LETTER:Save watershed

We should not be logging in the Elwha watershed.

I’m a retired fisheries biologist formally employed by NOAA Fisheries.

I worked on salmon issues in Washington and Oregon.

I represented NOAA on the President’s Forest Plan and the Salvage Timber Sale in Idaho.

Thus I have some familiarity with logging practices.

We have spent over $350 million federal taxes restoring the Elwha River by removing two dams that had no fish passage facilities.

The dam removals open up some 70 miles of salmon habitat, most of which is protected from logging by the Olympic National Park.

However, part of the lower watershed is not in the park and is not protected from logging.

The state Department of Natural Resources is proposing a timber sale in the Little River watershed, a tributary to the lower Elwha.

This is the first location where adult salmon were observed returning to the Elwha watershed even before the last pieces of the Elwha Dam were removed from the river.

During my 26-years at NOAA, 1971 to 1996, I witnessed the devastation logging practices had on salmon populations.

If logging in Clallam County must take place, it should take place outside the Elwha watershed and its tributaries, especially the Little River.

There are other DNR managed forest areas outside the Elwha watershed in Clallam County where logging could take place.

Save the Elwha watershed for salmon, not for loggers. They can log elsewhere.

Robert Vreeland

Port Angeles