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Dunn testifies in support of Alpine Wilderness Additions and Scenic River Designations

Summary

Speaking to subcommittee in support of designating Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers as scenic/wild rivers

Story

Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn went before Congress today to support federal legislation that would expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and designate the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River and the Pratt River as wild and scenic rivers.

Speaking to the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation in support of H.R. 361, the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act, Dunn said the proposal would have regional impact.

“We will protect rare low level forests, preserve important recreational opportunities, protect wildlife and by designating the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers as scenic and/or wild rivers, guarantee clean water and downstream fisheries for generations to come,” said Dunn.

Introduced by Congressman Dave Reichert, H.R. 361 would expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area by 22,100 acres of already existing federal land within the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington. It would also designate the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River and the Pratt River as wild and scenic rivers. Dunn has been working with Congressman Reichert to craft this legislation since 2007.

“Most folks who don’t live in Washington don’t realize that less than 50 miles outside of Seattle is both wilderness and other forested lands to hunt and fish in,” said Dunn. “As a resident who lives in the in the shadow of the Alpine Lakes wilderness Area, I fully support the actions of this legislation and thank Congressman Reichert for his leadership on this issue.”

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Testimony of King County Councilman Reagan Dunn
July 23, 2013
Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation

H.R. 361
Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act.


Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member Grijalva it is an honor to come before this subcommittee to speak in favor of H.R 361 the Alpine Lake Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act.   Congressman Reichert and I began discussing this proposal in 2007. I am grateful to the Congressman for extending me this opportunity and for introducing this legislation.

As a lifelong resident of Washington state who lives in the in the shadow of the Alpine Lakes wilderness Area, I fully support the actions of this legislation.  Growing up in Bellevue Washington I have fished both the Pratt and the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie and spent time hiking in the Alpine Wilderness Area. Most folks who don’t live in Washington don’t realize that less than 50 miles outside of Seattle is both wilderness and other forested lands to hunt and fish in.

I was raised in a family that truly appreciated the beauty of the natural world.  My dad began taking my brother and I fishing and hunting when we were young and Mom, yes, Jennifer Dunn, went hiking with us as well.  So I grew up in a family that understood the importance of these wild places especially close to population centers where families can go hike, fish and camp without having to spend a great deal of money or drive long distances from home. And now my son and daughter will have the privilege of enjoying this land as well.
As a member of the King County Council, the largest county in Washington state where I represent 250,000 constituents, I have had the privilege of sponsoring and cosponsoring many pieces of environmental legislation and as we all know, collaboration is the key to bringing the stakeholders to the table.  This legislation was built on consensus-based and collaborative negotiations that included: 

  • 75 elected officials,
  • 115 businesses -- large and small,
  • 18 hunting and fishing groups,
  • 14 groups covering all forms of recreation in the area,
  • 25 conservation and 
  • 67 religious leaders. This is legislation we can all be proud of.

The benefits of passing HR 361 are far reaching.  We will protect rare low level forests, preserve important recreational opportunities, protect wildlife and by designating the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers as scenic and/or wild rivers, guarantee clean water and downstream fisheries for generations to come.

I am proud to support this legislation and to have had the chance to work with Congressman Reichert as this legislation makes its way through the process.  The final product is one we can all be proud of.  Thank you for inviting me to testify this morning.



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