Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt River Proposal
Washington Wild is leading a coalition of conservation and recreation groups that
are working to develop local support for the second National Forest
Wilderness proposal in over 20 years. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and
Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA08) have reintroduced legislation that
would designate additional Wilderness adjacent to the existing Alpine
Lakes Wilderness area and designate the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and
Pratt Rivers as Wild and Scenic.
The Alpine Lakes Wilderness was designated by Congress in 1976. While this designation was significant and permanently protected what has become one of the nation’s most popular wilderness destinations, it left out some of the region’s most important low-elevation forests including the Pratt, Middle Fork and South Fork Snoqualmie River Valleys. These areas are truly the backyard wilderness for the millions of people who live in the Puget Sound basin, providing world-class recreation and ensuring the regions clean water and environment.
The proposal would protect more than 22,000 acres of rare low elevation forest land in the Middle Fork and South Fork Snoqualmie River Valleys. These low elevation areas include old growth forests, key fisheries habitat and multi season recreational opportunities, which are under-represented in the existing Alpine Lakes Wilderness and other wilderness areas statewide.
The legislation will also protect nearly 30 miles of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River and 10 miles of the Pratt River as Wild and Scenic Rivers. This designation will ensure that both rivers’ free-flowing character are permanently protected, securing critical habitat for cutthroat trout, elk, mountain goats and many other species. Wild and Scenic designation will also ensure that recreational opportunities on the river including unique backcountry kayaking and world-class hiking can continue, while safeguarding clean water resources for hundreds of thousands of local residents.
LegislationBill Text (H.R. 608 ) (S. 322)
Local SupportCurrent Supporters of the The Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions
What People Are Saying About the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions
Fact Sheets The Case for Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions
The Case for Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt River Designation
Wild & Scenic River FAQ
Media04/02/12 Public News Service, "Some in GOP Push for Conservation Causes"
11/04/09 SnoValley Star, "Senate subcommittee considers expanding Alpine Lakes Wilderness, protecting rivers"
10/30/09 Seattle PI, "Congress is moving to protect Middle Fork - Snoqualmie"
09/05/09 Seattle Times, "Hiker helps turn dumping ground into scenic gem"
04/28/09 Bellevue Reporter, "City council supports alpine wilderness expansion"
04/17/09 SnoValley Star, "Mayors onboard with Valley wilderness protection"
04/15/09 SnoValley Star, EDITORIAL, "Pratt River, Middle Fork get preservation nod"
04/14/09 Snoqualmie Valley Record, "Lawmakers tout Middle Fork wilderness Opposition expected on protection plan"
04/10/09 King 5, "Bi-partisan effort to expand Alpine Lakes wilderness"
04/10/09 Seattle PI, COLUMN (Joel Connely), "Protect Seattle's backyard mountain valley, but fix the road"
04/10/09 Seattle Weekly, "Murray, Reichert Seek To Expand Alpine Lakes Wilderness"
04/04/09 SnoValley Star, "Valley areas may receive federal protection"
03/31/09 Snoqualmie Valley Record, "Legislators announce wilderness bills"
03/31/09 Seattle Times, LETTER (Beth Anderson), "More land for Alpine Lakes Wilderness"
03/27/09 Seattle Times, "More land sought for Alpine Lakes Wilderness"
03/27/09 Public News Service - WA, "Some New Wilderness for WA, Too?"
03/26/09 Seattle PI, "Murray Reichert team up for wilderness bill"
02/25/09 Snoqualmie Valley Record, "Pratt River Valley federal protection plan gets new life"
02/16/09 Snoqualmie Valley Record, "Pratt River wilderness proposal gets second look"
06/10/08 Seattle PI, "2 Democrats back Reichert wilderness bill"
06/05/08 Seattle Times, "Reichert gets Dems help on wilderness bill"
11/16/07 Seattle Times EDITORIAL, "Reichert bill done right"
08/09/07 Seattle Times, "Reichert has plans for Pratt River"
08/09/07 Seattle PI, "Pratt River fans try to protect it as wilderness"
08/09/07 Seattle PI, COLUMN (Joel Connelly), "Reichert's Pratt River valley idea is right on"