On August 22, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining held a hearing on numerous public lands bills, including Senator Patty Murray’s Wild Olympics legislation (S. 438). The legislation last received a hearing in the Senate in April of 2016. The House version of the legislation sponsored by Rep. Derek Kilmer has not received a hearing in the House. A webcast of the hearing is available here: https://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings-and-business-meetings?ID=CEEA5818-1942-4427-9A38-B16FD9AF8A95
Attached you will find a letter the American Forest Resource Council sent to the committee ahead of the hearing. Beyond our industry’s concerns with some of the specific areas proposed for wilderness, the letter outlines the need for a comprehensive solution for the forests and communities on the Olympic Peninsula.
The Forest Service’s testimony did express general support for the intent of the legislation but raised some specific concerns including the boundaries and the inclusion of previously-harvested areas and roadways within the proposed wilderness areas. You can find the Forest Service’s written testimony here: https://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=D99892C6-1B30-4C30-A6B4-A934D10C37EF