Last week, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) reintroduced legislation called the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act.
This legislation would expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and designate both the Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers as Wild and Scenic.
The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is a massive area stretching across 390,000 acres along the Cascade Mountain Range and includes such scenic gems as the Wenatchee National Forest and Snoqualmie National Forest.
Murray and Reichert are joined in the effort by Co-sponsors Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA1).
Key elements of the new Alpine Lakes legislation include:
- Providing the protection of the Wilderness Act of 1964 to lower elevation lands. It will bring a richer diversity of ecosystems, including deeply forested valleys, into the wilderness area and increase its overall biodiversity. The addition of these 21,000 acres of public land into wilderness has the direct effect of protecting a broader array of outdoor recreational opportunities easily accessible for wilderness enthusiasts.
- Designating the Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers as Wild and Scenic, which would permanently protect the rivers’ free-flowing character, water quality and outstanding recreation, fisheries, wildlife, geological and ecological values. This designation provides for many recreational activities including unique backcountry hiking, kayaking, and white water rafting that is unheard of so close to a major urban center.
“Representing a state that is home to tremendous natural beauty and many recreation enthusiasts is truly an honor. That’s why I am proud to reintroduce this bipartisan legislation with Congressman Reichert, Senator Cantwell and Congresswoman DelBene to protect and expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness,” said Senator Patty Murray. “I am committed to making sure that this pristine environment is preserved as a legacy for generations to come.”
Click here for a map of the area.
Primary Source: Press release from Senator Patty Murray’s office