Alpine Lakes, Washington
In December 2014, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act, which designated the upper 27.4 miles of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and the entire 9.5-mile Pratt River as Wild and Scenic Rivers. The Act also added 22,100 acres to the existing Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area.
Wild and Scenic designation – the strongest protection that a river can receive – will provide lasting protections to the free-flowing character and clean waters of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers against threats like dams, as well as recognize and preserve the rivers’ outstanding and unique recreation, fisheries, wildlife, and ecological values.
Less than an hour’s drive from downtown Seattle, the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River basin is one of King County’s last truly wild places, with old-growth forests, alpine lakes and peaks, whitewater rivers, strong native trout runs, and healthy populations of bear, elk, and cougar. Accessible to a population of over three million people and treasured by hikers, mountain bikers, fishermen and whitewater enthusiasts, the Middle Fork Snoqualmie area is one of the most significant outdoor recreation destinations near Seattle. It is also an important source of pure water for the entire Snoqualmie system. The Pratt River valley, part of the larger Middle Fork Snoqualmie drainage, is arguably the wildest part of this unique basin.
The Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act was supported by more than 300 local elected officials, businesses, faith leaders and a coalition of conservation and recreation organizations including American Rivers. American Rivers and our allies worked together for over seven years to secure passage of this important bill that has ensured the upper Middle Fork Snoqualmie and Pratt Rivers and their surrounding wildlands are forever protected for fish, wildlife, and future generations.