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Port candidates differ on Wild Olympics proposal

October 8th, 2013 - 4:15am

(Port Angeles) P-A Port Commission candidates Colleen McAleer and Del Delabarre squared off at the Monday meeting of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The candidates had differing positions on the impact of local timber jobs by the Wild Olympics Campaign, a proposal that would create new wilderness in the Olympic National Forest and create new Wild and Scenic Rivers on both federal and state land.

McAleer says, while the intent of the Wild Olympics campaign is good, what is more important to our community is that the harvesting of those timberlands is protected.

"It (harvestable timberland) has been dwindling over the decades and we have to do everything we can to protect that", McAleer stated.

She adds, "my opinion is that I can not or would not support the Wild Olympics as currently proposed."

Del Delabarre thinks the study by Stewardship Forestry, an independent forestry consultant, on the Olympic National Forest timber supply was a biased report.

Delabarre say he looked deeper into the study and "finally what I came up with is there are almost no impacts on jobs in the timber industry."

In addition to the Wild Olympics issue, the candidates answered questions on a number of issues, including the organization structure of the Port and the cleanup of Port Angeles Harbor.

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