U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA8) have reintroduced their
Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act
(H.R. 361/S. 112) along with cosponsors Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Congresswoman
Suzan DelBene (D-WA1).
"We are thrilled that Congressman Reichert, Senator Murray, and Senator Cantwell have once
again made this popular bill a top priority and to see new Congresswoman DelBene join them,"
said Thomas O'Keefe, American Whitewater's Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director. This
legislation will help ensure the future of some of Washington’s most popular backcountry
recreation areas by designating more than 22,000 acres of wilderness adjacent to the existing
Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area. 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.
"Few rivers anywhere in the country can match the quality of the recreational resources the
Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie and the Pratt provide for our communities," said O'Keefe,
who has testified before Congress in favor of the bill. "Whether it's a quiet fishing
trip after work, a day out with friends on some of the most outstanding whitewater the region has
to offer, or a weekend with the family in one of the most scenic river valleys in the country,
these rivers are tremendous resources for our community."
Originally designated in 1976, the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area has since become one of the most
popular wilderness areas in the country. The legislation would add an additional 22,000 acres to
the existing wilderness area that includes low-elevation forests that provide important wildlife
habitat and recreational opportunities.
This bill would also represent the first Wild and Scenic River on the Mount Baker - Snoqualmie
National Forest since the Skagit River system was designated in the 1970's. Since that time,
many rivers have been identified for their eligibility as Wild and Scenic Rivers. The designation
will ensure that the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt River are protected for future generations,
securing critical habitat for native cutthroat trout. Wild and Scenic designation will also
ensure that the quality of recreational opportunities on these rivers, including world-class
hiking and whitewater paddling opportunities, will be protected while safeguarding clean water
resources for hundreds of thousands of local residents.