Open letter to Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society about Dosewallips Road Repair
Directors and Officers
cc: Concerned JEFFERSON County residents
Dear Sirs and Ladies ,
I was taken aback by the article in the Bremerton Sun today , wherein your organization was identified as a participant in the appeal of the Dosewallips Road Repair decision by ONF . The fact that I don't recognize any of your names probably means that none of you have ever attended any of the public discussions regarding the repair of this road , is that so? The most recent of which was held in the Brinnon School on the last Saturday in March . At this discussion , Dave Craig - District Ranger - Quilcene spent over an hour presenting the decision . ( we have this on video ) The NFS have gone to extraordinary effort and expense to address all conceivable environmental concerns . This meeting was announced ahead of time in the PT Leader . I have attached the article reporting on this meeting , since you folks are from Clallam County and probably don't get the PT Leader !
While we were aware that the Olympic Forest Coalition and the Olympic Park Associates intended to appeal ( no matter what form the repair might take , or how much science went into doing it properly ) and have made an effort to have a dialogue with them , we never heard anything previously from or about your group ! I have studied your newsletter and web site this day , and it is important for you to know that many of us in Brinnon and South Jefferson County have similar concerns regarding environmental issues . On the other side of the coin , you in Clallam are faced with concerns of sprawl and over commercialization . Residential development has spread into the Olympic foothills , and I have read Tim McNulty's articles bemoaning this fact ! It would seem that you have quite a plateful of legitimate issues right up there on the North side of the Peninsula , which leads to the question - Why have you signed on to this appeal ??
South Jefferson County residents would have welcomed your participation in our decision-making process at the early stages , provided you had new and/or important input regarding OUR environmental issues ! The plain fact of the matter is that we never heard anything from you folks at all , and I have reviewed all of the NFS process on this decision and remember very little from any of you .
Here are some things you need to know about our situation , in order to make an informed judgement about staying on this appeal . First of all, South Jefferson does not have the aforementioned development issues that you face in Clallam . We will not be having these issues in future either, due to severe geographical and land use restrictions . Further to this point , the Dosewallips Valley itself is practically undeveloped and much of the land surrounding the Valley is NFS land already , in particular the Buckhorn and Brothers Wildernesses and ONP ........the land is permanently protected ! The Dosewallips Road into ONP has been in use for over 70 years with no demonstrable adverse effects to wildlife . Furthermore , the road into the Park is seasonal , and closed from October to May , lessoning the potential for impact . Additionally , the road is very lightly used , compared to the North side of the Park and will remain so due to it's ruggedness . The ONP ranger station at the Dose trailhead has a small hydro plant to power emergency radios that have been used in many rescues over the years . This facility , along with the handicapped campground , complete with showers and wash rooms will have to be abandoned and dismantled if the road is not repaired . This trailhead plays host to many day hike and weekend opportunities for city folks , and don't forget that we are talking about a NATIONAL Park here . This access was mandated by Congress and Presidents past , while likely used by Teddy Roosevelt himself!
We in South Jefferson do not have your Clallam type development problems , nor do we have the benefits ! We don't have Doctors , shopping, restaurants galore.....we don't even have JOBS !!!!! We have lost the logging and fisheries , and some of us have tried switching over to ecotourism sorts of economics but now access to the Park is closed off to all but a fit few . What YOU are doing has a severe impact on our little villages , our property values and futures . The Brinnon school is down from over 100 to under 50 , with young people moving away or turning to drugs.
I respectfully request that you study our situation , look at the other side of the environmental arguments , weighing the miniscule imacts this access have had on the vast ONP over the years . I also ask you to withdraw your support of this Appeal . Of course , in the convoluted complexity of the NW Forest plan ( which was not a Congressional action-rather was imposed by Clinton ) and NEPA , some clever lawyer will be able to stop this road , and add additional damages to our economy . Of course this access to our NATIONAL PARK can be closed off forever , but was that ever the intent of Congress or the American people......is that YOUR intent ? Are you willing to live with what you are doing to us ????????
for your study :
There is plenty of interest on our site.....please spend some time , as I have with your site : http://www.olympus.net/opas/HH-MJ04.pdf
Ken Shock - http://www.brinnonprosperity.org
Dose Road Committe
cc: Jefferson County Commissioners
here is a letter I wrote to Mark Rose -
I will repeat , as I have said on my site, that I am an environmentalist as are my wife and children. In fact, I was so inclined before Jim Scarborough got out of grade school back somewhere in Appalachia . We owned our first property on the Olympic Peninsula in 1972, and our children spent 21 wonderful summers on the Dosewallips Rd, complete with frequent trips to the Dose Trailhead for picnics and hiking. Our son Scott and his wife both have Masters Degrees in Environmental Engineering from the University of Washington. They work full time correcting major environmental problems throughout the NW , including above the Arctic Circle and out the Aleutians. We are educated and qualified to speak on these matters.
Please remember why I decided to do this site. I personally polled the people of our area, and found that almost everyone wanted the road, and considered it critical to South County. I investigated with the Forest Service, politicians, and the media. What I found was that a tiny faction, mostly from outside our area were circumventing the wishes of the people, and that most of the press were airing their position without investigating the local scene.
If you go to the websites of the opponents of this road, you will see plenty of articles about how devastating the repair of this road would be environmentally. There is nothing there about our economy, our people, or our opinion. Last year Scarborough was proposing a loop trail that would start at the washout and loop back the other side of the river, and that that would draw alot of hikers. I was told in November, by a reporter for the Bremerton Sun, that McNulty had told Scarborough to stop pushing that......there has been no forther mention of it. Looks like we might know who is running the show, Eh ?
Let me point out what a really ill considered an idea it is to convert
the road to a trail.....simply put, it will still be a road, not a
trail. It will not have the features that make trails interesting
and fun. I believe that the Chamber of Commerce should seize the initiative
and propose a trail up the other side of the river, from either the
6 mile or 10 mile bridge to beyond the Dose Falls, with a bridge bringing
it to Muscat Flats. ( this trail used to exist, read Ida Baily's essay
) Purists could hike all the way without seeing any cars. People who
are unable to hike that far, could drive to the Park facilities. I
understand that without the road, the wonderful Muscat Flats facilities
would need to be dismantled and airlifted out via helecopter, in order
to comply with the area's new "back country designation. What
do think that would cost ?? What a total waste, they were recently
upgraded for handicapped. No doubt McNulty would be very pleased to
see this occur, just as he also opposes replacement of high country
Here is the map, including the upper Dosewallips, of the Wilderness objectives of Olympic Wild, now merged into OFC: http://www.olympicwild.org/areas.htm If these folks are at all serious about gaining local support, they should have started with the Chamber of Commerce. They need to be aware that all Olympic Peninsula Chambers agree that the road is needed. They should also know that all Jefferson County Commissioners are in agreement, as is the Port Angeles City manager. Most residents of Jefferson County ( and of the USA if they knew the story ) want this access.
I think the Chamber should offer a tradeoff. Chamber would support a new trail on the South side of the Dose, and would support some new Wilderness areas , as per the above map. This in exchange for the opposition to withdraw the appeal they are planning, and to work with the community and Forest Service to see that tradeoff comes to fruition. I am proposing a WIN - WIN here. This could take the form of a Letter of Intent, signed by all parties. The alternative may be a lose - lose, because there will be strident local opposition to any new wilderness designation, as a fallout of an appeal or road closure. The community may also pursue damages, if the road is closed permanently, thereby undermining the prospects for a tourism economy forever.
Please take the time to review the attached........ken shock
"OPA and other environmental organizations have requested that the Forest Service evaluate these issues through a full environmental impact statement (EIS) before any action is taken. We contend that this is not a minor road repair, but a major environmental action."
Also from Pg. 5 Wilderness Conference report:
"urged participants to create early alliances with all stakeholders, especially in rural US, and to nurture our volunteers."
Just exactly how have Olympic Park Associates or Olympic Forest Coalition
made any effort to communicate with or seek the participation of the
residents of South Jefferson County, who are directly effected by
the Road closure and forestry curtailment ? The bold truth of the
matter is that they think they have the power to impose these economic
consequences on our area.
"On December 22, John Woolley of Olympic Forest Coalition and I walked the proposed route for the Dosewallips bypass road. It has been surveyed and flagged, and center posts are set for the road bed. Walking it is an eye-opener. "
"At present, the Quilcene-Brinnon Chamber of Commerce and Olympic
National Park have lobbied the forest service to reconstruct the road.
We hope other individuals and organizations will weigh-in on this
project when the decision is made public in February. Forests like
these have not been roaded or logged in the Olympics for more than
a decade. By undermining the Northwest Forest Plan during a time when
the Bush administration is maneuvering to weaken the plan and ramp
up logging in Northwest forests, this project sets a dangerous precedent.
OK, lets get this straight. Almost two years ago McNulty claimed that repairing the road would be a major environmental action. From the above verbiage it's clear that he never walked the bypass repair area until this December 22nd. How did he know that this would be a Major environmental action?? Because that is the best spin to use, and raise support for keeping the road closed. But why does he want to keep vehicles from going to the National Park ??
OK, here you go, on the same Action Page he says ( in opposition to replacing shelters in the high country ):
"Olympic is a wilderness jewel in the National Park System, a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. In 1988 Congress placed 95% of the park in the National Wilderness Preservation System to insure protection of its matchless forests, rivers and stunning alpine areas.
"According to the Wilderness Act, "A wilderness, in contrast
to those areas where man and his works dominate the landscape, is...an
area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by
There you go folks. If 25 feet of this road had washed out, he would
be opposed to the repair, based on the above principle. We should
have no roads, no shelters, no handicapped facilities, ranger stations
with radio telephony or TOILETS. This is all based on one phrase in
the Wilderness Act????? Well then , we need to change that phrase,
that is the solution !! It contradicts a Century of public policy
as expressed here in the guidlines for National Parks:
"It is no longer sufficient to look only within the boundaries of a park when making management decisions. Parks are part of broader communities; actions in parks affect their communities just as actions in communities affect parks."
Here's another tidbit:
" - Parks Belong to All Americans: National parks belong to all Americans, so all Americans should feel welcome to experience parks. (note the use of the word "all", that requires some access, doesn't it !)
- The National Park Service Is a Part of the American Community: The National Park Service should partner with local communities to promote preservation, recreation, and the ideals embodied in parks. "
""The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage." In addition, the phrase "Experience Your America" has been copyrighted by the National Park Foundation for use by the National Park Service."
Although most of his letter is about protection, he does say this:
"Certain comforts, such as safe roads, sanitary facilities,
water, food and
MY VIEW.......McNULY IS EFFECTIVELY TRYING TO HIJACK OUR PARK is
that radical ? Well, you tell me.....ken
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