Sierra Club is a member of a coalition working to protect wild forests and river watersheds on the Olympic Peninsula. These watersheds provide local communities with clean water, world class outdoor recreation opportunities and sustain our outstanding Peninsula way of life. They are vital to the health of Hood Canal and Puget Sound and are critical habitat for wildlife, steelhead and salmon. The campaign is working with other local citizens and community leaders to establish new Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River designations for these natural treasures. Click here to see the coalition members.
Wild Olympics Bill Passes Out of House (February 12, 2020)
On February 12, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (H.R. 2642). The bill, which was introduced by Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) passed the House with bipartisan support as part of a package of bills called the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act, would permanently protect more than 126,000 acres of public land as wilderness and 19 rivers and their major tributaries as Wild and Scenic Rivers. U.S. Senator Patty Murray has introduced a companion bill in the Senate. Read more.
Please take a moment to send an email and thank Rep. Kilmer for his support.
Wild Olympics Bill Rides Wave of New Local Support through House Hearing
July 10, 2019
The Wild Olympics Coalition cheered a July 10, 2019 hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands of the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (H.R. 2642). The legislation was introduced by Senator Patty Murray and Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06) in May, and 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 and clean water and enhance outdoor recreation, the legislation would designate 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.
Representative Kilmer Testified at the hearing in support of the legislation. Read more.
Murray & Kilmer Reintroduce Wild Olympics Bill: Vow To "Get It Done"
May 9, 2019
By: Marc Sullivan, Vice-Chair, Washington Chapter
Senator Patty Murray and 6th District Representative Derek Kilmer have reintroduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and told a gathering of supporters, including Sierra Club representatives, that they vow to "get it done". The companion bills in the House and Senate were formally introduced on May 9.
The bill -- the first version of which was introduced in 2012 by Murray and then-6th District Rep. Norm Dicks -- would designate as wilderness 126,500 acres in the Olympic National Forest surrounding Olympic National Park. It would also permanently protect 19 Peninsula rivers and their major tributaries, a total of 464 river miles, as Wild and Scenic Rivers.
Murray and Kilmer announced their intention at an April 23 meeting with about 60 Wild Olympics Coalition members and other bill supporters in Port Hadlock. The Sierra Club -- a founding member of the Wild Olympics Coalition -- was represented by North Olympic Group Chair Bill Volmut and Chapter Vice-Chair Marc Sullivan.
Murray and Kilmer, using identical language about the bill's prospects, both vowed to "get it done". Rep. Kilmer spoke emotionally about what the Olympics meant to him growing up in Port Angeles and about his wish that his daughters have the opportunity to appreciate the mountains, forests and rivers that he had.
Wild Olympics Coalition Chair Connie Gallant emceed the event. She noted that the number of key endorsers -- businesses, faith leaders, conservation groups, elected officials and more -- had now passed 800, in addition to 12,000 individual Peninsula citizens signed on to the Wild Olympics petition. Gallant introduced several endorsers who spoke to the group, including representatives of the Lower Elwha Klallam and Jamestown S'Klallam tribes as well as Mayor Sissi Bruch of Port Angeles and Mayor Erik Larson of Aberdeen. Also in attendance was first-American-on-Everest Jim Whittaker, now a Port Townsend resident.