Testimonials for the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act
“I am proud to support the legislation recently introduced by Congressman Reichert and Senator Patty Murray that will designate the Pratt River, Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River as Wild and Scenic rivers and expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Our state has a strong history of bipartisan support for protecting our wilderness areas and this thoughtful piece of legislation is a wonderful investment for future generations. I was born and raised here and am grateful that my own family can enjoy these beautiful areas.”
-- Reagan Dunn, King County Council Member (R-9)
"By reaching out early and often to local stakeholders like the Alpental Ski area, Snoqualmie tribe and local elected officials from both parties, Senator Murray and Congressman Reichert have made a compelling and bipartisan case for protecting this area. The protection of such areas immediately adjacent to Snoqualmie has tremendous value as it also serves to protect our local and regional tourist economies."
-- Matt Larson, Mayor of Snoqualmie
"These Mountains and Rivers are sacred to our people, rich in our traditions. This is our traditional home -- a place where our ancestors hunted and fished. Senator Murray and Congressman Reichert understand the importance of this landscape to our people and they have been very respectful in consulting with us as they have developed their initial ideas for protecting this landscape.”
-- Jerry Enick, Chief, Snoqualmie Tribe
"Interstate 90 has been designated a National Scenic Byway where it traverses the Cascades, in part due to the stunning scenery of the Alpine Lakes region. The additions to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness proposed by Senator Murray and Representative Reichert is consistent with the design approach for the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East project and will provide added protection to that landscape. The proposed boundaries are far enough from the highway that they will not interfere with safety and maintenance activities on I-90. "
-- Don Whitehouse, Regional Administrator - South Central Region, Washington State Department of Transportation
"As the Puget Sound metropolitan area grows, its population depends upon the environmental and recreation resources in the Mountains to Sound Greenway from Seattle to Central Washington. For the last two decades the Greenway Trust has led efforts to conserve this landscape, and therefore supports the proposed additions to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area..."
--Cynthia Welti, Executive Director, Mountains To Sound Greenway
"We moved to Snoqualmie to experience the amazing wild and beautiful places. It is important to us that these special places where we hike, fish and explore are preserved for our children and grandchildren. They are why we are proud to call this place home."
--Sally Rose, Snoqualmie resident and school teacher
Recreational User Groups
“The Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (formerly BBTC) has long advocated for the protection of and access to mountain biking opportunities on the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Trail. Evergreen appreciates the leadership and commitment of Congressman Reichert and the environmental community as we have worked together to ensure continued mountain bike access to the trail while protecting the region's remaining wild places. Senator Murray’s new legislation, which adds a Wild and Scenic River designation, strengthens all of our efforts to preserve the integrity of the middle-fork area. Evergreen is pleased to support this bill and looks forward to continued work with Senator Murray, Representative Reichert, and the environmental community on this vital issue.”
-- John Lang, Executive Director, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance
"As someone who has explored hundreds of river miles across the country and around the world, I can confidently say that we have some of the most spectacular river resources of any place in the world. Protecting the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is an important step toward preserving the outstanding recreational opportunities our region is known for."
-- Thomas O'Keefe, Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director for American Whitewater
"We believe in the age-old and traditional heritage of our ancestors and know that the best quality hunting and angling opportunities in the United States happen in backcountry and wilderness settings. Washington State 's Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt River Valleys are a great example of this important heritage and we applaud Congressman Reichert and Senator Murray’s efforts to protect these areas."
-- Gregg Bafundo, Chair, Washington Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
"WTA has been maintaining trails in the Middle Fork Valley for more than a decade, and have worked hard to protect the recreational and scenic values that make this area so special. We look forward to working with Congressman Reichert and Senator Murray in their continuing efforts to consult local community members, recreation advocates, land management agencies and other critical stakeholders to ultimately protect additional areas to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and designate the Pratt River and portions of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act."
-- Jonathan Guzzo, Director of Advocacy, Washington Trails Association
"For many of us and our families the Alpine Lakes Wilderness is our first experience in the backcountry. It's a place where so many of us first made a connection to the lands that we call home. Since 1923, our members have come together for climbing, hiking and skiing trips at our mountain lodge, Guye Cabin, less than 5 miles from the proposed Wilderness additions. Every weekend throughout the year, members of the Washington Alpine Club spend time along the I90 corridor and at Snoqualmie Pass. We are excited about Congressman Reichert's and Senator Murray's efforts to protect this special area that we consider our home."
-- Mike Mahanay, President, Washington Alpine Club
"It's a special experience to glide through high alpine meadows on a crisp winter morning or brake trail with snowshoes up a frozen ridge. It's even more unique to have these opportunities only minutes from downtown Seattle. That's part of what the proposed Alpine Lakes Wilderness additions and Pratt River valley provide for us. The Winter Wildlands Alliance is committed to protecting our winter wildland recreation opportunities and we are truly excited to support Congressman Reichert and Senator Murray’s recent efforts to designate new wilderness and wild and scenic rivers in the region."
-- Gus Bekker, Volunteer, Winter Wildlands Alliance
"Since 1906, The Mountaineers has dedicated itself to the responsible enjoyment and protection of the mountains, forests and waters of the Pacific Northwest. We appreciate Congressman Reichert's and Senator Murray’s efforts to preserve and enhance the recreational opportunities that make the Middle Fork and South Fork Snoqualmie River Valleys such a special destination."
-- Eric Linxweiler, President, The Mountaineers.
"The Northwest Fly Anglers, a family-oriented organization with over 125 members, has promoted education and conservation in the Puget Sound region for 37 years. We serve as stewards of the river bar and surrounding area where the Pratt River flows into the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. This is a popular fishing spot for our members and a place where we share our passion for the outdoors with our families and friends. We support the efforts Senator Murray and Congressman Reichert are making to preserve the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt rivers through Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River designations. These river valleys are cherished places we look forward to sharing with future generations of fly anglers."
-- Paul Dieter, President, Northwest Fly Anglers
"As an organization dedicated to North America's coldwater fisheries and the watersheds that support them, we are pleased to see that Congressman Reichert and Senator Murray are looking at designating new additions to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness as well as special protections for the Pratt River and portions of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River with Wild and Scenic designations. The fisheries in the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River and the Pratt River will benefit from this effort, thus securing healthy fish populations into the future for the region in an area well-loved by anglers that frequent the region."
-- Mark Taylor, President, Washington Council of Trout Unlimited
"It is critical to protect intact wild rivers as we invest in restoring rivers around Puget Sound, and it is tremendous to see such enthusiasm from Senator Murray and Representative Reichert for protecting the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers with a Wild and Scenic designation."
-- Dr. David R. Montgomery, Professor of Geomorphology in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington and author of King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run of Salmon
“On the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River, King County’s focus is on maintaining existing flood hazard reduction infrastructure near or adjacent to developed areas and protecting and restoring floodplains and wetlands on undeveloped properties. For example, in areas upstream of North Bend, King County has purchased several parcels on, or adjacent to, the river, consolidating them in public ownership thus mitigating the effects of further flooding. In order to reduce the risks from flood and channel migration hazards, avoid the environmental impacts of flood hazard management, and reduce the long-term costs of flood hazard management, it is imperative that the upland portions of undeveloped, forested watersheds are protected and preserved.”
-- Steve Bleifuhs, King County Flood Emergency Director; and Certified Floodplain Manager by the Association of State Floodplain Managers
"Protecting our wilderness heritage is a worthy cause that fits with traditional conservative ideas about good stewardship of our nation's great natural inheritance. Historically, bipartisanship has been the key to conservation progress, so we are pleased to commend Congressman Reichert and Senator Murray for working together to pass this important Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River legislation.”
-- Jim DiPeso, Policy Director, Republicans For Environmental Protection
"The Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers along with the Alpine Lakes Wilderness provide important and distinctive native fish habitat. Senator Murray and Congressman Reichert's proposal to protect these remarkable watersheds would be an important step toward conserving genetic diversity and ecosystem functions in the central Cascades and preserving a wild heritage that has been an integral part of the cultural, economic and ecological fabric of the region."
-- Kurt Beardslee, Executive Director, Wild Fish Conservancy
"ALPS has long believed that the Pratt valley, along with the lower elevation portions of the Middle and South Forks of the Snoqualmie, are just the kinds of places needed to complete the protection of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, a work started so long ago. The longer snow free season of these places provides critical wildlife habitat in winter and spring months when the uplands lands of the existing Wilderness are under snow. Protecting the Pratt valley as Wilderness will insure that it stays wild, and complements the efforts of ALPS and other groups over the past three decades to protect and develop sustainable recreational opportunities in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie watershed, of which the Pratt is a key part."
-- Don Parks, Alpine Lakes Protection Society