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New economic impact study shows job losses under Wild Olympics

November 27th, 2012 - 6:25am

(Port Angeles) -- A new study finds the latest Wild Olympics proposal would still result in a loss of jobs locally.

The Port of Port Angeles, Clallam County and city of Forks funded the study that was presented to the port yesterday.

It says the proposed federal legislation to increase wilderness designation for Olympic National Forest and designate rivers as wild and scenic could cost a dozen direct forest jobs across Clallam, Jefferson, Mason and Grays Harbor counties. It would cost the region more than half a million dollars in annual wages and benefits.

The study also looked at a potential shutdown across the forest-products industry in Clallam County. It says if a reduction in timber results in local saw mills closing, that could lead to a shutdown of the Nippon Paper mill and bioengery plant in Port Angeles.

Such a chain reaction would cost Clallam County more than 11-hundred direct and indirect jobs and 70 million dollars a year in wages and benefits. The local business taxes would drop by about six million dollars a year. The number of jobs lost throughout the four counties could reach five-thousand if the scenario is extended regionally.

This is the second economic impact study for which the Port has commissioned Daniel Underwood to look at the Wild Olympics proposal. An earlier study before the federal legislation was officially proposed also showed potential job loss in the region.

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