Written by: Bill Pickell

February 03, 2012
The Daily World

It didn’t before, it shouldn’t work now

   In the early ’80s the environmentalists came to Washington State thinking they would save all the last free-flowing rivers on the Olympic Peninsula, put them under government control, and have then declared “Wild and Scenic.” They were totally shocked when local Peninsula residents rejected their anointing and chased them into Oregon, where they found fertile waters and eventually got government regulatory control on some 60 rivers.
  Since that time our Peninsula river’s have remained wild and scenic as God created them under current regulatory law administered by the state, federal government and private landowners. All those rivers have the highest quality of water and fish runs that their habitat will provide and have been disturbed little by man’s activities.
  Now cometh the 2012 Wild Olympics proposal for federal scenic and wild designations led by a coalition of national environmental groups, with Pew Foundation funding, Seattle leadership and Congressman Norm Dicks and Sen. Patty Murray as their standard bearers. While they extol the Peninsula waters as pristine and wild and scenic they offer no evidence that current laws and management are insufficient. They just want a political legacy at the expense of the residents.
Appealing to your emotions, they conjure up scenarios of new dams to be built and residential developments on these rivers. Just when was the last dam proposed in the Olympics or how many developments has the government built on the Peninsula? There have been no proposals of dams — in fact they are ripping them out now, and I know of no government developments.
  Yet Janet Strong expresses these same fears of dams and developments in her editorial of Jan 19; following with “we now have a golden opportunity to get our share (of wild and scenic rivers) and increase the numbers across America.” It’s like a competition to her at the taxpayer’s expense.
  Wild and Scenic river designations within the Park are ridiculous as the park is a wilderness park and is managed as such — nothing will change. However, on the National Forest it is a different story as one-quarter mile on each side of the river will be frozen in time — just as it looks now. And within the “view-shed” of one-half mile — if it can be seen from the river, horrible things like logging or road construction or even campgrounds could not occur. Thousands of acres of forested lands would be locked up. It is mass preservation on a grand scale with legislation that is unforgiving. Oh and there is management money for the miles of rivers designated—from a government that is now financially destitute.
When the river savers came in the ’80s, they had maps with “wild and scenic” designated corridors leading from the Park to the sea. Whole rivers, the Humptulips, Hoh, Wynoochee, Satsop, Quinault, Dungeness, Bogachiel and the rest of the Olympic rivers were all included, encompassing all the private lands adjacent to the waters. The land grab was unachievable then, so now some 30 years later the Wild Olympics reduced their gluttony a bit — to just 24 rivers — but all on public lands. Their goal is still to control the river from source to the sea — it’s just a matter of waiting for the timing. Remember, he who controls the waterways controls the lands adjacent and the people thereof.
  Just follow land sales and you’ll see the environmental icons such as the Nature Conservancy, the Cascade Lands Conservancy (Forterra), the River Network and others are busy as beavers gobbling up riverside lands then transferring them, at a profit of course, to a federal or state agency. Previously taxed private lands become non-taxed government lands shifting costs to other land owners. With pork-barrel connections such as Dicks and Murray legislating and financing the river and land grab it’s a done deal if the taxpayers don’t rebel. After 30 years it’s an opportunity to reject this wild and scenic program and send the Wild Olympics crew packing.

Bill Pickell

Wild Olympics Scam thanks Bill for publishing these great truths in the Grays Harbor Daily World