Tthe Winsman for State Senate Campaign issued the following press release regarding Winsman's stand on the Wild Olympics Campaign:
(Longview) – Rick Winsman, candidate for State Senate from the 19th Legislative District, which encompasses parts of Grays Harbor, Lewis, Pacific, Wahkiakum and Cowlitz Counties, announced today his opposition to the Wild Olympics Campaign.
Wild Olympics is a Puget Sound coalition of environmental groups that has proposed designating 134,000 acres of Olympic National Forest as wilderness area and adding 37,000 acres of state trust lands and private timber company land to Olympic National Park as a wilderness area. The campaign is backed by Washington’s United States Senator Patty Murray and United States Representative Norm Dicks.
“On the surface, preserving our area’s natural wilderness area is commendable and a goal worth pursuing. But given a second look and analysis, the proposal becomes an invasion of both public and private property rights,” said Winsman.
Winsman said in his statement released Thursday, that in the final analysis the Wild Olympics proposal will reduce overall property tax receipts, something local governments cannot accommodate in these economic times.
It would also cost the area 225 jobs and significantly reduce job creation within the timber and agricultural industries as well as limit access for recreational activities, a prime source of tourism for the Peninsula. Already, a commitment to invest $50 million in an industrial expansion project in Port Angeles has been postponed due to the uncertainty created by this proposal.
“I join with the people who will be affected most by this ill-conceived land grab and vigorously oppose this proposal,” Winsman added.
Winsman issued this public position in anticipation of the public hearing on May 10, 2012, at the Bishop Center on the Grays Harbor Community College campus.
“I encourage everyone who has a stake in the economic health and environmental preservation balance of the Olympic Peninsula to attend this meeting to voice your concerns.”-30-