Bill introduced to create 126,000 acres of new wilderness
Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Norm Dicks said Thursday it would protect several key forest areas and rivers while preserving local jobs and outdoor recreation access.
The two Democrats said the proposal will help protect sensitive areas on the Olympic Peninsula and continue progress to protect and restore Puget Sound and Hood Canal.
They said the Wild Olympics wilderness proposal is a compromise written after nearly three years of consultation with area residents, business owners, organizations and tribes.
It would designate 19 rivers and seven tributaries as Wild and Scenic Rivers.
Murray and Dicks said the bill's conservation of critical watersheds would protect drinking water and safeguard fisheries.
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