The Campaign for America's Wilderness of the Pew Environment Group applauds passage of the first wilderness protection bill of the year by the U.S. House of Representatives. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act, (H.R. 176), introduced by Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA), will expand the existing Alpine Lakes Wilderness in the state of Washington by more than 22,000 acres, and designate parts of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers as wild and scenic. The area is about an hour's drive east of Seattle. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) has introduced a companion bill, which is awaiting action by the full Senate.
“The very first wilderness bill to be passed by Congress this year is wholly the result of bi-partisanship,” said Mike Matz, who directs the Campaign for America's Wilderness at the Pew Environment Group. “Protecting wilderness cuts across party lines because it's an American issue. This legislation represents the best of collaboration and consensus building, all toward the laudable goal of protecting our common ground.
“These important additions to this wilderness area will ensure that old-growth and low-elevation forests, sparkling streams, and important wildlife habitat will be preserved for those who will come after us. We commend Representative Reichert and Senator Murray for coming together to champion this conservation measure, and we look forward to the Senate passing the bill quickly, so that future generations will forever be able to hike, fish, camp and enjoy these Washington treasures,” Matz said.