importance of this legislation and what it will mean for the Olympic Peninsula.”

Murray’s bill would permanently protect more than 126,500 acres of Olympic National Forest as wilderness and 19 rivers and their major tributaries, a total of 464 river miles, as Wild and Scenic Rivers. Designed through extensive community input to protect ancient forests, clean water and salmon streams as well as enhance outdoor recreation, the legislation would set aside the first new wilderness on Olympic National Forest in nearly three decades and the first-ever protected wild and scenic rivers on the Olympic Peninsula.

The Senate committee hearing earlier this year was cheered by the Wild Olympics Coalition, which also recently unveiled over 70 new endorsements from local Olympic Peninsula elected officials, community leaders, businesses, and advocacy organizations rallying behind the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The new additions bring the total number of local Olympic Peninsula & Hood Canal area businesses, CEOs, elected officials, farms, faith leaders, sportsmen, and conservation and outdoor recreation groups to more than 800 endorsers, including the Quinault, Quileute, Elwha & Jamestown S’Klallam Tribes. More than 12,000 local residents have signed petitions in support. 

“We know that we don’t have to choose between preserving our natural spaces and growing our economy. They go hand in hand,” Senator Murray continued. “These natural treasures—the breathtaking views and stunning scenery, are truly the heart of the Olympic Peninsula—its economy, community, and heritage. I will keep fighting to get the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to the President’s desk.”

The legislation has been carefully crafted through extensive community input to ensure the proposal will have no impact on existing timber jobs. It would permanently protect 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 without closing any roads. 

 

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