Olympic Peninsula, WA: Local former publisher responds to letter on UN's Biosphere program


On October 5th, 2003, there was a letter to the editor in the Peninsula
Daily News that referred to the UN's Biosphere Reserve Program and
World Heritage Parks, which I was involved in finding out about and
reporting many years ago.

Because the writer indicated that those reports were somehow not true, I feel it is necessary to once again point out that my reports were true.

I immediately sent the following letter to the Daily News, but I don't know
if they will print it, so I am sending this copy to you in hopes you will
put in your newspaper on the web.

Lorraine Maris
Forks, WA


The following letter was sent by Maris to the local daily paper. To date, they have not printed it.


October 5, 2003
Peninsula Daily News
P.O.Box 1330
Port Angeles, WA 98362

NEWS FAX: 360-417-3521

Dear Editor,

Tim McNulty's well intended letter about Olympic National Park's status (Sun, Oct 5) has some points that could be misinterpreted and needs to be clarified.

In 1978 while I was the publisher of the Forks Forum and Peninsula Herald, a US Parks Service employee, upset with National Park plans, brought me a copy of a 1972 map of the Olympic Peninsula.

That map was 4 feet wide and 4 feet long. It was professionally printed in four colors.It showed the following: the highway closed to traffic from Port Angeles to Forks, replaced by a tour bus route to LaPush, which would be turned back to a native village so people could see how real Native Americans lived.

This map showed no development beyond Port Angeles. And in 1980, the US Census Bureau left Forks and other small communities off the Census map because they were told these areas were part of the National Park.

This is a matter of public record reported in both the Forum and the Peninsula Daily News. Senator Henry Jackson and Congressman Al Swift had to step in and set the record straight. Senator Jackson also got us money for the good highway around Lake Crescent and stopped an effort to federalize all the local rivers and their adjoining land.

In 1981, a park employee I trusted came to "borrow" the 1972 map, and I never saw it again. He was transferred.

Olympic National Park is both a World Heritage Park and a Biosphere Reserve. I am the reporter who first broke the story of the World Heritage Park system. I got my information from Dr. Robert Milne, a Frenchman who was in charge of the UNESCO program in the United Nations.He contacted me thanks to Senator Jackson.

Milne said these designations were part of treaty ,which overrides the U.S.Constitution. The treaty provides that no warfare will be waged by any agreeing party in the Olympic National Park (as well as the other places so designated). It also provides the internationally legal right to protect the park from damage--even if an armed response against humans is needed.

The intent, according the Dr. Milne, was to set aside world treasures in case of war--the Pyramids are another example.

The Biosphere Reserve as I understand his explanation, was to set aside and protect one of each kind of Biosphere , high desert, lowland rain forest, and so forth.

All you have to do is look around to see that this treaty still exists . In Africa poachers are routinely shot. And Denali in Alaska is now shut off from drivers--you take the train or the tour bus into an area as big as Texas that used to be populated and now is emptying of human activity. These are just examples.

The UN is a world wide bureaucracy. It does not answer to our government directly and , yes, Olympic National Park is under its protection .

Jessica Savitch, a friend of mine who reported for PBS Frontline, was doing an in depth story about this very matter when she was killed in an accident. No one finished her report. One of my other sources in Washington,D.C. was transferred and I never heard from her again.

I hope this leads everyone to do some research in the old news papers and in the Park Service public records to determine just what the truth is for themselves.

Yours truly,

Lorraine Maris
P.O.Box 908
Forks,WA 98331


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