Sunday, October 30, 2005

Washington State is blessed with over 4 million acres of federally protected wilderness. Definitely something to celebrate-however, almost all of those lands are in the western half of the state. The eastern half of the state has been neglected. In Washington's Colville National Forest in the state's northeastern highlands-a mere 3% of the forest's 1.1 million acres is protected as wilderness. Does this mean that there are no lands worthy of protection in the eastern half of the Evergreen State? Absolutely Not! Vast tracts of old-growth forest, pristine mountain summits, and prime wildlife habitat that supports such endangered species as grizzly, caribou, wolverine, and lynx exist here.
Now, finally after much neglect a campaign is underway to protect eastern Washington Wilderness. I am proud to be a part of this effort. I am authoring a new book to be released in the fall of 2006 which highlights the special places of this region that we seek to protect. The Kettle Mountains, Abercrombie-Hooknose Area, and the Grassy Top Roadless Area are all a part of this campaign. I'll be releasing more details over the next few months. In the meanwhile-start familiarizing yourself with the area. We're in for a political battle I'm sure. The stakes however are too grand to not be a part of this worthy endeavor. We will protect this overlooked and under appreciated part of the Northwest.

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