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Published: Friday, December 14, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Wilderness


We must support proposed areas

There is a move afoot to enshrine 126,554 acres of Olympic National Forest as wilderness, permanently protecting remaining old-growth forest. (Nov. 25 article, "Three new wilderness areas proposed for state.") Many of the specific areas in the proposal are located along rivers and streams throughout the Olympic Peninsula, and the added protection will help to ensure that the waterways remain clean and wild. In fact, the legislation would create 19 new "Wild and Scenic" rivers, protecting them in their free-flowing condition for the benefit of fish and recreation.
Two things: First, I am pleasantly amazed that there are still 126,000-plus acres of potential wilderness left out there to protect. And second, I am equally amazed (although not so pleasantly), that there are those who would oppose the idea of giving the still-wild areas all the legal protection we can. If there is a way to enhance the prospects of keeping the peninsula as wild as possible, we would be fools not to do so.
I drive the back roads of the Olympic Peninsula on a regular basis. I see the signs out in the yards and pastures, along the fence lines and on the barns, either supporting or opposing the idea of Wild Olympics legislation. In my heart and in my head, I understand the idea of wanting to conserve what remains. I am unable to comprehend, however, the notion that we have enough wilderness already -- some opponents of the proposed plan say we have too much -- and that we need open more places for future development.
What I do know, beyond any doubt, is that once it's gone, it doesn't come back. We should not destroy what we do not know how to create.
Ken Campbell
Tacoma
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.