Wild enough?

Posted by Ken Campbell August 21, 2012 0 Comment 1177 views
There is a move afoot to enshrine 126,554 acres of Olympic land as wilderness, effectively closing them off from further development in the years ahead. Many of the specific areas that make up the total 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, essentially removing them from any future mining, logging, drilling and damming. 
Two things: First, I am pleasantly amazed that there are still 126,000+ 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, that either support or oppose the idea of Wild Olympics legislation. In my heart and in my head, I understand the idea of wanting to conserve what remains. I do not understand the notion that we have enough wilderness already – some might even say we have too much – and that we need more places left open for future development. But there are those who would argue that this is precisely the case, hard as it may be for me to comprehend.
I have struggled with airing political points of view since I began writing this blog; it is, after all, a writer’s notebook for me, not a platform from which to advocate one thing or another. I am aware that there are those who read what I write who may not agree with my view on certain subjects and I have tried, overall, to be inclusive rather than partisan. The thing here is, other than money and the chance that someone may be able to squeeze a dime or two out of the resources that still stand out there, there’s no reason not to support the further increase of protected Olympic land and water. That’s not a political observation, or it shouldn’t be anyway. 
The name for this blog came from a Murray Morgan quote describing the Olympic Peninsula as the last wilderness remaining in the United States. Whether that is still true or not is not the issue. What I do know, beyond any doubt, is that once it’s gone, it doesn’t come back. We, as a culture, as a society, need to understand that there are things we can do and things we cannot. We should not destroy what we do not know how to create.

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