Saturday, November 07, 2009

Pratt River Valley inches closer toward Wilderness

This just in from the Washington Wilderness Coalition:

IN THE NEWS: Bill Has Successful Hearing in the House and Senate
On November 5th, legislation to protect the Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valleys moved a step closer toward permanent protection after clearing a subcommittee hearing in the House Natural Resources Committee. The welcome news comes after a Senate subcommittee hearing last week. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act (S. 721/ H.R.1769) would expand the existing Alpine Lakes Wilderness by over 22,000 acres to include important lower-elevation lands and designate two rivers of great importance to the surrounding ecosystem as Wild and Scenic. WWC has played a leadership role in a local coalition that has worked over the last two years with many local stakeholders, including local businesses, elected officials, religious leaders, and recreation and conservation organizations.

Good news indeed and one that the bill's sponsors, Senator Patty Murry and Congressman Dave Reichert can both take with them to their reelection campaigns next year-and quite possibly (Dave, are you running for the senate next fall?)in a campaign against each other. In any case, thanks for working to increase our wilderness base. My upcoming Backpacking Washington book has a chapter on Pratt and Kaleetan Lakes and the area surrounding them that is slated to be part of the new wilderness addition.

(Photo: looking down the Pratt River Valley out to the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Valley)

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