Washington – American Rivers today applauded the bipartisan work of Rep. Dave Reichert and Sen. Patty Murray in introducing legislation that will protect two of Washington’s great rivers, the Pratt and the Middle Fork Snoqualmie.
The legislation would grant Wild and Scenic River protection to both rivers, safeguarding clean water, fish and wildlife, and excellent hiking, fishing and paddling opportunities for millions of people in western Washington. The bill, which would also grant wilderness protection for an additional 22,000 acres in the Alpine Lakes region, was developed in consultation with local stakeholders and with help from a coalition of conservation and recreation organizations, including American Rivers.
“We applaud Congressman Reichert and Senator Murray for championing these Wild and Scenic designations that ensure we will continue to enjoy these wonderful rivers today and for generations to come,” said David Moryc, Senior Director of River Protection at American Rivers. “As we’ve seen with other Wild and Scenic rivers in the Northwest and across the country, this special designation can bring real benefits to local economies and communities.”
If the bill becomes law, it will bring the total number of Wild and Scenic Rivers in Washington to eight. The state currently has six Wild and Scenic Rivers – the Skagit, Sauk, Cascade, Suiattle, Klickitat, and White Salmon. There are at least 100 additional rivers across the state that are eligible for designation.
It is very rare to have such pristine, wild rivers so close to a major metropolitan area. The Pratt River, a tributary of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie, contains old-growth forest and is home to strong native trout runs, as well as bear, elk and cougar. The area is treasured by anglers, whitewater boaters and hikers. The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River is one of the nation’s most outstanding free-flowing rivers and is widely recognized as a tremendous community asset, enjoyed year around by thousands of visitors and local residents.
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.