Permanent preservation of open space “is in sight”
StoryMetropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn today applauded the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approval of legislation to expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area to include the Pratt River Valley. The legislation, which was adopted by the Committee on Dec. 16, will now move to the Senate floor for a vote. Dunn worked with Congressman Dave Reichert and a coalition of environmental groups to put the wilderness proposal together.
“I commend Congressman Reichert for leading the visionary effort to add the Pratt River Valley to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness,” said Dunn. “I knew from the beginning that this was something we could count on a bipartisan effort to accomplish, and I know Senator Murray will work until the measure is signed into law.”
The Pratt Wilderness is lowland forest that is uniquely different than most wilderness in Washington State. In addition, it is just a short distance from Seattle, a major metropolitan area. This wilderness area will not only be unique in Washington State, it will be unique to the entire United States.
East of North Bend, the Middle Fork Snoqualmie watershed encompasses approximately 110,000 acres of land and is located in the Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest. More than 98 percent of the acreage is now in public ownership, including federal, state and county jurisdictions. The proposed Pratt River and adjacent additions to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness will protect over 35,000 acres.
“I want to thank Senator Murray and Congressman Reichert for their hard work on this issue,” said Dunn, who represents east and South King County. “That hard work has paid off because the permanent preservation of the Pratt River Valley is in sight.”