The Wild Olympics Wilderness goal, if successful, is nothing more than bringing about the creation of a corridor of boundaries around the Olympic National Park. Statements mimicked by Congressman Derek Kilmer and Sen. Patty Murray are the same old song and dance the Wild Olympics group has made. Some of our local leaders mouth the same.
I wonder just how many of these people have actually visited any of the present wilderness areas or worked on trails that might exist. Ask yourself, what would climbers of the Colonel Bob Wilderness site do if there were no trails? How about the Wonder Mountain Wilderness where there are no trails?
Speaking of trails, you may remember how long it took to get a permit to clear the Colonel Bob trail after the storms of 2006-07. Does it make sense to prohibit the use of power equipment to do the massive amount of work required to keep trails open? People will volunteer to work on trails if government would just limit the massive amount of hoops workers have to jump through.
If Kilmer and Murray had to volunteer and work the required hours to get a free Trail Park Pass on the West Fork of the Humptulips trail, maybe, just maybe, the light would come on. Pass your darn legislation and you will be using a pair of scissors and a knife to clear 16 miles of trails.
The Wynooche Falls trail is a new one on me as the Wynooche trail does not start at the falls. The real Wynooche trailhead is seven miles past a locked gate, courtesy of Washington State Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service and get this, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation that gave Grays Harbor $25,000 for elk mitigation. Maybe that paid for the big sign that says “Keep Out!” Oh, by the way, some of the poor little elk herd up there are stressed. So if they are stressed, why does Washington State Fish and Wildlife still allow the hunting of those few behind that gate? That state official said if he had his way, the gate in question would be further down the U.S. Forest Service road.
With the five wilderness areas totaling 87,920 acres, just how much more is needed? They certainly are not crowded.
In closing, I would like to thank the Back Country Horsemen and the WTA for the huge amount of work they do to keep trails open.
To Kilmer and Murray, quit pushing legislation that just hamstrings keeping the Olympics trails open.
According to a map released by the campaign last year, several areas included for designation are the Quinault nature trails east of Highway 101 near the south shore of Lake Quinault, the West Fork of the Humptulips River and trail, the East Fork of the Humptulips River and Wynooche Falls Trail.