Wild Olympics program planners move forward with support of county commissioners, environmental groups


Editorial by Sue Forde, Citizen Review

July 23, 2010

Olympic Peninsula, WA - A consortium of environmental nonprofit organizations and associations are supporting legislation for adding approximately 171,000 acres to the Olympic National Park.  (The Olympic National Park already contains 922,650 acres of land, and the Olympic National Forest contains 633,677 acres.) With the economy the way it is currently, one wonders why millions of dollars would be spent to buy up even "more" land for the government, taking it out of tax-productive private ownership.

“Wild Olympics Campaign” is the title of this effort, and it is supported by elected representatives, environmental organizations, and a number of businesses. The board of Clallam County Commissioners (BOCC) - Steve Tharinger, Mike Doherty and Mike Chapman are supporting the acquisition and wild river designation- and are listed as supporters on the Wild Olympics' website. They also sent a letter regarding the matter on February 17, 2010 to U.S. Representative Norm Dicks, urging him to support the Wild Olympics Campaign, (but not confirmed by the Board until June, according to BOCC minutes).

Meanwhile, the Port of Port Angeles issued a statement opposing it because of the negative impact on the local economy.

According to the "Wild Olympics" website, the Campaign began their outreach with a draft potential area map highlighting 160,000 acres of possible wilderness, 86,000 acres of possible 'willing seller' park additions and more than 550 miles of possible Wild and Scenic Rivers. The website states: "Based on feedback from stakeholder meetings over the last year, we scaled back our draft proposal to the boundaries in the current draft, which contain 134,000 acres of wilderness, 37,000 acres of park additions and 400 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers".

In addition to the proposed enlargement of the Olympic National Park, absorbing key traditional tribal and non-tribal hunting areas around its boundaries, it would include adding tens of thousands of acres around Lake Ozette.  It would transform Forest Service Roadless Areas and Wilderness into Park status.

The Bill, in final stages of being drafted, would allow the Park to purchase lands from "willing sellers", including State of Washington School Trust Lands and removing the harvestable timber base from income potential for local communities of tax revenue as well as jobs and raw material for industry, said John Richmond, a Forks resident who has been closely following the issue, in an email statement.  He commented about how often has this condition been forced upon residents, homesteaders, etc., in the past 80 years (Queets, Quinault).

We have seen how “willing” sellers are “encouraged” to sell their property – a good example is River’s End in the Dungeness Valley.  

No dams allowed

Included in this Bill or series, is the move to include all portions of all rivers within the Park boundaries to be designated as "Wild and Scenic".  The justification for the designation is to "insure the free-flowing character of our rivers-- no dams or water development are allowed on Wild and Scenic rivers."  

“The consortium representatives told us that the President could order the US Army Corps of Engineers to build dams in the Park, unless the rivers held the Wild & Scenic designation,” says Richmond.  “That should be a matter for Congress to place limits on what the Corps does, but the consortium felt that would not happen,” he said.

According to the Voice of the Wild Olympics newsletter (Vol. 18, #1, Winter 2010), the organization is promoting their “conservation vision for the 21st century” which will include “protecting additional Olympic National Forest roadless lands as designated Wilderness; and designate a number of Wild and Scenic Rivers in the Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park.  These include the Elwha, Greywolf-Dungeness, Big Quilcene, Dosewallips, Duckabush, Hamma Hamma, South Fork Skokomish, Humptulips, Quinault, Queets, Hoh and South Fork Hoh, Bogachiel and Sol Duc.  “Protection is proposed for river reaches flowing ‘primarily’ through federal and some state lands,” the newsletter says.

According to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers government website, Wild rivers areas are those rivers or sections of rivers that are free of impoundments (ie dams) and generally inaccessible except by trail, with watersheds or shorelines essentially primitive and waters unpolluted. These represent vestiges of primitive America, while Scenic rivers areas are those rivers or sections of rivers that are free of impoundments, with shorelines or watersheds still largely primitive and shorelines largely undeveloped, but accessible in places by roads.  Both designations are being pushed for the Olympic Peninsula rivers.

This “visionary” approach reflects a goal to “protect what we have and restore what has been lost for the well being and enjoyment of future generations,” says the newsletter.  This is straight out of the United Nations Agenda 21.

The full text of Agenda 21 was revealed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit), held in Rio de Janeiro on June 14, 1992, where 178 governments voted to adopt the program. At that summit, the term "Sustainable Development" was coined by Maurice Strong, who talked about the ideas behind it. The final text was the result of drafting, consultation and negotiation, beginning in 1989 and culminating at the two-week conference. The number 21 refers to an agenda for the 21st century. It may also refer to the number on the UN's agenda at this particular summit. (Wikipedia).

“Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment,” says the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Division for Sustainable Development (you can read the entire document at their website).  It’s been adopted and is being promoted through the US agencies like Department of Transportation, Dept. of Housing and Urban Development and others, despite the fact that the treaty was never ratified by the US Senate.

The newsletter goes on to say that “For the past two years, OPA [Olympic Park Associates] has been working with a coalition of conservation organizations who are also committed to securing long-term protection for Olympic Wildlands  details of the areas proposed…are still being determined.”

The Wildlands Project, which ties into Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development, calls for more than one-half of the United States to be placed “off limits” for humans, and “human settlements” (ie cities) will be the limited place where people can dwell. A search of the internet will bring forth a wealth of information about this issue.

Removal from private ownership removes more of the tax base, and especially the inability to cut timber by the State which would cost the public school system in loss of income they now receive from state timber revenues.

Most importantly, these activities fly in the face of the U.S. Constitutional individual freedoms, and in essence is another “form of government” under the guise of “protecting the environment.”  The United States keeps moving closer to a “state” in a one world government under the direction of the United Nations.